Articles | Volume 18, issue 2
https://doi.org/10.5194/os-18-437-2022
https://doi.org/10.5194/os-18-437-2022
Research article
 | 
31 Mar 2022
Research article |  | 31 Mar 2022

There and back again, a journey of many pathways: conceptualising the marine organic carbon cycle

Maike Iris Esther Scheffold and Inga Hense

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Short summary
Organic carbon in the oceans can take various paths: it may e.g. sink to the sediment, be eaten, or be recycled to start all over again. Where carbon ends up for how long has implications for atmospheric CO2 concentrations and our climate. To assess which pathways exist and how they are structured, we introduce a qualitative concept of organic carbon pathways. This concept helps to identify pathways, compare ecosystems, and assess how human actions and environmental changes alter pathways.