Pelagic-Benthic Coupling and the Carbon Cycle
Ken Smith will continue to collect his novel time series in the deep sea at Station M and at Smooth Ridge. He will be measuring the passive transport of food through the benthic boundary layer as well as the demand for food by benthic communities on time scales ranging from weeks to years. The Smooth Ridge site will take advantage of the Monterey Accelerated Research System (MARS) cabled observatory to continue the time series. The goal is to resolve the apparent conflict between supply and demand for nutrients in the deep sea, and contribute to a better understanding of the deep-sea carbon cycle. Results to date show surprisingly large and so far unexplained changes in benthic faunal abundance and diversity on rather short time scales.