Diazotrophs are important contributors to nitrogen availability in the ocean. Oceanographic cruise data accumulated over the past three decades has revealed a heterogeneous distribution of diazotroph species at regional to global scales. However, dynamic fine-scale physical structures likely affect the distribution of diazotrophs at smaller spatiotemporal scales. The interaction between fine-scale ocean dynamics and diazotrophs remains poorly understood due to typically insufficient spatiotemporal sampling resolution and the lack of parallel detailed physical studies. Here we show the distribution of five groups of diazotrophs in the South Pacific at an unprecedented resolution of 7–16 km. We find a patchy distribution of diazotrophs, with each group being differentially affected by parameters describing fine-scale physical structures. The observed variability in species abundance and distribution would be masked by a coarser sampling resolution, highlighting the need to consider fine-scale physics to resolve the distribution of diazotrophs in the ocean.
|State||Published - 2021|