The German Research Foundation (DFG) now approved the new 3-year research project NICE for University of Bremen and the work group Marine Ecology under leadership of Prof. Dr. Christian Wild from the faculty of Biology and Chemistry.
Nitrogen (N) is one of the limiting nutrients in highly productive coral reef environments and thus plays a key role in the metabolism of reef organisms and the functioning of their ecosystems.
Recent research of the work group Marine Ecology revealed that microbe-mediated dinitrogen (N2) fixation is ubiquitous in coral reefs, and that active N2-fixing microbes (diazotrophs) are associated with many different important reef organisms. This for instance applies for corals, sponges, and algae.
These diazotrophs may form characteristic associations with scleractinian corals, the key reef ecosystem engineers. However, the interplay of N2 fixation with other key processes of the marine N cycle, i.e. nitrification and denitrification, and the susceptibility of all these processes to key environmental disturbances (e.g. warming and nutrient enrichment) has not yet been investigated in coral reefs.
Such processes are very likely important features of microbial N cycling in reef organisms, particularly hard corals, which can allow them to adapt to environmental changes in their fragile and important ecosystems. N2 fixation in corals appears to be essential for overcoming N starvation in oligotrophic reef environments. At the same time, in the presence of nutrient enrichment caused by human activities, both nitrification and denitrification may be important processes for maintaining the symbiotic algae (Symbiodinium) growth-limited in the coral host.
In this context, expected increases in sea surface temperature resulting from global warming can potentially alter microbial N cycling in corals and other reef organisms. Ultimately, an imbalance between N gains and losses may impact the delicate equilibrium that regulates coral symbiosis, resulting in the onset of bleaching. The state of knowledge suggests that a disturbance of microbial N cycling via ocean warming and dissolved organic carbon (DOC) eutrophication may be involved in coral bleaching.
The approved project NICE (NItrogen Cycling in Coral Reef organisms under Environmental change), using a series of interconnected descriptive and experimental studies at the central Red Sea, will thus quantify all major processes and identify associated microbial players of the N cycle in hard corals and other common reef organisms including soft corals and algae.
An interdisciplinary approach combining expertize from coral physiology, molecular microbial ecology, biogeochemistry, and reef ecology will allow testing the hypotheses mentioned above. Importantly, a range of global and local environmental disturbances (increased temperature, and inorganic as well as organic eutrophication) will be simulated to understand N cycle responses.
NICE thereby will provide novel and fundamental knowledge of N cycling in coral reef organisms in comparison. The results generated by this project will effectively contribute to a better science-based management of coral reefs.
Fachbereich Biologie / Chemie
Prof. Dr. Christian Wild
Tel. +49 -421 218 6336
Eberhard Scholz | idw - Informationsdienst Wissenschaft
Tracking down the origins of gold
08.11.2017 | Heidelberger Institut für Theoretische Studien gGmbH
Lasagni awarded with Materials Science and Technology Prize 2017
09.10.2017 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Werkstoff- und Strahltechnik IWS
The formation of stars in distant galaxies is still largely unexplored. For the first time, astron-omers at the University of Geneva have now been able to closely observe a star system six billion light-years away. In doing so, they are confirming earlier simulations made by the University of Zurich. One special effect is made possible by the multiple reflections of images that run through the cosmos like a snake.
Today, astronomers have a pretty accurate idea of how stars were formed in the recent cosmic past. But do these laws also apply to older galaxies? For around a...
Just because someone is smart and well-motivated doesn't mean he or she can learn the visual skills needed to excel at tasks like matching fingerprints, interpreting medical X-rays, keeping track of aircraft on radar displays or forensic face matching.
That is the implication of a new study which shows for the first time that there is a broad range of differences in people's visual ability and that these...
Computer Tomography (CT) is a standard procedure in hospitals, but so far, the technology has not been suitable for imaging extremely small objects. In PNAS, a team from the Technical University of Munich (TUM) describes a Nano-CT device that creates three-dimensional x-ray images at resolutions up to 100 nanometers. The first test application: Together with colleagues from the University of Kassel and Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht the researchers analyzed the locomotory system of a velvet worm.
During a CT analysis, the object under investigation is x-rayed and a detector measures the respective amount of radiation absorbed from various angles....
The quantum world is fragile; error correction codes are needed to protect the information stored in a quantum object from the deteriorating effects of noise. Quantum physicists in Innsbruck have developed a protocol to pass quantum information between differently encoded building blocks of a future quantum computer, such as processors and memories. Scientists may use this protocol in the future to build a data bus for quantum computers. The researchers have published their work in the journal Nature Communications.
Future quantum computers will be able to solve problems where conventional computers fail today. We are still far away from any large-scale implementation,...
Pillared graphene would transfer heat better if the theoretical material had a few asymmetric junctions that caused wrinkles, according to Rice University...
15.11.2017 | Event News
15.11.2017 | Event News
30.10.2017 | Event News
17.11.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
17.11.2017 | Health and Medicine
17.11.2017 | Studies and Analyses