Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

New evidence from the Baltic Sea: Seafloor biodiversity affects sediment nutrient cycling

Date:
October 25, 2012
Source:
Helsingin yliopisto (University of Helsinki)
Summary:
The global decline of biodiversity highlights the urgent need to understand how biodiversity contributes to ecosystem functionality. In the Baltic Sea, eutrophication-induced oxygen deficiency or hypoxia is the major problem for animals living on the seafloor. Hypoxia has resulted in dead or impoverished seafloor communities over vast areas.

Sampling the experiment.
Credit: Image courtesy of Helsingin yliopisto (University of Helsinki)

The global decline of biodiversity highlights the urgent need to understand how biodiversity contributes to ecosystem functionality. In the Baltic Sea, eutrophication-induced oxygen deficiency or hypoxia is the major problem for animals living on the seafloor. Hypoxia has resulted in dead or impoverished seafloor communities over vast areas.

"It is known that the biodiversity of seafloor communities is vital for healthy marine ecosystems, but we have very limited evidence from natural communities. Most of our current knowledge is based on laboratory experiments and modelling. Instead of that, we dived and did our experiments on the seafloor itself," says researcher Anna Villnäs from Tvärminne Zoological Station, University of Helsinki, Finland.

In a pioneering field experiment, the biodiversity of natural seafloor communities was changed through experimental manipulation of oxygen deficiency. The research group at Tvärminne Zoological Station shows how hypoxic disturbance degrades the structure and function of seafloor communities. The animals on the seafloor can withstand about one week of hypoxia, but after that most species die. The in situ evidence shows that impoverished seafloor biodiversity leads to changes in sediment nutrient cycling.

Due to a naturally low-diverse fauna, the seafloors of the Baltic Sea only have a few species that perform similar functions, which lowers the buffering capacity of the system towards disturbances. Therefore the authors argue that preservation of species at sufficient abundances is essential for maintaining a healthy seafloor and for sustaining functions, such as sediment nutrient cycling, in the Baltic Sea.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Helsingin yliopisto (University of Helsinki). Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Anna Villnäs, Joanna Norkko, Kaarina Lukkari, Judi Hewitt, Alf Norkko. Consequences of Increasing Hypoxic Disturbance on Benthic Communities and Ecosystem Functioning. PLoS ONE, 2012; 7 (10): e44920 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0044920

Cite This Page:

Helsingin yliopisto (University of Helsinki). "New evidence from the Baltic Sea: Seafloor biodiversity affects sediment nutrient cycling." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 25 October 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/10/121025095400.htm>.
Helsingin yliopisto (University of Helsinki). (2012, October 25). New evidence from the Baltic Sea: Seafloor biodiversity affects sediment nutrient cycling. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 1, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/10/121025095400.htm
Helsingin yliopisto (University of Helsinki). "New evidence from the Baltic Sea: Seafloor biodiversity affects sediment nutrient cycling." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/10/121025095400.htm (accessed October 1, 2014).

Share This



More Earth & Climate News

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Raw: 12 More Bodies Found on Japan Volcano

Raw: 12 More Bodies Found on Japan Volcano

AP (Oct. 1, 2014) — A dozen more bodies were found Wednesday as Japanese rescuers resumed efforts to find survivors and retrieve bodies of those trapped by Mount Ontake's eruption. (Oct. 1) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Cultural Learning In Wild Chimps Observed For The First Time

Cultural Learning In Wild Chimps Observed For The First Time

Newsy (Oct. 1, 2014) — Cultural transmission — the passing of knowledge from one animal to another — has been caught on camera with chimps teaching other chimps. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Trapped Scientist Rescued from Cave in Peru

Raw: Trapped Scientist Rescued from Cave in Peru

AP (Oct. 1, 2014) — A Spanish scientist, who spent 12 days trapped about 1300 feet underground in a cave in Peru's remote Amazon region, was rescued on Tuesday. (Oct. 1) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Media, Industry Groups React To Calif. Plastic Bag Ban

Media, Industry Groups React To Calif. Plastic Bag Ban

Newsy (Sep. 30, 2014) — California is the first state in the country to ban single-use plastic bags in grocery, liquor and convenience stores. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins