Report

Transatlantic Abundance of the N2-Fixing Colonial Cyanobacterium Trichodesmium

See allHide authors and affiliations

Science  09 Jun 2006:
Vol. 312, Issue 5779, pp. 1517-1520
DOI: 10.1126/science.1123570

You are currently viewing the abstract.

View Full Text

Log in to view the full text

Log in through your institution

Log in through your institution

Abstract

Colonial diazotrophic cyanobacteria of the genus Trichodesmium are thought to play a significant role in the input of new nitrogen to upper layers of the tropical and subtropical oceanic ecosystems that cover nearly half of Earth's surface. Here we describe results of a transatlantic survey in which a noninvasive underwater digital microscope (the video plankton recorder), was towed across the North Atlantic at 6 meters per second while undulating between the surface and 130 meters. Colony abundance had a basin-scale trend, a clear association with anticyclonic eddies, and was not affected by hurricane-forced mixing. Subsurface abundance was higher than previously reported, which has important implications for the global ocean nitrogen cycle.

View Full Text