What's a hungry marine microbe to do when the pickings are slim? It must capture nutrients - nitrogen, phosphorus, or iron - to survive, yet in vast expanses of the ocean, nutrients are extremely scarce. One ingenious solution to this challenge is reported this week in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
The hydrothermal vent fluids from the Gorda Ridge spreading center in the northeast Pacific Ocean create a biological hub of activity in the deep sea. There, in the dark ocean, a unique food web thrives not on photosynthesis but rather on chemical energy from the venting fluids. Among the creatures having a field day feasting at the Gorda Ridge vents is a diverse assortment of microbial eukaryotes, or protists, that graze on chemosynthetic bacteria and archaea.
An international team of scientists from Australia, USA, and France have analysed how the deep Pacific exchanges water with the surface ocean.
Researchers from the University of Tsukuba find that the combined effects of ocean warming and acidification in temperate marine ecosystems are resulting in a loss of kelp habitat and a shift to a simple turf-dominated ecosystem. Such changes will lead to a loss of the ecosystem services provided by productive macroalgal forests or tropicalized coral-dominated reefs. These results highlight the need for reductions in greenhouse gas emissions.
Researchers took 3-D printed reconstructions of fossil cephalopods to actual water tanks (including a University of Utah swimming pool) to see how their shell structure may have been tied to their movement and lifestyle.
In a new study, published in the journal Nature, researchers looked at samples from rocks spanning the last three billion years and found evidence of a dramatic change in how the carbon cycle functioned about 400 million years ago, when plants started to colonise land.
A new method for seeing through ice sheets using radio signals from the sun could enable cheap, low-power and widespread monitoring of ice sheet evolution and contribution to sea-level rise.
Sea-level rise threatens to produce more frequent and severe flooding in coastal regions and is expected to cause trillions of dollars in damages globally if no action is taken to mitigate the issue. However, communities trying to fight sea-level rise could inadvertently make flooding worse for their neighbors, according to a new study from researchers at UT Arlington and the Stanford Natural Capital Project published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
Research led by Newcastle University's Dr Hannah Kreczak is the first to identify the processes that underpin the trajectories of microplastics below the ocean surface. Publishing their findings in the journal Limnology and Oceanography the authors analysed how biofouling - the accumulation of algae on the surface of microplastics, impacts the vertical movement of buoyant particles.
Stanford-led expeditions to a remote area of Yukon, Canada, have uncovered a 120-million-year-long geological record of a time when land plants and complex animals first evolved and ocean oxygen levels began to approach those in the modern world.