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Coupling of ocean redox and animal evolution during the Ediacaran-Cambrian transition

Abstract.

"The late Ediacaran to early Cambrian interval witnessed extraordinary radiations of metazoan life. The role of the physical environment in this biological revolution, such as changes to oxygen levels and nutrient availability, has been the focus of longstanding debate. Seemingly contradictory data from geochemical redox proxies help to fuel this controversy. As an essential nutrient, nitrogen can help to resolve this impasse by establishing linkages between nutrient supply, ocean redox, and biological changes. [...]"

Source: Nature Communications
Authors: Dan Wang et al.
DOI: 10.1038/s41467-018-04980-5

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Oxygen minimum zones in the early Cambrian ocean

Abstract.

"The relationship between the evolution of early animal communities and oceanic oxygen levels remains unclear. In particular, uncertainty persists in reconstructions of redox conditions during the pivotal early Cambrian (541-510 million years ago, Ma), where conflicting datasets from deeper marine settings suggest either ocean anoxia or fully oxygenated conditions. By coupling geochemical palaeoredox proxies with a record of organic-walled fossils from exceptionally well-defined successions of the early Cambrian Baltic Basin, we provide evidence for the early establishment of modern-type oxygen minimum zones (OMZs). [...]"

Source: Geochemical Perspectives Letters 
Authors: R. Guilbaud et al.
DOI: 10.7185/geochemlet.1806

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Ecology and evolution of seafloor and subseafloor microbial communities

Abstract.

"Vast regions of the dark ocean have ultra-slow rates of organic matter sedimentation, and their sediments are oxygenated to great depths yet have low levels of organic matter and cells. Primary production in the oxic seabed is supported by ammonia-oxidizing archaea, whereas in anoxic sediments, novel, uncultivated groups have the potential to produce H2 and CH4, which fuel anaerobic carbon fixation. [...]"

Source: Nature Reviews Microbiology
Authors: William D. Orsi
DOI: 10.1038/s41579-018-0046-8

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Early Palaeozoic ocean anoxia and global warming driven by the evolution of shallow burrowing

Abstract.

"The evolution of burrowing animals forms a defining event in the history of the Earth. It has been hypothesised that the expansion of seafloor burrowing during the Palaeozoic altered the biogeochemistry of the oceans and atmosphere. However, whilst potential impacts of bioturbation on the individual phosphorus, oxygen and sulphur cycles have been considered, combined effects have not been investigated, leading to major uncertainty over the timing and magnitude of the Earth system response to the evolution of bioturbation. [...]"

Source: Nature Communications
Authors: Sebastiaan van de Velde et al.
DOI: 10.1038/s41467-018-04973-4

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Nitrogen – ocean plastics pollution’s forgotten neighbour

"Tremendous – and deserved - attention has been paid for the last few years to the scourge of ocean plastics pollution, which we now know reaches the farthest depths of the ocean and can have impacts on ocean life from the smallest plankton to the largest whales.  We know (Jambeck et al., 2015) that some 4.8 million to 12.7 million metric tonnes of plastic enter the ocean each year. UN Environment has estimated the socio-economic costs of ocean plastics pollution at about US$13 billion per year.  We are only beginning to explore and understand the potential human health impacts of plastics in the oceanic food chain. [...]"

Source: United Nations Development Programme
Author: Andrew Hudson

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Annual plankton community metabolism in estuarine and coastal waters in Perth (Western Australia)

Abstract.

"The planktonic metabolic balance that is the balance between gross primary production (GPP) and community respiration (CR) was determined in Matilda Bay (estuarine) and Woodman Point (coastal) in Perth, Western Australia. The rates of net community production (NCP = GPP – CR) and the ratio between GPP and CR (P/R) were assessed to evaluate whether the metabolic balance in the two coastal locations tends to be net autotrophic (production exceeding community respiration) or net heterotrophic (respiration exceeding production).  [...]"

Source: PeerJ
Authors: Susana Agusti, Lorena Vigoya, Carlos Manuel Duarte
DOI: 10.7717/peerj.5081

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Changing storminess and global capture fisheries

"Climate change-driven alterations in storminess pose a significant threat to global capture fisheries. Understanding how storms interact with fishery social-ecological systems can inform adaptive action and help to reduce the vulnerability of those dependent on fisheries for life and livelihood."

Source: Nature Climate Change
Authors: Nigel C. Sainsbury et al.
DOI: 10.1038/s41558-018-0206-x

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Accurate estimation of net community production from O2/Ar measurements

Abstract.

"Under physically isolated conditions, net community production (NCP) can be accurately estimated from the rate of oxygen evasion to the atmosphere derived from local mixed layer oxygen/argon measurements. We use a simple box model to demonstrate that, when physical inputs are negligible, the sea‐to‐air flux of biological oxygen (bioflux) represents the average NCP exponentially weighted over the past several residence times of oxygen in the mixed layer. This new weighting scheme shows that there is no apparent lag between bioflux and exponentially‐weighted time‐averaged NCP.  [...]"

Source: Global Biogeochemical Cycles
Authors: Lianna Teeter et al.
DOI: 10.1029/2017GB005874

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Extensive marine anoxia during the terminal Ediacaran Period

Abstract.

"The terminal Ediacaran Period witnessed the decline of the Ediacara biota (which may have included many stem-group animals). To test whether oceanic anoxia might have played a role in this evolutionary event, we measured U isotope compositions (δ238U) in sedimentary carbonates from the Dengying Formation of South China to obtain new constraints on the extent of global redox change during the terminal Ediacaran. [...]"

Source: Science Advances
Authors: Feifei Zhang et al.
DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.aan8983

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Chesapeake Bay: Larger-than-average summer 'dead zone' forecast for 2018 after wet spring

"Ecologists from the University of Michigan and the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science are forecasting a larger-than-average Chesapeake Bay "dead zone" in 2018, due to increased rainfall in the watershed this spring.
 

This summer's Chesapeake Bay hypoxic or dead zone, an area of low to no oxygen that can kill fish and other aquatic life, is expected to be about 1.9 cubic miles (7.9 cubic kilometers), according to the forecast released today by the two universities. [...]"

Source: Phys.org

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