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A Novel Eukaryotic Denitrification Pathway in Foraminifera

Abstract.

"Benthic foraminifera are unicellular eukaryotes inhabiting sediments of aquatic environments. Several species were shown to store and use nitrate for complete denitrification, a unique energy metabolism among eukaryotes. The population of benthic foraminifera reaches high densities in oxygen-depleted marine habitats, where they play a key role in the marine nitrogen cycle. However, the mechanisms of denitrification in foraminifera are still unknown, and the possibility of a contribution of associated bacteria is debated. Here, we present evidence for a novel eukaryotic denitrification pathway that is encoded in foraminiferal genomes. [...]"

Source: Current Biology
Authors: Christian Woehle et al.
DOI: 10.1016/j.cub.2018.06.027

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How nutrients are removed in oxygen-depleted regions of the ocean

"In the course of global climate change, scientists are observing the increase of low-oxygen areas in the ocean, also termed oxygen minimum zones (OMZs). Large-scale OMZs exist, for example, in the Pacific off the coast of South America or in the Indian Ocean. Since little to no oxygen is present in these regions - depending on the depth of the water - organisms whose metabolisms is independent of oxygen have a distinct advantage. These organisms include some representatives of the foraminifera: unicellular, shell-forming microorganisms, which have a nucleus and thus belong to the eukaryotes. Their life style involves a particular metabolic pathway termed anaerobic respiration. In the absence of oxygen, they convert nitrate present in the water into molecular nitrogen. [...]"

Source: Kiel University

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Physical controls on oxygen distribution and denitrification potential in the north west Arabian Sea

Abstract.

"At suboxic oxygen concentrations, key biogeochemical cycles change and denitrification becomes the dominant remineralization pathway. Earth system models predict oxygen loss across most ocean basins in the next century; oxygen minimum zones near suboxia may become suboxic and therefore denitrifying. Using an ocean glider survey and historical data, we show oxygen loss in the Gulf of Oman (from 6‐12 to < 2 μmol kg‐1) not represented in climatologies. [...]"

Source: Grophysical Research Letters
Authors: B. Y. Queste et al.
DOI: 10.1029/2017GL076666

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Growing 'dead zone' confirmed by underwater robots in the Gulf of Oman

"New research reveals a growing 'dead zone' in the Gulf of Oman. Little data has been collected in the area for almost 50 years because of piracy and geopolitical tensions. The area devoid of oxygen was confirmed by underwater robots. Reasearchers found an area larger than Scotland with almost no oxygen left. The environmental disaster is worse than expected with dire consequences for fish and marine plants, plus humans who rely on the oceans for food and employment. "

Source: Science Daily

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Latitudinal variations of δ30Si and δ15N signatures along the Peruvian shelf:

quantifying the effects of nutrient utilization versus denitrification over the past 600 years

Abstract. 

"The sedimentary stable nitrogen isotope compositions of bulk organic matter (δ15Nbulk) and silicon isotope composition of diatoms (δ30SiBSi) both mainly reflect the degree of past nutrient utilization by primary producers. However, in ocean areas where anoxic and suboxic conditions prevail, the δ15Nbulk signal ultimately recorded within the sediments is also influenced by water column denitrification causing an increase in the subsurface δ15N signature of dissolved nitrate (δ15NO3) upwelled to the surface. [...]"

Source: Biogeosciences
Authors: Kristin Doering et al.
DOI: 10.5194/bg-2018-118

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Glacial–interglacial changes and Holocene variations in Arabian Sea denitrification

Abstract.

"At present, the Arabian Sea has a permanent oxygen minimum zone (OMZ) at water depths between about 100 and 1200 m. Active denitrification in the upper part of the OMZ is recorded by enhanced δ15N values in the sediments. Sediment cores show a δ15N increase during the middle and late Holocene, which is contrary to the trend in the other two regions of water column denitrification in the eastern tropical North and South Pacific.  [...]"

Source: Biogeosciences
Authors: Birgit Gaye et al.
DOI: 10.5194/bg-15-507-2018

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Marine N2O emissions from nitrification [...] constrained by modern observations and projected in multi-millennial global warming simula

Abstract.

"Nitrous oxide (N2O) is a potent greenhouse gas (GHG) and ozone destructing agent, yet, global estimates of N2O emissions are uncertain. Marine N2O stems from nitrification and denitrification processes which depend on organic matter cycling and dissolved oxygen (O2). We introduce N2O as an obligate intermediate product of denitrification and as an O2-dependent byproduct from nitrification in the Bern3D ocean model. [...]"

Source: Global Biogeochemical Cycles
Authors: G. Battaglia, F. Joos
DOI: 10.1002/2017GB005671

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Vertical segregation among pathways mediating nitrogen loss (N2 and N2O production) across the oxygen gradient in a coastal upwelling ecosystem

Abstract.

"The upwelling system off central Chile (36.5° S) is seasonally subjected to oxygen (O2)-deficient waters, with a strong vertical gradient in O2 (from oxic to anoxic conditions) that spans a few metres (30–50 m interval) over the shelf. This condition inhibits and/or stimulates processes involved in nitrogen (N) removal (e.g. anammox, denitrification, and nitrification). During austral spring (September 2013) and summer (January 2014), the main pathways involved in N loss and its speciation, in the form of N2 and/or N2O, were studied using 15N-tracer incubations, inhibitor assays, and the natural abundance of nitrate isotopes along with hydrographic information. [...]"

Source: Biogeosciences
Authors: Alexander Galán et al.
DOI: 10.5194/bg-14-4795-2017

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Oxygen Minimum Zone Contrasts between the Arabian Sea and the Bay of Bengal Implied by Differences in Remineralization Depth

Abstract.

"The combination of high primary productivity and weak ventilation in the Arabian Sea (AS) and Bay of Bengal (BoB) generates vast areas of depleted oxygen, known as Oxygen Minimum Zones (OMZs). The AS OMZ is the world's thickest and hosts up to 40% of global denitrification. In contrast, the OMZ in the BoB is weaker and denitrification free. Using a series of model simulations, we show that the deeper remineralization depth (RD) in the BoB, potentially associated with organic matter aggregation with riverine mineral particles, contributes to weaken its OMZ. [...]"

Source: Geophysical Research Letters
Authors: Muchamad Al Azhar, Zouhair Lachkar, Marina Lévy, Shafer Smith
DOI: 10.1002/2017GL075157

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Nitrogen losses in sediments of the East China Sea: Spatiotemporal variations, controlling factors and environmental implications

Abstract.

"Global reactive nitrogen (N) has increased dramatically in coastal marine ecosystems over the past decades and caused numerous eco-environmental problems. Coastal marine sediment plays a critical role in N losses via denitrification and anaerobic ammonium oxidation (anammox) and release of nitrous oxide (N2O). However, both the magnitude and contributions of denitrification, anammox, and N2O production in sediments still remain unclear, causing uncertainty in defining the N budget for coastal marine ecosystems. [...]"

Source: Biogeosciences
Authors: Xianbiao Lin et al.
DOI: 10.1002/2017JG004036

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