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Concentrations and ratios of particulate organic carbon, nitrogen, and phosphorus in the global ocean.


Knowledge of concentrations and elemental ratios of suspended particles are important for understanding many biogeochemical processes in the ocean. These include patterns of phytoplankton nutrient limitation as well as linkages between the cycles of carbon and nitrogen or phosphorus. To further enable studies of ocean biogeochemistry, we here present a global dataset consisting of 100,605 total measurements of particulate organic carbon, nitrogen, or phosphorus analyzed as part of 70 cruises or time-series. The data are globally distributed and represent all major ocean regions as well as different depths in the water column. The global median C:P, N:P, and C:N ratios are 163, 22, and 6.6, respectively, but the data also includes extensive variation between samples from different regions. Thus, this compilation will hopefully assist in a wide range of future studies of ocean elemental ratios.

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