It Takes A Village--of Photoautotrophs
Scientists from the University of Hawaii have discovered working communities of bacteria inside a drop of seawater.
New research reveals that some of the ocean’s most abundant organisms have daily cycles similar to the people living in cities. Ocean water contains a small community of Photoautotrophs… microscopic bacteria that need solar energy to help them process food. Water samples pulled from UH's Station ALOHA located 100 km north of Oahu, reveal that these organisms plan their activity as a community- sharing the workload. The microbes work in shift, some during the day, and some at night, to perform the jobs needed for survival.
David Karl is with the department of Oceanography at the University of Hawaii at Manoa.
He says it’s important to understand microbes because they serve as the base of the food web that fuels life in the ocean.
Karl says that scientists are just beginning to understand the activities of microorganisms and the impact humans have on them.