Reduce, Reuse, Recycle in the Arctic Ocean With the Power of Microbes

Zäncker, B, Stern, RF, Price, EL and Cunliffe, M 2020 Reduce, Reuse, Recycle in the Arctic Ocean With the Power of Microbes. Frontiers for Young Minds, 8 (90).

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Did you know that microbes, too small for the human eye to see, far outnumber and outweigh all animals? Microbes that live in the Arctic carry out a surprising variety of roles recycling food. Despite the cold temperatures, Arctic waters are nutrient rich, which allows a type of microbe called single-celled algae to grow in huge numbers. Only cold-adapted microbes can survive though in waters that sometimes reach temperatures even below freezing! Microscopic algae use carbon dioxide (CO2) and the sun’s energy to grow, helping to reduce levels of CO2 in the atmosphere. Microscopic animals called zooplankton eat smaller microbes. All microbes excrete waste and eventually die. The resulting products are not wasted, though. Other microbes called bacteria and fungi are expert recyclers and break down the dead organisms to more basic forms of chemical energy that are reused by single-celled algae and other microbes.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Subjects: Marine Sciences
Divisions: Marine Biological Association of the UK > Other (MBA)
Depositing User: Emily Smart
Date made live: 28 Sep 2021 14:34
Last Modified: 09 Feb 2024 17:01

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