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Cusack D.F.,University of California at Los Angeles | Axsen J.,Simon Fraser University | Shwom R.,Rutgers University | Hartzell-Nichols L.,University of Washington | And 3 more authors.
Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment | Year: 2014

Mitigating further anthropogenic changes to the global climate will require reducing greenhouse-gas emissions ("abatement"), or else removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and/or diminishing solar input ("climate engineering"). Here, we develop and apply criteria to measure technical, economic, ecological, institutional, and ethical dimensions of, and public acceptance for, climate engineering strategies; provide a relative rating for each dimension; and offer a new interdisciplinary framework for comparing abatement and climate engineering options. While abatement remains the most desirable policy, certain climate engineering strategies, including forest and soil management for carbon sequestration, merit broad-scale application. Other proposed strategies, such as biochar production and geological carbon capture and storage, are rated somewhat lower, but deserve further research and development. Iron fertilization of the oceans and solar radiation management, although cost-effective, received the lowest ratings on most criteria. We conclude that although abatement should remain the central climate-change response, some low-risk, cost-effective climate engineering approaches should be applied as complements. The framework presented here aims to guide and prioritize further research and analysis, leading to improvements in climate engineering strategies. © The Ecological Society of America.

Kamennaya N.A.,Hebrew University of Jerusalem | Post A.F.,Bay Paul Center for Comparative Molecular Biology and Evolution
Applied and Environmental Microbiology | Year: 2011

Cyanobacteria of the genera Synechococcus and Prochlorococcus are the most abundant photosynthetic organisms on earth, occupying a key position at the base of marine food webs. The cynS gene that encodes cyanase was identified among bacterial, fungal, and plant sequences in public databases, and the gene was particularly prevalent among cyanobacteria, including numerous Prochlorococcus and Synechococcus strains. Phylogenetic analysis of cynS sequences retrieved from the Global Ocean Survey database identified >60% as belonging to unicellular marine cyanobacteria, suggesting an important role for cyanase in their nitrogen metabolism. We demonstrate here that marine cyanobacteria have a functionally active cyanase, the transcriptional regulation of which varies among strains and reflects the genomic context of cynS. In Prochlorococcus sp. strain MED4, cynS was presumably transcribed as part of the cynABDS operon, implying cyanase involvement in cyanate utilization. In Synechococcus sp. strain WH8102, expression was not related to nitrogen stress responses and here cyanase presumably serves in the detoxification of cyanate resulting from intracellular urea and/or carbamoyl phosphate decomposition. Lastly, we report on a cyanase activity encoded by cynH, a novel gene found in marine cyanobacteria only. The presence of dual cyanase genes in the genomes of seven marine Synechococcus strains and their respective roles in nitrogen metabolism remain to be clarified. Copyright © 2011, American Society for Microbiology. All Rights Reserved.

Mackey K.R.M.,University of California at Santa Cruz | Mackey K.R.M.,Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution | Mackey K.R.M.,Bay Paul Center for Comparative Molecular Biology and Evolution | Buck K.N.,Bermuda Institute of Ocean Sciences | And 6 more authors.
Frontiers in Microbiology | Year: 2012

This study investigated the impact of atmospheric metal deposition on natural phytoplank- ton communities at open-ocean and coastal sites in the Sargasso Sea during the spring bloom. Locally collected aerosols with different metal contents were added to natural phytoplankton assemblages from each site, and changes in nitrate, dissolved metal con- centration, and phytoplankton abundance and carbon content were monitored. Addition of aerosol doubled the concentrations of cadmium (Cd), cobalt (Co), copper (Cu), iron (Fe), manganese (Mn), and nickel (Ni) in the incubation water. Over the 3-day experiments, greater drawdown of dissolved metals occurred in the open ocean water, whereas little metal drawdown occurred in the coastal water. Two populations of picoeukaryotic algae and Synechococcus grew in response to aerosol additions in both experiments. Particulate organic carbon increased and was most sensitive to changes in picoeukaryote abundance. Phytoplankton community composition differed depending on the chemistry of the aerosol added. Enrichment with aerosol that had higher metal content led to a 10-fold increase in Synechococcus abundance in the oceanic experiment but not in the coastal experi- ment. Enrichment of aerosol-derived Co, Mn, and Ni were particularly enhanced in the oceanic experiment, suggesting the Synechococcus population may have been fertilized by these aerosol metals. Cu-binding ligand concentrations were in excess of dissolved Cu2in+ both experiments, and increased with aerosol additions. Bioavailable free hydrated Cu concentrations were below toxicity thresholds throughout both experiments.These experiments show (1) atmospheric deposition contributes biologically important metals to seawater, (2)thesemetalsareconsumedovertimescalescommensuratewithcellgrowth, and (3) growth responses can differ between distinct Synechococcus or eukaryotic algal populations despite their relatively close geographic proximity and taxonomic similarity. © 2012 Mackey, Buck, Casey, Cid, Lomas, Sohrin and Paytan.

Zandbergen F.,Bay Paul Center for Comparative Molecular Biology and Evolution | Jackson B.P.,Dartmouth College | Hamilton J.W.,Bay Paul Center for Comparative Molecular Biology and Evolution
PLoS ONE | Year: 2012

Background: Arsenic (As) exposure is a significant worldwide environmental health concern. Chronic exposure via contaminated drinking water has been associated with an increased incidence of a number of diseases, including reproductive and developmental effects. The goal of this study was to identify adverse outcomes in a mouse model of early life exposure to low-dose drinking water As (10 ppb, current U.S. EPA Maximum Contaminant Level). Methodology and Findings: C57B6/J pups were exposed to 10 ppb As, via the dam in her drinking water, either in utero and/or during the postnatal period. Birth outcomes, the growth of the F1 offspring, and health of the dams were assessed by a variety of measurements. Birth outcomes including litter weight, number of pups, and gestational length were unaffected. However, exposure during the in utero and postnatal period resulted in significant growth deficits in the offspring after birth, which was principally a result of decreased nutrients in the dam's breast milk. Cross-fostering of the pups reversed the growth deficit. Arsenic exposed dams displayed altered liver and breast milk triglyceride levels and serum profiles during pregnancy and lactation. The growth deficits in the F1 offspring resolved following separation from the dam and cessation of exposure in male mice, but did not resolve in female mice up to six weeks of age. Conclusions/Significance: Exposure to As at the current U.S. drinking water standard during critical windows of development induces a number of adverse health outcomes for both the dam and offspring. Such effects may contribute to the increased disease risks observed in human populations. © 2012 Kozul-Horvath et al.

Mackey K.R.M.,Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution | Mackey K.R.M.,Bay Paul Center for Comparative Molecular Biology and Evolution | Mackey K.R.M.,University of California at Irvine | Post A.F.,Bay Paul Center for Comparative Molecular Biology and Evolution | And 5 more authors.
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America | Year: 2015

Marine Synechococcus are some of the most diverse and ubiquitous phytoplankton, and iron (Fe) is an essential micronutrient that limits productivity in many parts of the ocean. To investigate how coastal and oceanic Atlantic Synechococcus strains acclimate to Fe availability, we compared the growth, photophysiology, and quantitative proteomics of two Synechococcus strains from different Fe regimes. Synechococcus strain WH8102, from a region in the southern Sargasso Sea that receives substantial dust deposition, showed impaired growth and photophysiology as Fe declined, yet used few acclimation responses. Coastal WH8020, from the dynamic, seasonally variable New England shelf, displayed a multitiered, hierarchical cascade of acclimation responses with different Fe thresholds. The multitiered response included changes in Fe acquisition, storage, and photosynthetic proteins, substitution of flavodoxin for ferredoxin, and modified photophysiology, all while maintaining remarkably stable growth rates over a range of Fe concentrations. Modulation of two distinct ferric uptake regulator (Fur) proteins that coincided with the multitiered proteome response was found, implying the coastal strain has different regulatory threshold responses to low Fe availability. Low nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) availability in the open ocean may favor the loss of Fe response genes when Fe availability is consistent over time, whereas these genes are retained in dynamic environments where Fe availability fluctuates and N and P are more abundant.

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