Australian research ocean microbes riding ocean currents for global distribution

By on October 1, 2013

Australian scientists have discovered important associations between ocean currents and the distribution of marine microbes, according to the Global Times.

The new research indicates that microbes use ocean currents as a sort of superhighway system. Communities connected by currents show greater homogeneity to one another. Because of this effect, one community could be dissimilar to another only a short distance away, yet closely related to a community halfway across the ocean.

Microbes form the majority of the marine biomass and play a vital part in determining the ultimate health of all oceanic life. These microscopic organisms recycle carbon dioxide and other nutrients, producing much of the Earth’s oxygen. One researcher from the US School of Biotechnology and Biomolecular Sciences said that the death of one critical group of microbes could end all life on the planet.

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