Temperature dependence of planktonic metabolism in the ocean

A. Regaudie-De-Gioux*, C. M. Duarte

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

146 Scopus citations


Standard metabolic theory predicts that both respiration and photosynthesis should increase with increasing temperature, albeit at different rates. However, test of this prediction for ocean planktonic communities is limited, despite the broad consequences of this prediction in the present context of global ocean warming. We compiled a large data set on volumetric planktonic metabolism in the open ocean and tested the relationship between specific metabolic rates and water temperature. The relationships derived are consistent with predictions derived from metabolic theory of ecology, yielding activation energy for planktonic metabolism consistent with predictions from the metabolic theory. These relationships can be used to predict the effect of warming on ocean metabolism and, thus, the role of planktonic communities in the flow of carbon in the global ocean.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numberGB1015
JournalGlobal Biogeochemical Cycles
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2012
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Global and Planetary Change
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • General Environmental Science
  • Atmospheric Science


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