A particular group of marine bacteria is able to provide a large fraction of the nutrients needed for coral reef ecosystems to flourish. This is the striking result of a year-long study carried out at the Red Sea in Jordan by an international research team led by Prof. Dr. Christian Wild (Marine Ecology, University of Bremen). These findings have now been published in the prestigious journal “Ecosystems” by lead author Dr. Ulisse Cardini, who recently (3/2015) obtained his PhD at the University of Bremen.
An entire reef habitat examined
In their study, the group of scientists collected a large dataset of physiological measurements for all key photosynthetic organisms and their associated bacteria in a Red Sea fringing reef in Aqaba (Jordan) over the course of the entire year 2013.
After collecting the field data, researchers extrapolated their results to the entire reef habitat using complex geospatial analyses. By doing so, they demonstrated that a specific group of bacteria is able to provide important nutrients to the entire reef habitat.
This is particularly the case when the organisms’ need of nutrients is highest, because of the lack of alternative nutrient sources.
Additionally, the research team found that the activity of these “nutrient-providing” bacteria is highly susceptible to environmental changes, indicating that climate change and other human-driven impacts may affect their important role in coral reefs, with negative repercussions for the health of the whole reef ecosystem.
Why this is important for us all
These findings are remarkable, because they may explain how coral reef ecosystems are able to thrive in very nutrient poor tropical waters. By helping photosynthetic organisms to grow on coral reefs, these bacteria enable these highly diverse and productive ecosystems to flourish. This, eventually, allows coral reefs to provide all the ecosystem goods and services like tourism and food that make them so important to humans.
Our impact on the natural environment is growing stronger every day, and the loss of coral reefs worldwide is increasing dramatically. As such, the authors hope that the data reported in their study will be useful for planning and evaluating the effects of management on coral reef ecosystems, helping to protect these important habitats and the goods and services that they provide.
Cardini et al. Budget of primary production and dinitrogen fixation in a highly seasonal Red Sea coral reef. Ecosystems (in press)
Prof. Dr. Christian Wild
University of Bremen
Faculty Biology / Chemistry
Phone. 0421 218 63367
Dr. Ulisse Cardini
University of Vienna
Department of Microbiology and Ecosystem Science
Division of Microbial Ecology
Phone: +43 677 61633148
Eberhard Scholz | idw - Informationsdienst Wissenschaft
'Y' a protein unicorn might matter in glaucoma
23.10.2017 | Georgia Institute of Technology
Microfluidics probe 'cholesterol' of the oil industry
23.10.2017 | Rice University
Salmonellae are dangerous pathogens that enter the body via contaminated food and can cause severe infections. But these bacteria are also known to target...
University of Maryland researchers contribute to historic detection of gravitational waves and light created by event
On August 17, 2017, at 12:41:04 UTC, scientists made the first direct observation of a merger between two neutron stars--the dense, collapsed cores that remain...
Seven new papers describe the first-ever detection of light from a gravitational wave source. The event, caused by two neutron stars colliding and merging together, was dubbed GW170817 because it sent ripples through space-time that reached Earth on 2017 August 17. Around the world, hundreds of excited astronomers mobilized quickly and were able to observe the event using numerous telescopes, providing a wealth of new data.
Previous detections of gravitational waves have all involved the merger of two black holes, a feat that won the 2017 Nobel Prize in Physics earlier this month....
Material defects in end products can quickly result in failures in many areas of industry, and have a massive impact on the safe use of their products. This is why, in the field of quality assurance, intelligent, nondestructive sensor systems play a key role. They allow testing components and parts in a rapid and cost-efficient manner without destroying the actual product or changing its surface. Experts from the Fraunhofer IZFP in Saarbrücken will be presenting two exhibits at the Blechexpo in Stuttgart from 7–10 November 2017 that allow fast, reliable, and automated characterization of materials and detection of defects (Hall 5, Booth 5306).
When quality testing uses time-consuming destructive test methods, it can result in enormous costs due to damaging or destroying the products. And given that...
Using a new cooling technique MPQ scientists succeed at observing collisions in a dense beam of cold and slow dipolar molecules.
How do chemical reactions proceed at extremely low temperatures? The answer requires the investigation of molecular samples that are cold, dense, and slow at...
23.10.2017 | Event News
17.10.2017 | Event News
10.10.2017 | Event News
23.10.2017 | Life Sciences
23.10.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
23.10.2017 | Health and Medicine