Ecosystem Processes

Ecosystem processes

Symbiont activity has the potential to play an outsized role in marine ecosystems. Relative to free-living microbes, the per-cell rate of symbiont metabolism can be especially high due to their hosts providing them substrates, positioning them optimally in the environment, or providing them an ideal habitat.

The Beinart lab combines physiological experiments, in situ manipulations, and transcriptomics to better understand and constrain the rates of primary production and effects on nutrient cycling of deep-sea and coastal chemosynthetic symbioses, as well as rates of methanogenesis by the archaeal symbionts associated with coastal, anaerobic protists.

By measuring symbiont activity, these projects will expand our understanding of primary productivity, biogeochemical cycles, and the role of microbial processes in marine ecosystems.

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