Shifts in phytoplankton and microbial community composition and functional diversity
Principal Investigator: Dr Susanne Fietz
Discipline: Earth Sciences
Short description of the project:
The oceans are changing under pressure of global changes, be it for increase in temperature, sea-ice melt, stratification, acidification or pollutants. The tiny ocean’s inhabitants, the microorganisms, will mostly adapt to it. However, it will most likely result in shifts in community composition and thus in biogeochmical fluxes, including the export of carbon, essential for an efficient drawdown of atmospheric CO2. Here we will investigate the key role of metal bioavailability in the bottom-up control of microorganisms in the Southern Ocean, one of the world’s most important potential sinks for anthropogenic CO2. In turn, we will support interpretation of the striking patterns in the distribution of essential micronutrients, including, but not limited to iron.
Address: Stellenbosch University, Dept Earth Sciences, Stellenbosch
Tel: +27(0) 21 808 3117