The role of calcium in regulating marine phosphorus burial and atmospheric oxygen


"The marine phosphorus cycle plays a critical role in controlling the extent of global primary productivity and thus atmospheric pO2 on geologic time scales. However, previous attempts to model carbon–phosphorus-oxygen feedbacks have neglected key parameters that could shape the global P cycle. Here we present new diagenetic models to fully parameterize marine P burial. We have also coupled this diagenetic framework to a global carbon cycle model. We find that seawater calcium concentration, by strongly influencing carbonate fluorapatite (CFA) formation, is a key factor controlling global phosphorus cycling, and therefore plays[...]"


Source: Nature Communications 
Authors: Mingyu Zhao et al.

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Spatial variations in sedimentary N-transformation rates in the North Sea (German Bight)


"In this study, we investigate the role of sedimentary N cycling in the southern North Sea. We present a budget of ammonification, nitrification and sedimentary NO−3 consumption and denitrification in contrasting sediment types of the German Bight (southern North Sea), including novel net ammonification rates. [...]"

Source: Biogeosciences
Authors: Alexander Bratek et al.
DOI: 10.5194/bg-17-2839-2020

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Quantifying the contributions of riverine vs. oceanic nitrogen to hypoxia in the East China Sea


"In the East China Sea, hypoxia (oxygen ≤ 62.5 mmol m−3) is frequently observed off the Changjiang (or Yangtze River) estuary covering up to about 15 000 km2. The Changjiang is a major contributor to hypoxia formation because it discharges large amounts of freshwater and nutrients into the region. However, modeling and observational studies have suggested that intrusions of nutrient-rich oceanic water from the Kuroshio Current also contribute to hypoxia formation.  [...]"

Source: Biogeosciences
Authors: Fabian Große et al.
DOI: 10.5194/bg-17-2701-2020

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Reconstructing N2-fixing cyanobacterial blooms in the Baltic Sea

beyond observations using 6- and 7-methylheptadecane in sediments as specific biomarkers


"Summer cyanobacterial blooms represent a threat to the Baltic Sea ecosystem, causing deoxygenation of the bottom water and the spread of the so-called dead zones. The history of the Baltic Sea cyanobacterial blooms is known from in situ and satellite observations since the early 1980s but is still not well understood. [...]"

Source: Biogeosciences
Authors: Jérôme Kaiser et al.
DOI: 10.5194/bg-17-2579-2020

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Chesapeake Bay water quality declines by four percentage points

"An estimated 38% of the Chesapeake Bay and its tidal tributaries met clean water standards for clarity, oxygen and algae growth between 2016 and 2018. This score is lower than the record high 42% from the previous reporting period, but is still the fifth highest estimate of water quality standards attainment since 1985. This four percentage point decrease is due in large part to a decline in dissolved oxygen in the open waters of the Bay, those areas beyond the shoreline and shallows. Dissolved oxygen is necessary for the survival of the Bay’s aquatic species, and is a factor in the annual dead zone. [...]"

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Changing perspectives in marine nitrogen fixation


"Biological dinitrogen (N2) fixation, the reduction of atmospheric N2 to ammonia, is important for maintaining the fertility of the oceans by providing biologically useful nitrogen to support primary organic matter production (i.e., carbon dioxide fixation). N2 fixation offsets the removal of combined nitrogen by microbial denitrification and anaerobic ammonium oxidation (anammox) and export to the deep sea. For several decades, there has been a lack of consensus as to whether losses of N through microbial removal pathways are balanced by biological nitrogen fixation, along with other inputs such as atmospheric nitrogen deposition and terrestrial runoff. [...]"

Source: Science
Authors: Jonathan P. Zehr1 and Douglas G. Capone
DOI: 10.1126/science.aay9514

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No nitrogen fixation in the Bay of Bengal?


"The Bay of Bengal (BoB) has long stood as a biogeochemical enigma, with subsurface waters containing extremely low, but persistent, concentrations of oxygen in the nanomolar range which – for some, yet unconstrained, reason – are prevented from becoming anoxic. One reason for this may be the low productivity of the BoB waters due to nutrient limitation and the resulting lack of respiration of organic material at intermediate waters. [...]"

Source: Biogeosciences
Authors: Carolin R. Löscher et al.
DOI: 10.5194/bg-17-851-2020

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Shedding New Light on the Nitrogen Cycle in the Dark Ocean

"Every year, the Mississippi River dumps around 1.4 million metric tons of nitrogen into the Gulf of Mexico, much of it runoff from agricultural fertilizer. This nitrogen can lead to algal blooms, which in turn deplete oxygen concentrations in the water, creating hypoxic dead zones. The nitrogen cycle is a phenomenon environmental scientists would really like to understand better. “As humans, we do put a lot of reactive nitrogen compounds into the ocean, especially in coastal regions, by…river runoff,” said Katharina Kitzinger of the Max Planck Institute for Marine Microbiology in Bremen, Germany. “It’s really crucial to understand how microbes turn over this excess nitrogen that we put into the environment. [...]”"

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Macroalgal metabolism and lateral carbon flows can create significant carbon sinks


"Macroalgal beds have drawn attention as one of the vegetated coastal ecosystems that act as atmospheric CO2 sinks. Although macroalgal metabolism as well as inorganic and organic carbon flows are important pathways for CO2 uptake by macroalgal beds, the relationships between macroalgal metabolism and associated carbon flows are still poorly understood. In the present study, we investigated carbon flows, including air–water CO2 exchange and budgets of dissolved inorganic carbon, total alkalinity, and dissolved organic carbon (DOC), in a temperate macroalgal bed during the productive months of the year. [...]"

Source: Biogeosciences
Auhtors: Kenta Watanabe et al.
DOI: 10.5194/bg-17-2425-2020

Read the full articele here.


Abundant nitrite-oxidizing metalloenzymes in the mesopelagic zone of the tropical Pacific Ocean


"Numerous biogeochemical reactions occur within the oceans’ major oxygen minimum zones, but less attention has been paid to the open ocean extremities of these zones. Here we report measurements on oxygen minimum zone waters from the Eastern to the Central Tropical North Pacific, which we analysed using metaproteomic techniques to discern the microbial functions present and their influence on biogeochemical cycling. [...]"

Source: Nature Geoscience
Authors: Mak A. Saito et al.
DOI: 10.1038/s41561-020-0565-6

Read the full article here.


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