Nicolas Cassar

Nicolas Cassar
Duke University | DU · Division of Earth and Ocean Sciences

Ph.D.
Our research focuses on biogeochemistry and ecophysiology,

About

114
Publications
18,556
Reads
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3,065
Citations
Citations since 2016
61 Research Items
1929 Citations
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20162017201820192020202120220100200300400
20162017201820192020202120220100200300400
20162017201820192020202120220100200300400
Additional affiliations
July 2019 - present
Duke University
Position
  • Professor
January 2014 - June 2019
Duke University
Position
  • Professor (Associate)
January 2010 - December 2013
Duke University
Position
  • Professor (Assistant)

Publications

Publications (114)
Article
Full-text available
In this study, we compare mechanistic and empirical approaches to reconstruct the air‐sea flux of biological oxygen (FO2bio_as ${\mathrm{F}}_{{\left[{\mathrm{O}}_{2}\right]}_{{\text{bio}}^{\_\text{as}}}}$) by parameterizing the physical oxygen saturation anomaly (ΔO2[phy]) in order to separate the biological contribution from total oxygen. The firs...
Article
Full-text available
The NASA EXport Processes in the Ocean from RemoTe Sensing (EXPORTS) program was established to better quantify the pathways of the biological carbon pump in order to gain a more comprehensive understanding of global carbon export efficiency. The summer 2018 field campaign in the vicinity of Ocean Station Papa (Station P; 50°N, 145°W) in the Northe...
Preprint
Full-text available
The Tara Pacific expedition (2016-2018) sampled coral ecosystems around 32 islands in the Pacific Ocean and the ocean surface waters at 249 locations, resulting in the collection of nearly 58,000 samples. The expedition was designed to systematically study warm coral reefs and included the collection of corals, fish, plankton, and seawater samples...
Article
Full-text available
The importance of dissolved Fe (dFe) in regulating ocean primary production and the carbon cycle is well established. However, the large-scale distribution and temporal dynamics of dFe remain poorly constrained in part due to incomplete observational coverage. In this study, we use a compilation of published dFe observations (n=32,344) with paired...
Data
Supplementary Information to Landwehr, S., Volpi, M., Haumann, F. A., Robinson, C. M., Thurnherr, I., Ferracci, V., Baccarini, A., Thomas, J., Gorodetskaya, I., Tatzelt, C., Henning, S., Modini, R. L., Forrer, H. J., Lin, Y., Cassar, N., Simó, R., Hassler, C., Moallemi, A., Fawcett, S. E., Harris, N., Airs, R., Derkani, M. H., Alberello, A., Toffol...
Article
Full-text available
The Southern Ocean is a critical component of Earth's climate system, but its remoteness makes it challenging to develop a holistic understanding of its processes from the small scale to the large scale. As a result, our knowledge of this vast region remains largely incomplete. The Antarctic Circumnavigation Expedition (ACE, austral summer 2016/201...
Article
Full-text available
Mixed‐layer dynamics exert a first order control on nutrient and light availability for phytoplankton. In this study, we examine the influence of mixed‐layer dynamics on net community production (NCP) in the Southern Ocean on intra‐seasonal, seasonal, interannual, and decadal timescales, using biogeochemical Argo floats and satellite‐derived NCP es...
Article
Full-text available
In the subsurface ocean, O2 depleted because of organic matter remineralization is generally estimated based on apparent oxygen utilization (AOU). However, AOU is an imperfect measure of oxygen utilization because of O2 air‐sea disequilibrium at the site of deepwater formation. Recent methodological and instrumental advances have paved the way to f...
Article
Full-text available
Droughts and climate-change-driven warming are leading to more frequent and intense wildfires arguably contributing to the severe 2019–2020 Australian wildfires. The environmental and ecological impacts of the fires include loss of habitats and the emission of substantial amounts of atmospheric aerosols. Aerosol emissions from wildfires can lead to...
Article
Full-text available
Since the middle of the past century, the Western Antarctic Peninsula has warmed rapidly with a significant loss of sea ice but the impacts on plankton biodiversity and carbon cycling remain an open question. Here, using a 5-year dataset of eukaryotic plankton DNA metabarcoding, we assess changes in biodiversity and net community production in this...
Article
Picoplankton populations dominate the planktonic community in the surface oligotrophic ocean. Yet, their strategies in the acquisition and the partitioning of organic and inorganic sources of nitrogen (N) and carbon (C) are poorly described. Here, we measured at the single‐cell level the uptake of dissolved inorganic C (C‐fixation), C‐leucine, N‐le...
Article
Full-text available
The goal of the EXport Processes in the Ocean from RemoTe Sensing (EXPORTS) field campaign is to develop a predictive understanding of the export, fate, and carbon cycle impacts of global ocean net primary production. To accomplish this goal, observations of export flux pathways, plankton community composition, food web processes, and optical, phys...
Article
Full-text available
The West Antarctic Peninsula (henceforth “Peninsula”) is experiencing rapid warming and melting that is impacting the regional marine food web. The primary phytoplankton groups along the Peninsula are diatoms and cryptophytes. Relative to diatoms, there has been little focus on regional cryptophytes, and thus our understanding of their diversity an...
Preprint
Full-text available
The Southern Ocean is a critical component of Earth’s climate system, but its remoteness makes it challenging to develop a holistic understanding of its processes from the small to the large scale. As a result, our knowledge of this vast region remains largely incomplete. The Antarctic Circumnavigation Expedition (ACE, austral summer 2016/2017) sur...
Article
Full-text available
The significance of the water-side gas transfer velocity for air–sea CO2 gas exchange (k) and its non-linear dependence on wind speed (U) is well accepted. What remains a subject of inquiry are biases associated with the form of the non-linear relation linking k to U (hereafter labeled as f(U), where f(.) stands for an arbitrary function of ), the...
Article
Full-text available
Variation in the microbial cycling of nutrients and carbon in the ocean is an emergent property of complex planktonic communities. While recent findings have considerably expanded our understanding of the diversity and distribution of nitrogen (N2) fixing marine diazotrophs, knowledge gaps remain regarding ecological interactions between diazotroph...
Article
Full-text available
Approximately half of global primary production occurs in the oceans. While the large-scale variability in net primary production (NPP) has been extensively studied, ocean gross primary production (GPP) has thus far received less attention. In this study, we derived two satellite-based GPP models by training machine-learning algorithm (Random Fores...
Article
While it has been known that wave breaking and bubble generation at high wind speeds enhance air-sea carbon dioxide (CO2) exchange rates (F), quantification of their contribution at the global scale remains a formidable challenge. There is urgency to make progress on this issue as a significant uptick in both magnitude and frequency of high wind ev...
Article
Full-text available
An amendment to this paper has been published and can be accessed via a link at the top of the paper.
Article
Full-text available
At sea, wind forcing is responsible for the formation and development of surface waves and represents an important source of near-surface turbulence. Therefore, processes related to near-surface turbulence and wave breaking, such as sea spray emission and air–sea gas exchange, are often parameterised with wind speed. Thus, shipborne wind speed meas...
Article
Full-text available
A multimethod process‐oriented investigation of diverse productivity measures in the California Current Ecosystem (CCE) Long‐Term Ecological Research study region, a complex physical environment, is presented. Seven multiday deployments covering a transition region from high to low productivity were conducted over two field expeditions (spring 2016...
Article
Full-text available
The ratio of dissolved oxygen to argon in seawater is frequently employed to estimate rates of net community production (NCP) in the oceanic mixed layer. The in situ O2/Ar‐based method accounts for many physical factors that influence oxygen concentrations, permitting isolation of the biological oxygen signal produced by the balance of photosynthes...
Article
Nitrogen availability limits marine productivity across large ocean regions. Diazotrophs can supply new nitrogen to the marine environment via nitrogen (N2) fixation, relieving nitrogen limitation. The distributions of diazotrophs and N2 fixation have been hypothesized to be generally controlled by temperature, phosphorus, and iron availability in...
Article
Full-text available
Primary production by phytoplankton represents a major pathway whereby atmospheric CO2 is sequestered in the ocean, but this requires iron, which is in scarce supply. As over 99% of iron is complexed to organic ligands, which increase iron solubility and microbial availability, understanding the processes governing ligand dynamics is of fundamental...
Article
Full-text available
Interactions between the ocean and the atmosphere occur at the air-sea interface through the transfer of momentum, heat, gases and particulate matter, and through the impact of the upper-ocean biology on the composition and radiative properties of this boundary layer. The Tara Pacific expedition, launched in May 2016 aboard the schooner Tara, was a...
Article
Full-text available
Diazotrophs play a critical role in the biogeochemical cycling of nitrogen, carbon, and other elements in the global ocean. Despite their well‐recognized role, the diversity, abundance, and distribution of diazotrophs in the world's ocean remain poorly characterized largely due to limited observations. Here we update the database of diazotroph nifH...
Article
Full-text available
Considerable uncertainty remains into how increasing atmospheric CO2 and anthropogenic climate changes are affecting open‐ocean marine ecosystems from phytoplankton to top predators. Biological time series data are thus urgently needed for the world’s oceans. Here, we use the carbon stable isotope composition of tuna to provide a first insight into...
Preprint
Full-text available
At sea, wind forcing is responsible for the formation and development of surface waves and represents an important source of near surface turbulence. Therefore, processes related to near surface turbulence and wave breaking, such as sea spray emission and air-sea gas exchange are often parametrised with wind speed. Shipborne wind speed measurements...
Article
Despite generally low primary productivity and diatom abundances in oligotrophic subtropical gyres, the North Atlantic Subtropical Gyre (NASG) exhibits significant diatom-driven carbon export on an annual basis. Subsurface pulses of nutrients likely fuel brief episodes of diatom growth, but the exact mechanisms utilized by diatoms in response to th...
Article
Full-text available
Marine nitrogen (N 2 ) fixation supplies “new” nitrogen to the global ocean, supporting uptake and sequestration of carbon. Despite its central role, marine N 2 fixation and its controlling factors remain elusive. In this study, we compile over 1,100 published observations to identify the dominant predictors of marine N 2 fixation and derive global...
Article
Full-text available
Marine N2 fixation supports a significant portion of oceanic primary production by making N2 bioavailable to planktonic communities, in the process influencing atmosphere-ocean carbon fluxes and our global climate. However, the geographical distribution and controlling factors of marine N2 fixation remain elusive largely due to sparse observations....
Article
High-throughput-sequencing-based marine microbiome profiling is rapidly expanding and changing how we study the oceans. Although powerful, the technique is not fully quantitative; it provides taxon counts only in relative abundances. In order to address this issue, we present a method to quantitatively estimate microbial abundances per unit volume...
Article
Full-text available
The fraction of primary production exported out of the surface ocean, known as the export ratio (ef ratio), is often used to assess how various factors, including temperature, primary production, phytoplankton size, and community structure, affect the export efficiency of an ecosystem. To investigate possible causes for reported discrepancies in th...
Article
Full-text available
Nitrogen (N) is a limiting nutrient in vast regions of the world’s oceans, yet the sources of N available to various phytoplankton groups remain poorly understood. In this study, we investigated inorganic carbon (C) fixation rates and nitrate (NO3−), ammonium (NH4+) and urea uptake rates at the single cell level in photosynthetic pico-eukaryotes (P...
Article
The contribution of oceanic net community production (NCP) to the observed seasonal cycle in atmospheric potential oxygen (APO) is estimated at Cape Grim, Tasmania. The resulting APONCP signal is compared to satellite and ocean model-based estimates of POC export and NCP across the Southern Ocean. The satellite products underestimate the amplitude...
Article
Full-text available
The environmental fate and potential impacts of nanopesticides on agroecosystems under realistic agricultural conditions are poorly understood. As a result, the benefits and risks of these novel formulations compared to the conventional products are currently unclear. Here, we examined the effects of repeated realistic exposures of the Cu(OH)2 nano...
Article
Full-text available
New production (New P, the rate of net primary production (NPP) supported by exogenously supplied limiting nutrients) and net community production (NCP, gross primary production not consumed by community respiration) are closely related but mechanistically distinct processes. They set the carbon balance in the upper ocean and define an upper limit...
Poster
Full-text available
Nutrient availability to marine microorganisms moderates the productivity of ocean ecosystems. Assessing the response of microplankton communities across diverse marine biomes to different nutrient inputs will improve our understanding of microbially-driven cycling of carbon and nutrients in the surface oceans. From samples collected in August 2015...
Article
Full-text available
Marine net community production (NCP) tracks uptake of carbon by plankton communities and its potential transport to depth. Relationships between marine microbial community composition and NCP currently remain unclear despite their importance for assessing how different taxa impact carbon export. We conducted 16 and 18S rRNA gene (rDNA) sequencing...
Article
Full-text available
Diatoms play a fundamental role at the base of the polar marine food web. In the Southern Ocean, low iron concentrations and light levels control diatom abundance and distribution. Diatoms must therefore employ strategies that allow them to cope when iron and/or light availability is growth limiting. Through a combination of physiological and molec...
Article
Because of the difficulty in resolving the large variability of N2 fixation with current methods which rely on discrete sampling, the development of new methods for high resolution measurements is highly desirable. We present a new method for high-frequency measurements of aquatic N2 fixation by continuous flow-through incubations and spectral moni...
Article
Full-text available
Despite our current realization of the tremendous diversity that exists in plankton communities, we have little understanding of how this biodiversity influences the biological carbon pump other than broad paradigms such as diatoms contributing disproportionally to carbon export. Here we combine high-resolution underway O2/Ar, which provides an est...
Article
Full-text available
Export production reflects the amount of organic matter transferred from the ocean surface to depth through biological processes. This export is in large part controlled by nutrient and light availability, which are conditioned by mixed layer depth (MLD). In this study, building on Sverdrup's critical depth hypothesis, we derive a mechanistic model...
Article
We observe surface and sub-surface fluorescence-derived chlorophyll maxima in southern Drake Passage during austral summer. Backscatter measurements indicate that the Deep Chlorophyll Maxima (DCMs) are also deep biomass maxima, and euphotic depth estimates show that they lie below the euphotic layer. Sub-surface, off-shore and near-surface, on-shor...