Biological organic carbon production and consumption play a fundamental role in the understanding of organic carbon cycling in oceans. However, studies on them in the Kuroshio, the western boundary current in the North Pacific Ocean, are scarce. To better understand the variations of plankton community respiration (CR) and particulate organic carbon (POC), eight cruises. which covered four seasons over a 2-year period, were surveyed across the Kuroshio at the KTV1 transect east of Taiwan. Spatially, a coastal uplift of isotherms (i.e., onshore lifting and offshore deepening) was observed along the KTV1 transect. During the uplift, the cold and nutrient-rich deep waters shoal to shallow water and enhance phytoplankton growth, resulting in higher values of phytoplankton, POC, and plankton CR on the onshore side. In this study, phytoplankton was dominated by picophytoplankton including Prochlorococcus, Synechococcus, and picoeukaryotes. Plankton CR was low, and its mean depth-normalized integrated rate (the upper 100 m water depth) ranged from 7.07 to 22.27 mg C m−3 d−1, to which the picophytoplankton and heterotrophic bacteria contributed the most. The mean depth-normalized integrated value of POC ranged from 12.7 to 21.6 μg C L−1. POC is mainly associated with phytoplankton biomass with a mean carbon ratio of chlorophyll a/POC ≈ 1.03. All results suggest that plankton CR and POC variations may be associated with picoplankton dynamics in the Kuroshio.
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