The ocean is an important component of the global carbon cycle, and currently serves as the principal sink for anthropogenic CO2 from the atmosphere. A key role in the natural oceanic carbon cycle is played by the plankton ecosystem, which acts to elevate the storage capacity of the ocean, but it is believed that this will experience change in the future in response to anthropogenic forcing. One of the approaches used to understand and forecast the oceanic carbon cycle is ecosystem modeling, and this is typically grounded on the nitrogen cycle because of the strong regulatory role this element plays in biological productivity. Nitrification is one of the central processes in the oceanic nitrogen cycle, one whose role may change in the future, but also one with a particular relevance to observational efforts to quantify the biological carbon cycle. Here, we describe and summarize current efforts to model nitrification in pelagic open ocean ecosystems, and look forward to future avenues for progress
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