Nav: Home

Important to maintain a diversity of habitats in the sea

February 14, 2017

Researchers from University of Gothenburg and the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU) show that both species diversity and habitat diversity are critical to understand the functioning of ecosystems.

Marine shallow-water environments, where this research was performed, are highly productive systems organized into distinct habitats. There are sandy beaches and silty mud, areas covered by cyanobacterial mats and meadows of plants. They represent very different habitats for microorganisms, such as bacteria and microalgae. These microorganisms perform various functions. For example, they produce oxygen, reduce eutrophication by the retention of bioavailable nutrients, and their habitats serve as nurseries for fish.

Christian Alsterberg and co-workers investigated the relative importance of habitat diversity and microbial diversity for how coastal sediments function. Although the significance of these environments has been acknowledged before, the importance of the diversity of habitats for how well they function was investigated for the first time.

The researchers set up an experiment with sediment cores combined into model ecosystems with different habitat diversity. Ecosystems with two or more habitats scored better in functionality than single-habitat ecosystems. This effect on ecosystem functioning has previously been recognized when communities differ in species diversity. Here, Alsterberg and colleagues show that the concept also applies to the diversity of habitats.

Species and habitat diversity are both threatened by human activities. Habitat homogenization is commonly observed in many ecosystems worldwide. This study demonstrates that both species and habitat diversity are important to maintain a functional ecosystem and to predict feedbacks from natural and anthropogenic perturbations. A stronger focus on habitats could be relevant from a management perspective.
-end-
Science Advances, article: Alsterberg C, Roger F, Sundbäck K, Juhansson J, Hulth S, Hallin S, Gamfeldt L (2017) "Habitat diversity and ecosystem multifunctionality--The importance of direct and indirect effects". (http://advances.sciencemag.org/content/3/2/e1601475)

Contacts:

Christian Alsterberg
christian.alsterberg@biol.lu.se
+46-0-703-73-00-12

Lars Gamfeldt
lars.gamfeldt@marine.gu.se
+46-0-703-39-39-21

University of Gothenburg

Related Microorganisms Articles:

Biochar provides high-definition electron pathways in soil
Cornell University scientists have discovered a new high-definition system that allows electrons to travel through soil farther and more efficiently than previously thought.
Microorganisms in the subsurface seabed on evolutionary standby
Through genetic mutations microorganisms normally have the ability to develop new properties over a short time scale.
Study tightens connection between intestinal microorganisms, diet, and colorectal cancer
A new study led by researchers at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute provides some of the strongest evidence to date that microorganisms living in the large intestine can serve as a link between diet and certain types of colorectal cancer.
Gut microorganisms affect our physiology
Researchers have found evidence that could shed new light on the complex community of trillions of microorganisms living in all our guts, and how they interact with our bodies.
The evolutionary secret of H. pylori to survive in the stomach
Professor Frédéric Veyrier's most recent research, in collaboration with the team of Professor Hilde De Reuse at the Institut Pasteur, has shed light on key genes essential to the pathogenesis of Helicobacter pylori bacterium, which causes gastric infections.
Compounds produced by phytopathogenic microbes encourage plant growth
A broad range of microorganisms, including phytopathogenic fungi and bacteria, are capable of producing volatile compounds that encourage plant growth, flowering and the accumulation of reserve substances.
Compounds emitted by phytopathogen microbes encourage plant growth
A wide range of microorganisms, including fungi and phytopathogenic bacteria, are capable of emitting volatile compounds which boost plant growth and flowering, and in accumulating up reserves as demonstrated in a study led by scientific researchers at Navarra's Institute of Agro biotechnology, in northern Spain, which is a mixed centre shared between Spain's National Research Council (CSIC), the Public University of Navarra, and the Regional Government of Navarra.
Which genes are crucial for the energy metabolism of Archaea?
A research team led by Christa Schleper from the University of Vienna succeeded in isolating the first ammonia-oxidizing archaeon from soil: Nitrososphaera viennensis -- the 'spherical ammonia oxidizer from Vienna.' In the current issue of the renowned journal PNAS, the scientists present new results: they were able to detect all proteins that are active during ammonia oxidation -- another important piece of the puzzle for the elucidation of the energy metabolism of Archaea.
WDCM released first Microbial Resource Development Report for China
The World Data Center for Microorganisms (WDCM) and Center for Microbial Resources and Big Data of the Institute of Microbiology of CAS (IMCAS) jointly released the '2016 Microbial Resource Development Report for China' on Sept.
Mass biofuel production without mass antibiotic use
Rather than applying mass amounts of antibiotics to vats of biofuel-producing microorganisms to keep control these cultures, researchers have developed a new technique using modified strains that outcompete other possible contaminating microbes.

Related Microorganisms Reading:

Best Science Podcasts 2019

We have hand picked the best science podcasts for 2019. Sit back and enjoy new science podcasts updated daily from your favorite science news services and scientists.
Now Playing: TED Radio Hour

Anthropomorphic
Do animals grieve? Do they have language or consciousness? For a long time, scientists resisted the urge to look for human qualities in animals. This hour, TED speakers explore how that is changing. Guests include biological anthropologist Barbara King, dolphin researcher Denise Herzing, primatologist Frans de Waal, and ecologist Carl Safina.
Now Playing: Science for the People

#SB2 2019 Science Birthday Minisode: Mary Golda Ross
Our second annual Science Birthday is here, and this year we celebrate the wonderful Mary Golda Ross, born 9 August 1908. She died in 2008 at age 99, but left a lasting mark on the science of rocketry and space exploration as an early woman in engineering, and one of the first Native Americans in engineering. Join Rachelle and Bethany for this very special birthday minisode celebrating Mary and her achievements. Thanks to our Patreons who make this show possible! Read more about Mary G. Ross: Interview with Mary Ross on Lash Publications International, by Laurel Sheppard Meet Mary Golda...