The Neuer lab team includes undergraduate, graduate students and post-docs studying the link between plankton diversity, trophic dynamics and the biological carbon pump in the modern and ancient oceans.
Check out the new research article by Wei Deng and Bianca Cruz on the production of TEP by marine Synechococcus strain WH8102 under N- and P- limited conditions — published in the journal Aquatic Microbial Ecology. Find it here. The article was also featured on AME’s Facebook and Twitter pages! Abstract Pico-cyanobacteria are abundant primary producers in most of the global ocean but their role in the export of organic carbon to depth remains a matter of debate. A recent laboratory study using roller tanks showed that marine Synechococcus cells can form visible (>1 mm) aggregates that sink at velocities of more than 400 m d–1 in seawater. The present study aimed to investigate the mechanism behind such aggregation by exploring the potential role of transparent exopolymeric particles (TEP) and the effects of nutrient (nitrogen or phosphorus) limitation on the TEP production and aggregate formation of these pico-cyanobacteria. Our results show that despite the lowered growth rates, cells in the nutrient-limited cultures had higher cell-normalized TEP production, and formed a larger total volume of aggregates that had higher settling velocities compared to aggregates formed from cells in the nutrient-replete cultures. This study contributes to our understanding of the physiology of marine Synechococcus as well as their role in the ecology and biogeochemistry in the oceans. Deng W, Cruz BN, Neuer S (2016) Effects of nutrient limitation on cell growth, TEP production and aggregate formation of marine Synechococcus. Aquat Microb Ecol... read more
The Neuer Lab headed to New Orleans, LA to present their latest findings at the 2016 Ocean Sciences Meeting. Bianca Cruz presented a poster on the aggregation and sinking of Synechococcus under nutrient limitation and clay addition; Megan Wolverton presented on the export of the algal community in the land fast sea ice based in the Arctic Ocean. Francesca De Martini represented the lab during the session talks with a presentation on the link between the growth and grazing rate of cyanobacteria and their carbon export in the Sargasso Sea. We look forward to the upcoming OSM, which will be held in Portland, OR February 2018! Click here for free on-demand access to the Keynote, Plenary, and Award Lectures presented at the 2016 meeting. ... read more
Neuer, Susanne, Morten Iversen, and Gerhard Fischer. 2014. The Ocean’s Biological Carbon Pump as Part of the Global Carbon Cycle . Limnol. Oceanogr. e-Lectures, doi:10.4319/lol.2014.sneuer.miversen.gfischer. Abstract The Biological Carbon Pump includes all those processes in the ocean that cause organic carbon formed photosynthetically by phytoplankton (primary production) in the sunlit surface layer (the euphotic zone) to be removed from contact with the atmosphere. It is a mechanism that sequesters carbon dioxide (CO2) for weeks to hundreds or even millions of years (geological time-scales). Together with the physical carbon pump, the biological carbon pump constitutes the ocean’s CO2 sink, and these two major processes in the global carbon cycle have removed about 2- 2.5 Pg Carbon per year (last decade average)(I Pg=1015g). Today, about half of the CO2 emitted from fossil fuel burning and land use changes remains in the atmosphere, and the other half is captured by land sinks and the ocean. The modern carbon cycle is often completely separated from the short- and long-term carbon cycles of the geological past, and students from biology or biogeochemistry rarely learn about these processes and the respective timescales in a joint lecture. The purpose of this interdisciplinary lecture thus is to cover processes related to the biological carbon pump and how it functions, while paying close attention to the relevant timescales in the global carbon cycle. Note that we focus mainly on the production and sinking of particulates, we do not delve into detailed mechanisms of carbon sequestration due to the removal of dissolved organic matter. Topics will include an introduction to the different carbon pumps (biological, carbonate and physical), followed... read more