microbial communities adjust to environmental and temperature variations “We found that the differences in polar communities are dominated by changes in the composition of the organism, while in nonpolar waters, the differences were dominated by changes in gene expression,” says Shinichi Sunagawa, co-author of the study in the Federal Polytechnic School of Zurich. His team was also surprised to find evidence of a nitrogen-fixing bacteria in deep Arctic waters. One limitation of the data from the Tara Oceans expedition is that the samples were collected in a relatively short period of time, less than four years. This makes it difficult to observe quantifiable trends in today’s oceans related to climate change. The researchers say longer-term studies are
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needed to account for changes in factors such as Netherlands Phone Number List acidification , deoxygenation and pollution . “Understanding how ocean microorganisms respond to variations in the environment today is necessary if in the future we want to be able to predict what their response to climate change will be,” concludes Salazar Guiral. Plankton diversity at different latitudes The plankton study found that the vast majority of planktonic groups, from giant viruses to small animals, follow a diversity gradient across latitudes, with the lowest level of diversity at the poles. “Everything in the ocean is connected, which means it has the potential to move. This makes it important to bring everything together on a global scale. Doing a deep analysis also allows us to capture the rare
organisms in the biosphere, in addition to the ones that are more abundant, “says Chris Bowler , a scientist at the National Center for Scientific Research (France) and the Institut de Biologie de l’Ecole Normale Superieure in Paris and lead author of the plankton study. An innovative aspect of this study was that it combined imaging and DNA-based techniques to assess plankton diversity. The work focused on plankton because it is one of the main contributors to marine ecosystems in terms of biomass, abundance and diversity. All types of life have representatives in plankton: bacteria, archaea, protists, animals and plants, as well as viruses. But the vast majority of this diversity is invisible to the naked eye. An innovative aspect of this study