Navigation Links
Antarctic krill help to fertilize Southern Ocean with iron
Date:7/4/2011

A new discovery reveals that the shrimp-like creature at the heart of the Antarctic food chain could play a key role in fertilising the Southern Ocean with iron stimulating the growth of phytoplankton (microscopic plant-like organisms). This process enhances the ocean's capacity for natural storage of carbon dioxide.

Reporting this month in the journal Limnology and Oceanography, an international team of researchers describe how Antarctic krill (Euphausia superba), once thought to live mostly in surface waters, regularly feed on iron-rich fragments of decaying organisms on the sea floor. They swim back to the surface with stomachs full of iron, releasing it into the water.

Antarctic krill is the staple diet for fish, penguins, seals and whales; and is harvested by commercial fisheries for human consumption.

Lead author from British Antarctic Survey, Dr Katrin Schmidt says, "We are really excited to make this discovery because the textbooks state krill live mainly in surface waters. We knew they make occasional visits to the sea floor but these were always thought as exceptional. What surprises us is how common these visits are up to 20% of the population can be migrating up and down the water column at any one time."

The scientists painstakingly examined the stomach contents of over 1000 krill collected from 10 Antarctic research expeditions. They found that the krill, caught near the surface, had stomachs full of iron-rich material from the seabed. The team also studied photographs of krill on the sea floor, acoustic data and net samples. All these provided strong evidence that these animals frequently feed on the sea floor.

This finding has implications for managing commercial krill fisheries and will lead to a better understanding of the natural carbon cycle in the Southern Ocean.

Schmidt continues, "The next steps are to look at exactly how this iron is released into the water."


'/>"/>

Contact: Athena Dinar
amdi@bas.ac.uk
44-122-322-1414
British Antarctic Survey
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Fossilized pollen reveals climate history of northern Antarctica
2. Date for your diary: International Symposium of Antarctic Earth Sciences 2011
3. Antarctic icebergs help the ocean take up carbon dioxide
4. Record number of whales, krill found in Antarctic bays
5. Human impacts on the marine ecosystems of Antarctica
6. NOAA scientists find killer whales in Antarctic waters prefer weddell seals over other prey
7. Antarctic icebergs play a previously unknown role in global carbon cycle, climate
8. VIMS team returns to Antarctic Peninsula
9. NSFs Nathaniel B. Palmer sails with Swedens Oden to study Antarctic Peninsula ecosystem
10. Marine animals suggest evidence for a trans-Antarctic seaway
11. First nearshore survey of Antarctic krill reveals high density, stable population in shallow waters
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:1/21/2016)... India , January 21, 2016 ... According to a new market research report "Emotion Detection ... and Others), Software Tools (Facial Expression, Voice Recognition ... Regions - Global forecast to 2020", published by ... is expected to reach USD 22.65 Billion by ...
(Date:1/15/2016)... , Jan. 15, 2016 Recent publicized ... small to find new ways to ensure data security ... iOS and Android that ties ... biometrics, transforming it into a hardware authorization token. Customer ... swipe their fingerprint on their KodeKey enabled device to ...
(Date:1/8/2016)... and MANCHESTER, United Kingdom , ... a developer of innovative sensor-based diagnostic products, today announced the ... by new and existing investors.  Proceeds from the financing will ... Scanner , a hand-held device for detecting early-stage pressure ulcers. ... Ireland after receiving CE Mark approval. The ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:2/5/2016)... -- Amarantus BioScience Holdings, Inc. ... products for Regenerative Medicine, Neurology and Orphan Diseases, announced ... from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for ... granted orphan drug designation (ODD) by the US FDA ... Inc. (OTCQB: AMBS), a biotechnology company ...
(Date:2/4/2016)... -- Sangamo BioSciences, Inc. (NASDAQ: SGMO ), the leader ... Lanphier , Sangamo,s president and chief executive officer, will ... Therapeutic ® development programs and an overview of ... Thursday, February 11, 2016, at the Leerink Partners 5 ... being held in New York . ...
(Date:2/4/2016)... 2016  CytoSorbents Corporation (NASDAQ: CTSO ), ... CytoSorb® blood filter to treat deadly inflammation in ... announced that CEO Dr. Phillip Chan , ... Group,s 2016 Disruptive Growth & Healthcare Conference, providing ... Conference Presentation Details: Where: Convene Conference ...
(Date:2/4/2016)...  Spherix Incorporated (Nasdaq: SPEX ) -- an intellectual property ... intellectual property, today provided an update on the Company,s ... of Texas and announcing that ... Partes Re-examination ("IPR") proceedings that VTech and Uniden ... initiated on only certain claims of two of the ...
Breaking Biology Technology: