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:11/5/2014)... associate professor of biology in the UTSA College ... the nation selected to receive a two-year $300,00 ... Exploratory Research (EAGER). The funding supports President Obama,s ... to create new technology that will demystify complex ... behaviors in neuroscience are broken into the interactions ...
(Date:11/4/2014)... right amount of death at the right time might ... new research that could help in understanding animal populations, ... In a paper in the journal Trends in ... European colleagues conclude that the kind of positive population ... individuals, or mortality, depends on the size and developmental ...
(Date:11/4/2014)... 2014   3D ... Fuel3D , a developer of 3D scanning ... totaling $6.4 million (£4 million). This funding builds on the ... year and paves the way for the commercial launch of ... funding round was led by Chimera Partners and will be ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):UTSA biology professor awarded $300,000 NSF grant for brain research 2UTSA biology professor awarded $300,000 NSF grant for brain research 3When less is more: Death in moderation boosts population density in nature 2Fuel3D Secures $6.4 Million in Expansion Funding 2Fuel3D Secures $6.4 Million in Expansion Funding 3
(Date:11/22/2014)... 21, 2014   ... Commercial Officer zu KLOX    ... Chief Financial Officer bestellt    KLOX ... seines jüngst zugelassenen Behandlungssystems zur Wundheilung zu beginnen    ... "Unternehmen") ist sehr erfreut, die folgenden personellen Veränderungen anzukündigen: ...
(Date:11/21/2014)... San Diego, CA (PRWEB) November 20, 2014 ... has extended their Sartorius Entris Balance promotion . ... for customers seeking a durable, high accuracy, and easy-to-maintain ... and made in Germany. It was designed to help ... is affordable and a balance that is very durable. ...
(Date:11/21/2014)... York, NY (PRWEB) November 20, 2014 ... is now available as an open access journal featuring ... with infrared fluorescent proteins to preserve photoresponsiveness in the ... Two-color fluorescent in situ hybridization using chromogenic substrates ... chips for DNA, RNA, and protein electrophoresis , ...
(Date:11/21/2014)... (PRWEB) November 21, 2014 2014 ... a professional and in-depth research report on the ... its definition, classification, application, and industry chain structure ... the international market analysis, including China’s domestic market ... environment & economic situation analysis. The report also ...
Breaking Biology Technology:KLOX Technologies meldet Neubesetzung von Führungspositionen 2KLOX Technologies meldet Neubesetzung von Führungspositionen 3KLOX Technologies meldet Neubesetzung von Führungspositionen 4KLOX Technologies meldet Neubesetzung von Führungspositionen 5Pipette.com Announces an Extension on the Sartorius Entris Balance Promotion to the End of 2014 2BioTechniques: The International Journal of Life Science Methods Announces the Publication of the November 2014 Issue—Available in Print and Online 2BioTechniques: The International Journal of Life Science Methods Announces the Publication of the November 2014 Issue—Available in Print and Online 3International Transformer Industry - Analysis on Applications, Development & Forecasts Now Available at ReportsnReports.com 2International Transformer Industry - Analysis on Applications, Development & Forecasts Now Available at ReportsnReports.com 3
Cached News: