Navigation Links
Greenhouse gas likely altering ocean foodchain
Date:7/2/2013

Climate change may be weeding out the bacteria that form the base of the ocean's food chain, selecting certain strains for survival, according to a new study.

In climate change, as in everything, there are winners and losers. As atmospheric carbon dioxide levels and temperature rise globally, scientists increasingly want to know which organisms will thrive and which will perish in the environment of tomorrow.

The answer to this question for nitrogen-fixing cyanobacteria (bacteria that obtain energy through photosynthesis, or "blue-green algae") turns out to have implications for every living thing in the ocean. Nitrogen-fixing is when certain special organisms like cyanobacteria convert inert and therefore unusable nitrogen gas from the air into a reactive form that the majority of other living beings need to survive. Without nitrogen fixers, life in the ocean could not survive for long.

"Our findings show that CO2 has the potential to control the biodiversity of these keystone organisms in ocean biology, and our fossil fuel emissions are probably responsible for changing the types of nitrogen fixers that are growing in the ocean," said David Hutchins, professor of marine environmental biology at the USC Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences and lead author of an article about this research that appeared in Nature Geoscience on June 30.

"This may have all kinds of ramifications for changes in ocean food chains and productivity, even potentially for resources we harvest from the ocean such as fisheries production," Hutchins said.

Hutchins and his team studied two major groups of nitrogen-fixing cyanobacteria: Trichodesmium, which forms large floating colonies big enough to see with the naked eye and makes vast "blooms" in the open ocean, and Crocosphaera, which is also very abundant but is a single-celled, microscopic organism.

Previous research showed that these two types of cyanobacteria should be some of the biggest "winners" of climate change, thriving in high CO2 levels and warmer oceans. However, those previous studies only examined one or two strains of the organisms.

That's where USC's unique resource comes into play the university is home to a massive culture library of strains and species of the organisms assembled by USC Associate Professor Eric Webb.

Using the culture library, the team was able to show that some strains grow better at CO2 levels not seen since the start of the Industrial Revolution, while others will thrive in the future "greenhouse" Earth.

"It's not that climate change will wipe out all nitrogen fixers; we've shown that there's redundancy in nature's system. Rather, increasing atmospheric carbon dioxide changes specifically which nitrogen fixers are likely to thrive," Hutchins said. "And we're not entirely certain how that will change the ocean of tomorrow."


'/>"/>

Contact: Robert Perkins
perkinsr@usc.edu
213-740-9226
University of Southern California
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Weizmann Institute solar technology to convert greenhouse gas into fuel
2. Caution needed with new greenhouse gas emission standards
3. Destroyed coastal habitats produce significant greenhouse gas
4. Smart growth strategies curb car use, greenhouse gas emissions, SF State study suggests
5. Agriculture & food production contribute up to 29 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions
6. Toward reducing the greenhouse gas emissions of the Internet and telecommunications
7. In beef production, cow-calf phase contributes most greenhouse gases
8. Cities can reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 70 percent, says U of T researcher
9. New method for greenhouse gas predictions
10. Amplified greenhouse effect shaping North into South
11. Amplified greenhouse effect shifts norths growing seasons
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:3/31/2016)... RATON, Florida , March 31, 2016 ... LEGX ) ("LegacyXChange" or the "Company") ... for potential users of its soon to be launched ... video ( https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCyTLBzmZogV1y2D6bDkBX5g ) will also provide ... the use of DNA technology to an industry that ...
(Date:3/22/2016)... and SANDY, Utah , ... which operates the highest sample volume laboratory in ... Genomics and UNIConnect, leaders in clinical sequencing informatics and ... launch of a project to establish the informatics infrastructure ... NSO has been contracted by the Ontario ...
(Date:3/15/2016)... Yissum Research Development Company of the Hebrew University ... University, announced today the formation of Neteera Technologies ... biological indicators. Neteera Technologies has completed its first round ... Neteera,s ... from sweat ducts, enables reliable and speedy biometric identification, ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:5/26/2016)... YORK , May 26, 2016 ... today that it will be a featured presenter at the ... in New York City at the ... Denis Corin , Q BioMed Inc. CEO, is scheduled to ... will cover the company,s business strategy, recent developments and outline ...
(Date:5/26/2016)... ... May 26, 2016 , ... Kinder Scientific (KinderScientific.com), ... developments that position the Company for the future. Kinder Scientific announces restructured ... Kinghorn has been appointed Chairman of the Board, Curtis D. Kinghorn has been ...
(Date:5/25/2016)... ... May 25, 2016 , ... Thailand’s Board of Investment’s ... in San Francisco. Located at booth number 7301, representatives from the Thai Government, ... discuss the Thai biotechnology and life sciences sector. , Deputy Secretary General ...
(Date:5/25/2016)... ... 2016 , ... The American Medical Informatics Association (AMIA) responded ... Coordinator for Health IT (ONC) outlining a measurement approach to interoperability that focuses ... and where it was needed. The organization of health informatics professionals said a ...
Breaking Biology Technology: