Oceanography The Official Magazine of
The Oceanography Society
Volume 20 Issue 02

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Volume 20, No. 2
Pages 110 - 116


Microbes and the Marine Phosphorus Cycle

By Sonya T. Dyhrman , James W. Ammerman, and Benjamin A.S. Van Mooy 
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Phosphorus (P) is fundamental to life, and years of study in marine systems have built a broad understanding of the marine P cycle. Various aspects of marine P biogeochemistry have been reviewed previously (Benitez-Nelson, 2000; Paytan and McLaughlin, 2007). Here, we focus on recent advances in our understanding of marine P and the interactions between microbes and the P cycle. These advances come from a variety of disciplines, but generally highlight three main themes: (1) ocean microbes are adapted for surviving in a variable P environment, (2) the dissolved organic phosphorus (DOP) pool likely plays a critical role in driving growth, metabolism, and community composition of ocean microorganisms, and (3) P is very rapidly cycled, which highlights its importance in marine systems.


Dyhrman, S.T., J.W. Ammerman, and B.A.S. Van Mooy. 2007. Microbes and the marine phosphorus cycle. Oceanography 20(2):110–116, https://doi.org/10.5670/oceanog.2007.54.

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