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A new study from WHOI indicates that superoxide—a natural toxin believed to be the main culprit behind coral bleaching—may actually play a beneficial role in coral health and resilience.
In novel lab observations of interactions between corals and planktonic bacteria, known as picoplankton, researchers found that corals are selectively feeding on specific types of bacteria—the same bacteria whose growth is promoted by organic matter and nutrients that are released by the corals.
Scientists demonstrate that a key organism in the ocean’s food web will start reproducing at high speed as carbon dioxide levels rise, with no way to stop when nutrients become scarce.
Ancient rocks harbored microbial life deep below the seafloor, reports a team of scientists, confirming a long-standing hypothesis that interactions between mantle rocks and seawater can create potential for life even in hard rocks deep below the ocean floor.
As the ocean absorbs atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) released by the burning of fossil fuels, its chemistry is changing, lowering its pH in a process known as ocean acidification. This process also removes carbonate ions, an essential ingredient needed by corals and other organisms to build their skeletons and shells.
Good management has brought the $559 million United States sea scallop fishery back from the brink of collapse over the past 20 years. However, its current fishery management plan does not account for longer-term environmental change like ocean warming and acidification that may affect the fishery in the future. A group of researchers from WHOI, NOAA's National Marine Fisheries Service, and Ocean Conservancy hope to change that.
Just as crocus and daffodil blossoms signal renewal and the start of a warmer season on land, a similar "greening" event—a massive phytoplankton bloom—unfolds each spring in the Atlantic Ocean from Bermuda to the Arctic. But, what happens to all that organic material produced in the surface ocean?
Acidifying oceans could dramatically impact the world’s squid species, and because squid are both ecologically and commercially important, that impact may have far-reaching effects on the ocean environment and coastal economies, the researchers report.
There are more microbes in a bucket of seawater than there are people on Earth. Despite their abundance, humans are only just beginning to fathom the complex role marine microbes play in the ocean ecosystem.
Scientists from WHOI and the Marine Biological Laboratory were awarded a $1.2 million NSF collaborative grant for studies on the role of sulfur-oxidizing bacteria in salt marsh nitrogen and carbon cycling. The fieldwork will be conducted at the Plum Island Ecosystem Long-Term Ecological Research site on Boston's North Shore.
Changes in ocean chemistry due to increased carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions are expected to damage shellfish populations around the world, but some nations will feel the impacts much sooner and more intensely than others, according to a study by scientists at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI).
A study newly published in Nature Geoscience has solved a ten-year-old mystery about the source of an essential nutrient in the ocean.
Changes in ocean chemistry — a consequence of increased carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from human industrial activity — could cause U.S. shellfish revenues to drop significantly in the next 50 years, according to a new study by researchers at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI).
Get ready to send the biology textbooks back to the printer. In a new paper published in Nature, Benjamin Van Mooy, a geochemist with the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) and his colleagues report that microscopic plants growing in the Sargasso Sea have come up with a completely unexpected way of building their cells.
A research team led by Dennis McGillicuddy of the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution has shown that episodic, swirling current systems known as eddies act to pump nutrients up from the deep ocean to fuel such blooms.
Scientists have long known that microorganisms can use one of two different methods to convert carbon dioxide into a form that living things can use for energy. What they didn’t know until recently is that at least one form of bacteria can switch between these two “carbon fixation” pathways or use them both at the same timea fundamental discovery for scientists who believe such bacteria played a role in the evolution of life on Earth.
Transparent jellyfish-like creatures may be more important to the fate of the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide in the ocean than previously thought.
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