Video | Business Headlines | Internet | Science | Scientific Ethics | Technology | Search

 


Freshwater flows affect polar oceanic microbes

NIWA Media Release Scientists discover freshwater flows affect polar oceanic microbes


An international team of scientists has been studying bacteria that live in Arctic and Antarctica waters.

NIWA’s Marine Microbiologist, Els Maas says, “The polar regions often are described as being mirror images of one another so we were expecting the bacteria populations to be comparable”.

However, genetic sequencing has shown that 75 per cent of the bacteria found in the surface coastal waters are unique to either the Arctic or Antarctica. The differences are not nearly so marked in deeper waters and the scientists believe that freshwater from glaciers and streams to the Arctic and Antarctica appears to be responsible for the difference.

One of the most notable differences in environmental conditions between the two polar oceans is freshwater input. In the Antarctica, glacial meltwater accounts for most of the freshwater that flows into the systems. In contrast, the Arctic ocean receives much more freshwater from several large rivers with huge continental drainage basins, in addition to glacial meltwater.

Dr Maas says, “It’s important to study bacteria because we don’t understand much about their diversity, especially how they contribute to the food web. Bacteria are important in recycling nutrients and making these available to larger plants and animals.”

The scientists compared samples from coastal and open oceans, between winter and summer (2000-2008), to test whether or how environmental conditions and dispersal patterns shape communities in the polar oceans. Samples were processed using a DNA sequencing technique called pyrosequencing, involving more than 800,000 sequences from the 92 samples.

The New Zealand samples were collected as part of the New Zealand Government-funded IPY-CAML (International Polar Year Census of Antarctic Marine Life) research trip to the Ross Sea in 2008 on board NIWA’s research vessel Tangaroa. The NIWA samples were the southern-most samples analysed.

The collaborative research was the result of an international effort coordinated by Dr Alison Murray, Desert Research Institute, USA. It involved national polar research programs from six countries -Canada, France, New Zealand, Spain, Sweden and the United States. Support for the work also came from the Sloan Foundation's Census of Marine Life program and the International Census of Marine Microbes, which developed the approach and conducted the sequencing effort.


ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines

 

What Winter? Temperature Records Set For June 20-22

The days around the winter soltice produced a number of notably warm tempertaures. More>>

Conservation Deal: New Kākāpō Recovery Partnership Welcomed

Conservation Minister Maggie Barry says the new kakapo recovery partnership between DOC and Meridian Energy is great news for efforts to save one of New Zealand’s most beloved birds. More>>

ALSO:

Tech Sector Report: Joyce Warns Asian Tech Investors View NZ As Hobbits And Food

Speaking in Wellington at the launch of a report showcasing the value of the technology sector to the New Zealand economy, Joyce said more had to be done to tell the country's technology stories overseas. More>>

ALSO:

Mediaglommeration: APN Gets OIO Approval For Demerger Plan

APN News & Media has received Overseas Investment Office approval for its plan to split out its NZME unit ahead of a potential merger with rival Fairfax Media's New Zealand operations. More>>

New Paper: Ninety-Day Trial Period Has No Impact On Firms' Hiring

The introduction of a 90-day trial period has had no impact on hiring by New Zealand companies although they are now in widespread use, according to researchers at Motu Economic and Public Policy Research. More>>

ALSO:

Corrections: Serco Exits Equity Stake, Remains As Operator

Serco has sold its equity stake in the company that holds the contract to design, build and run Wiri Prison in South Auckland but continues as sub-contractor to operate the facility. More>>

GDP: NZ Economy Grows Faster-Than-Forecast 0.7%

New Zealand's economy grew at a faster pace than expected in the first quarter of 2016 as construction expanded at the quickest rate in two years. The kiwi dollar jumped after the data was released. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Sci-Tech
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news