News

Oxic Fe(III) reduction could have generated Fe(II) in the photic zone of Precambrian seawater

Abstract.

"Many marine Precambrian iron formations (IF) record deep anoxic seawater enriched in Fe(II) (i.e. ferruginous) overlain by mildly oxygenated surface water. This is reflected by iron-rich sediments forming in deep basins, and relatively iron-poor sediments forming in shallow, sunlit waters. Such an iron gradient is often interpreted as a redox interface where dissolved Fe(II) was oxidized and precipitated as Fe(III)-bearing minerals. As such, sedimentary iron enrichments are proxy to the progressive oxidation of the oceans through geological time. [...]"

Source: Scientific Reportsvolume
Authors: Elizabeth D. Swanner
DOI: 10.1038/s41598-018-22694-y

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Nitrogen fixation sustained productivity in the wake of the Palaeoproterozoic Great Oxygenation Event

Abstract.

"The marine nitrogen cycle is dominated by redox-controlled biogeochemical processes and, therefore, is likely to have been revolutionised in response to Earth-surface oxygenation. The details, timing, and trajectory of nitrogen cycle evolution, however, remain elusive. Here we couple nitrogen and carbon isotope records from multiple drillcores through the Rooihoogte–Timeball Hill Formations from across the Carletonville area of the Kaapvaal Craton where the Great Oxygenation Event (GOE) and its aftermath are recorded. [...]"

Source: Nature Communications
Authors: Genming Luo
DOI: 10.1038/s41467-018-03361-2

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The microbial nitrogen-cycling network

Abstract.

"Nitrogen is an essential component of all living organisms and the main nutrient limiting life on our planet. By far, the largest inventory of freely accessible nitrogen is atmospheric dinitrogen, but most organisms rely on more bioavailable forms of nitrogen, such as ammonium and nitrate, for growth. [...]"

Source: Nature Reviews Microbiology
Authors: Marcel M. M. Kuypers, Hannah K. Marchant & Boran Kartal
DOI: 10.1038/nrmicro.2018.9

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Methane fluxes from coastal sediments are enhanced by macrofauna

Abstract.

"Methane and nitrous oxide are potent greenhouse gases (GHGs) that contribute to climate change. Coastal sediments are important GHG producers, but the contribution of macrofauna (benthic invertebrates larger than 1 mm) inhabiting them is currently unknown. Through a combination of trace gas, isotope, and molecular analyses, we studied the direct and indirect contribution of two macrofaunal groups, polychaetes and bivalves, to methane and nitrous oxide fluxes from coastal sediments. [...]"

Source: Scientific Reports
Authors: Stefano Bonaglia et al.
DOI: 10.1038/s41598-017-13263-w

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Oxic-anoxic regime shifts mediated by feedbacks between biogeochemical processes and microbial community dynamics

Abstract.

"Although regime shifts are known from various ecosystems, the involvement of microbial communities is poorly understood. Here we show that gradual environmental changes induced by, for example, eutrophication or global warming can induce major oxic-anoxic regime shifts. We first investigate a mathematical model describing interactions between microbial communities and biogeochemical oxidation-reduction reactions. [...]"

Source: Nature Communications
Authors: Timothy Bush et al.
DOI: 10.1038/s41467-017-00912-x

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A molybdenum-isotope perspective on Phanerozoic deoxygenation events

Abstract.

"The expansion and contraction of sulfidic depositional conditions in the oceans can be tracked with the isotopic composition of molybdenum in marine sediments. However, molybdenum-isotope data are often subject to multiple conflicting interpretations. Here I present a compilation of molybdenum-isotope data from three time intervals: the Toarcian Oceanic Anoxic Event about 183 million years ago, Oceanic Anoxic Event 2 about 94 million years ago, and two early Eocene hyperthermal events from 56 to 54 million years ago. [...]"

Source: Nature Geoscience
Authors: Alexander J. Dickson
DOI: 10.1038/ngeo3028

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