Navigation Links
Ocean plankton sponge up nearly twice the carbon currently assumed
Date:3/17/2013

Irvine, Calif. Models of carbon dioxide in the world's oceans need to be revised, according to new work by UC Irvine and other scientists published online Sunday in Nature Geoscience. Trillions of plankton near the surface of warm waters are far more carbon-rich than has long been thought, they found. Global marine temperature fluctuations could mean that tiny Prochlorococcus and other microbes digest double the carbon previously calculated. Carbon dioxide is the leading driver of disruptive climate change.

In making their findings, the researchers have upended a decades-old core principle of marine science known as the Redfield ratio, named for famed oceanographer Alfred Redfield. He concluded in 1934 that from the top of the world's oceans to their cool, dark depths, both plankton and the materials they excrete contain the same ratio (106:16:1) of carbon, nitrogen and phosphorous.

But as any gardener who has done a soil test knows, amounts of those elements can vary widely. The new study's authors found dramatically different ratios at a variety of marine locations. What matters more than depth, they concluded, is latitude. In particular, the researchers detected far higher levels of carbon in warm, nutrient-starved areas (195:28:1) near the equator than in cold, nutrient-rich polar zones (78:13:1).

"The Redfield concept remains a central tenet in ocean biology and chemistry. However, we clearly show that the nutrient content ratio in plankton is not constant and thus reject this longstanding central theory for ocean science," said lead author Adam Martiny, associate professor of Earth system science and ecology & evolutionary biology at UC Irvine. "Instead, we show that plankton follow a strong latitudinal pattern."

He and fellow investigators made seven expeditions to gather big jars of water from the frigid Bering Sea, the North Atlantic near Denmark, mild Caribbean waters and elsewhere. They used a sophisticated $1 million cell sorter aboard the research vessel to analyze samples at the molecular level. They also compared their data to published results from 18 other marine voyages.

Martiny noted that since Redfield first announced his findings, "there have been people over time putting out a flag, saying, 'Hey, wait a minute.'" But for the most part, Redfield's ratio of constant elements is a staple of textbooks and research. In recent years, Martiny said, "a couple of models have suggested otherwise, but they were purely models. This is really the first time it's been shown with observation. That's why it's so important."


'/>"/>

Contact: Janet Wilson
janet.wilson@uci.edu
949-824-3969
University of California - Irvine
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Oceans acidifying faster today than in past 300 million years
2. Rising ocean temperatures harm protected coral reefs
3. Study by Haverford College professor reveals unprecedented impact of Deepwater Horizon on deep ocean
4. WHOI researchers, collaborators receive $1.4 million grant to study life in oceans greatest depths
5. Oceanographers develop method for measuring the pace of life in deep sediments
6. Corals could survive a more acidic ocean
7. Ocean acidification linked to larval oyster failure
8. Wind pushes plastics deeper into oceans, driving trash estimates up
9. Scientists provide first large-scale estimate of reef shark losses in the Pacific Ocean
10. First satellite tag study for manta rays reveals habits and hidden journeys of ocean giants
11. Plastic trash altering ocean habitats, Scripps study shows
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:2/3/2016)... --> --> ... Fingerprint Identification System Market by Component (Hardware and Software), ... Finance, Government, Healthcare, and Transportation) and Geography - Global ... expected to be worth USD 8.49 Billion by 2020 ... 2020. The transformation and technology evolution from the manual ...
(Date:2/2/2016)... , Feb. 2, 2016 This ... the bioinformatic market by reviewing the recent advances ... tools that drive the field forward. Includes forecast ... Identify the challenges and opportunities that exist ... and software solution developers, as well as IT ...
(Date:2/2/2016)... 2, 2016  Based on its recent analysis ... recognizes US-based Intelligent Retinal Imaging Systems (IRIS) with ... for New Product Innovation. IRIS, a prominent cloud-based ... America , is poised to set the ... retinopathy market. The IRIS technology presents superior price-performance ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:2/3/2016)... ... February 03, 2016 , ... Aerocom, a world-leading supplier ... the North American healthcare market. , Aerocom Healthcare, LLC will be based in ... will provide new pneumatic tube systems or expand existing systems within the U.S. ...
(Date:2/3/2016)... ... February 03, 2016 , ... Resilinc released online ... analyzes nearly 750 unique supply chain notifications and alerts generated by its ... chain risk management practitioners subscribe to the EventWatch service to receive early warnings ...
(Date:2/3/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... February 03, 2016 , ... ... products to aid in the rapid development and ongoing quality control of molecular ... Virus outbreak is extremely high,” Dr. Gregory R. Chiklis, President and CEO of ...
(Date:2/3/2016)... ... 03, 2016 , ... Big games come and go, but only one will ... country. CereScan, a nationally recognized brain diagnostics and technology company, will join NFL alumni ... vs. NFL Stars Flag Football Game on February 6, 2016. , The event, ...
Breaking Biology Technology: