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:
TAG: NASA study solves ocean plant mystery

(Date:12/17/2014)... Dec. 16, 2014 Research and Markets ... of the "Global Chemical Sensor Market 2015-2019" ... http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20130307/600769 One major ... demand for medical sensors in biomedical applications. Chemical ... quick and correct diagnosis during surgical procedures. The ...
(Date:12/11/2014)... Research and Markets , ... http://www.researchandmarkets.com/research/twhjll/biometrics_market ) has announced the addition of the ...  report to their offering. One ... in technology. With continuous advances in technology, it ... latest standard that meets the needs and expectations ...
(Date:12/11/2014)... PAUL, Minn. , Dec. 10, 2014 /PRNewswire/ ... wireless physiologic monitoring, has released a new series ... needs of preclinical toxicology researchers. M series, part ... help toxicologists collect the best possible physiologic data ... Adding functional endpoints to toxicology studies ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):Global Chemical Sensor Market 2015-2019: Key Vendors are Abbott Laboratories, Bayer, Hoffmann La-Roche, Johnson & Johnson, NGK Spark Plugs and Robert Bosch 2Biometrics Market in the APAC Region 2015-2019: Key Vendors are 3M Cogent, NEC, Safran and Suprema 2New telemetry implants expected to change how large animal toxicology studies are conducted 2
(Date:12/24/2014)... Missouri (PRWEB) December 23, 2014 GMO ... Swiss biotechnology company, Syngenta, are in the process of ... proceedings. The consolidated case is In Re: Syngenta AG ... U.S. District Court for the District of Kansas. , ... has been handed over to U.S. District Judge John ...
(Date:12/24/2014)... 23, 2014 The report ... as its definition, classification, application and industry ... manufacturing process, and product cost structure. Production ... The analysis also covers upstream raw materials, ... development trend and proposals. In the end, ...
(Date:12/24/2014)... Dec. 23, 2014 Vermillion, Inc. (Nasdaq: ... gynecologic disease, announced today that investors including Oracle ... Fund LLC and several Vermillion directors have agreed ... of Vermillion,s common stock and warrants to purchase ... private placement.  Under the terms ...
(Date:12/22/2014)... & Brussels (PRWEB) December 22, 2014 ... (CfPIE), the global leader of technical training across the ... for Clinical Data Management (SCDM) to provide the ... certification programs —providing access to the more than ... extends SCDM members with 10% off when registering for ...
Breaking Biology Technology:Carey Danis & Lowe Reports on Syngenta GMO Corn Transfer Order 2Worldwide Methyl Mercaptan Market 2015-2020 Forecasts on Development & Trends Now Available at ReportsnReports.com 2Vermillion Announces Equity Financing of up to $18.9 Million; Suspends ATM Program 2Vermillion Announces Equity Financing of up to $18.9 Million; Suspends ATM Program 3Vermillion Announces Equity Financing of up to $18.9 Million; Suspends ATM Program 4Vermillion Announces Equity Financing of up to $18.9 Million; Suspends ATM Program 5CfPIE Announces Partnership with the Society for Clinical Data Management 2CfPIE Announces Partnership with the Society for Clinical Data Management 3
Cached News: