HOME >> BIOLOGY >> NEWS
NASA study solves ocean plant mystery

A NASA-sponsored study shows that by using a new technique, scientists can determine what limits the growth of ocean algae, or phytoplankton, and how this affects Earth's climate.

Phytoplankton is a microscopic ocean plant and an important part of the ocean food chain. By knowing what limits its growth scientists can better understand how ecosystems respond to climate change.

The study focused on phytoplankton in the tropical Pacific Ocean. It is an area of the ocean that plays a particularly important role in regulating atmospheric carbon dioxide and the world's climate. This area of the ocean is the largest natural source of carbon dioxide to the atmosphere.

"We concluded that nitrogen is the primary element missing for algae growth and photosynthesis in the northern portion of the tropical Pacific, while it was iron that was most lacking everywhere else," said Michael J. Behrenfeld, an ocean plant ecologist from Oregon State University, Corvallis, Ore.

Scientists determined when phytoplankton is stressed from lack of iron; it appears greener, or healthier than they really are. Normally, greener plants are growing faster than less green plants. When iron is lacking, enhanced greenness does not mean phytoplankton are growing better. They are actually under stress and unhealthy. These conclusions solved the mystery why healthy looking phytoplankton are actually not so healthy.

"Because we didn't know about this effect of iron stress on the greenness of algae or phytoplankton before, we have always assumed that equally green waters were equally productive," Behrenfeld said. "We now know this is not the case, and that we have to treat areas lacking iron differently."

For the tropical Pacific, correction for this "iron-effect" decreases scientists' estimates of how much carbon ocean plants photosynthesize for the region by roughly two billion tons. This figure represents a tremendous amount of carbon that r
'"/>

Contact: Rob Gutro
rgutro@pop900.gsfc.nasa.gov
301-286-4044
NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center
31-Aug-2006


Page: 1 2 3

Related biology news :

1. New study warns limited carbon market puts 20 percent of tropical forest at risk
2. Clones on task serve greater good, evolutionary study shows
3. Pollution causes 40 percent of deaths worldwide, study finds
4. A study by the MUHC and McGill University opens a new door to understanding cancer
5. New study suggests Concord grape juice may provide protection against breast cancer
6. Preclinical study links gene to brain aneurysm formation
7. In limiting life span, study finds booming bacteria innocent
8. Multicenter study nets new lung tumor-suppressor gene
9. MIT study: Maturity brings richer memories
10. Chickadee, nutchatch presence in conifers increases tree growth, says CU-Boulder study
11. Phase II study of therapeutic vaccine shows efficacy in patients with metastatic colorectal cancer

Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:


(Date:4/13/2017)... According to a new market research report "Consumer IAM Market ... Authorization), Service, Authentication Type, Deployment Mode, Vertical, and Region - Global Forecast ... from USD 14.30 Billion in 2017 to USD 31.75 Billion by 2022, ... ... MarketsandMarkets Logo ...
(Date:4/11/2017)... April 11, 2017 No two people ... at the New York University Tandon School of ... have found that partial similarities between prints are ... in mobile phones and other electronic devices can ... The vulnerability lies in the fact that fingerprint-based ...
(Date:4/5/2017)... Allen Institute for Cell Science today announces the launch ... dynamic digital window into the human cell. The website ... deep learning to create predictive models of cell organization, ... suite of powerful tools. The Allen Cell Explorer will ... resources created and shared by the Allen Institute for ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:10/11/2017)... Wayne. NJ (PRWEB) , ... October 11, 2017 , ... Personal eye wash is a ... rinse one eye at a time. So which eye do you rinse first if a ... you have Plum Duo Eye Wash with its unique dual eye piece. , ...
(Date:10/11/2017)... LAGUNA HILLS, Calif. , Oct. 11, 2017  SkylineDx ... London (ICR) and University of Leeds ... to risk-stratify patients with multiple myeloma (MM), in a multi-centric ... The University of Leeds is the ... UK, and ICR will perform the testing services to include ...
(Date:10/10/2017)... ... 2017 , ... San Diego-based team building and cooking events company, Lajollacooks4u, has ... The bold new look is part of a transformation to increase awareness, appeal to ... period. , It will also expand its service offering from its signature gourmet cooking ...
(Date:10/10/2017)... , Oct. 10, 2017 International research firm Parks Associates ... will speak at the TMA 2017 Annual Meeting , October 11 ... in the residential home security market and how smart safety and security ... Parks Associates: ... "The residential security ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
Cached News: