EnviroLink Forum

Community • Ecology • Connection
It is currently Fri Nov 24, 2017 8:07 pm

All times are UTC - 5 hours [ DST ]




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 2 posts ] 
Author Message
 Post subject: Nutrient collapse
PostPosted: Sat Sep 16, 2017 8:30 am 
Offline
EnviroLink Volunteer
EnviroLink Volunteer
User avatar

Joined: Thu Jun 26, 2003 10:45 pm
Posts: 21221
Location: Southeastern US
http://www.politico.com/agenda/story/20 ... ide-000511

Irakli Loladze is a mathematician by training, but he was in a biology lab when he encountered the puzzle that would change his life. It was in 1998, and Loladze was studying for his Ph.D. at Arizona State University. Against a backdrop of glass containers glowing with bright green algae, a biologist told Loladze and a half-dozen other graduate students that scientists had discovered something mysterious about zooplankton.

Zooplankton are microscopic animals that float in the world’s oceans and lakes, and for food they rely on algae, which are essentially tiny plants. Scientists found that they could make algae grow faster by shining more light onto them—increasing the food supply for the zooplankton, which should have flourished. But it didn’t work out that way. When the researchers shined more light on the algae, the algae grew faster, and the tiny animals had lots and lots to eat—but at a certain point they started struggling to survive. This was a paradox. More food should lead to more growth. How could more algae be a problem?

Loladze was technically in the math department, but he loved biology and couldn’t stop thinking about this. The biologists had an idea of what was going on: The increased light was making the algae grow faster, but they ended up containing fewer of the nutrients the zooplankton needed to thrive. By speeding up their growth, the researchers had essentially turned the algae into junk food. The zooplankton had plenty to eat, but their food was less nutritious, and so they were starving.

Loladze used his math training to help measure and explain the algae-zooplankton dynamic. He and his colleagues devised a model that captured the relationship between a food source and a grazer that depends on the food. They published that first paper in 2000. But Loladze was also captivated by a much larger question raised by the experiment: Just how far this problem might extend.

_________________
With friends like Guido, you will not have enemies for long.

“Intellect is invisible to the man who has none”
Arthur Schopenhauer


"The difference between genius and stupidity is that genius has its limits."
Albert Einstein


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Nutrient collapse
PostPosted: Fri Nov 10, 2017 7:23 am 
Offline
New User
New User

Joined: Thu Nov 09, 2017 10:24 am
Posts: 4
Location: Tampa, Florida
Thank you for sharing this information with us. Very interesting! And it makes total sense, because by speeding up the process of new algae formation, there might be a few chemical reactions missing, which were crucial for creation of some nutrients.

I would assume that over the time, the algae also became much more vulnerable and lived shorter time periods. Because missing compounds from the body have to affect the physiology of an organism.


Top
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 2 posts ] 

All times are UTC - 5 hours [ DST ]


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 10 guests


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum

Jump to:  
cron
Powered by phpBB® Forum Software © phpBB Group