Microbes mediate the global marine cycles of elements, modulating atmospheric CO2 and helping to maintain the oxygen we all breath yet there is much about them scientists still don’t understand. Now, an award from the Simons Foundation will give researchers from the Darwin Project access to bigger, better computing resources to model these communities and probe how they work. Continue reading
According to a new study from Darwin Project researchers Ben Ward and Mick Follows some tiny plankton may have big effect on ocean’s carbon storage. Continue reading
Leaving the cold of a New England February behind, the Darwin team will be in full attendance at this year’s Ocean Sciences conference taking place February 23-28 in Honolulu, Hawaii.
Mixotrophic organisms combine autotrophic and heterotrophic nutrition and are abundant in both freshwater and marine environments. Recent observations indicate that mixotrophs constitute a large fraction of the biomass, bacterivory, and primary production in oligotrophic environments. While mixotrophy allows greater flexibility in terms of resource acquisition, any advantage must be traded off against an associated increase in metabolic costs, which appear to make mixotrophs uncompetitive relative to obligate autotrophs and heterotrophs.
Ward, B.A., S. Dutkiewicz, A.D. Barton and M.J. Follows (2011), Biophysical Aspects of Resource Acquisition and Competition in Algal Mixotrophs, The American Naturalist, Vol. 178, No. 1 (July 2011), pp. 98-112, doi: 10.1086/660284