Ubiquitous marine organism has co-evolved with other microbes, promoting more complex ecosystems. Continue reading
Graduate Student Emily Zakem and advisor Mick Follows find bacteria can survive in marine environments that are almost completely starved of oxygen. 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
Study led by principal research scientist Stephanie Dutkiewicz finds many species may die out and others may migrate significantly as ocean acidification intensifies. Continue reading
Using tiny marine microbes to model climate change: MIT News profiles Darwin’s Mick Follows Continue reading
With an infusion of funds from the Simons Foundation, a collaboration Darwin Project lead Mick Follows and other MIT researchers and colleagues will break new ground in the study of marine microbes. Continue reading
The smallest, most abundant marine microbe, Prochlorococcus, is a photosynthetic bacteria species essential to the marine ecosystem. An estimated billion billion billion of the single-cell creatures live in the oceans, forming the base of the marine food chain and occupying a range of ecological niches based on temperature, light and chemical preferences, and interactions with other species. But the full extent and characteristics of diversity within this single species remains a puzzle. Continue reading
For some microbes, the motto for growth is not so much “every cell for itself,” but rather, “all for one and one for all.”
MIT researchers have found that cells in a bacterial colony grow in a way that benefits the community as a whole. That is, while an individual cell may divide in the presence of plentiful resources to benefit itself, when a cell is a member of a larger colony, it may choose instead to grow in a more cooperative fashion, increasing an entire colony’s chance of survival.
by Alli Gold Roberts (MIT Joint Program on the Science and Policy of Global Change)
Read this story at MIT News
Phytoplankton — small plant-like organisms that serve as the base of the marine ecosystem — play a crucial role in maintaining the health of our oceans by consuming carbon dioxide and fueling the food web. But with a changing climate, which of these vital organisms will survive, and what impact will their demise have on fish higher up the chain?
Stephanie Dutkiewicz, a researcher with the MIT Joint Program on the Science and Policy of Global Change, and her colleagues developed a model that investigates the potential effects of climate change on phytoplankton.
“Phytoplankton diversity depends on balance between competition and the ocean’s physical dynamics, new research suggests”
By Morgan Bettex, MIT News Office
Read this story at MIT News
Phytoplankton are single-celled organisms that serve as the base of the marine food web and provide half the oxygen we breathe on Earth. They also play a key role in global climate change by removing carbon from the atmosphere and injecting it deep into the oceans.
Scientists study phytoplankton to understand how the tiny plants help transport elements like carbon through the environment. Although they understand much of what phytoplankton do, less is understood about why particular plankton live in particular environments and what maintains the diversity of phytoplankton.