COSEE Ocean Systems: News
Understanding microbial competition for nitrogen
Description: About 200 meters down, just below the ocean's sunlit zone, resides a layer of nitrite, an intermediate compound in the nitrogen cycle. Scientists have found this robust feature, called the primary nitrite maximum, throughout the world's oxygenated oceans. While several individual hypotheses have been put forward, none have convincingly explained this marine signature until now. A recent study uses theory, modeling, and observational data to investigate the ecological mechanisms producing the observed nitrite accumulation and dictating its location in the ocean water column. It shows that physiological constraints and resource competition between phytoplankton and nitrifying microorganisms in the sunlit layer can yield this ocean trait. [Source: MIT News]
Availability: Full Text
Source: MIT News
Publish Date: 4/10/2018
Reading Level: Basic
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