Marine biology articles within Nature


  • Article
    | Open Access

    Long-term experiments show that corals acquire dissolved inorganic nitrogen and phosphorus by feeding on symbiont cells, which provide essential nutrients enabling their success in nutrient-poor waters.

    • Jörg Wiedenmann
    • , Cecilia D’Angelo
    •  & Amatzia Genin
  • Article
    | Open Access

    An assessment of variations in phytoplankton nutrient limitation in the tropical Pacific over the past two decades finds that phytoplankton iron limitation is more stable in response to ENSO dynamics than models predict.

    • Thomas J. Browning
    • , Mak A. Saito
    •  & Alessandro Tagliabue
  • Article
    | Open Access

    A phylogeny-guided genome-resolved metagenomic analysis of DNA viruses in the ocean reveals atypical plankton-infecting relatives of herpesviruses that form a putative new phylum dubbed Mirusviricota.

    • Morgan Gaïa
    • , Lingjie Meng
    •  & Tom O. Delmont
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Satellite observations reveal global increases in the extent and frequency of phytoplankton blooms between 2003 and 2020 and provide insights into the relationship between blooms, ocean circulation and sea surface temperature.

    • Yanhui Dai
    • , Shangbo Yang
    •  & Lian Feng
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Mesocosm experiments in different biomes show that future ocean acidification will slow down the dissolution of biogenic silica, decreasing silicic acid availability in the surface ocean and triggering a global decline of diatoms as revealed by Earth system model simulations.

    • Jan Taucher
    • , Lennart T. Bach
    •  & Ulf Riebesell
  • Article |

    Sustainable mariculture could increase seafood production under almost all climate-change scenarios analysed, but this would require substantial fisheries reforms, continued advances in feed technology and the establishment of effective mariculture governance and best practices.

    • Christopher M. Free
    • , Reniel B. Cabral
    •  & Steven D. Gaines
  • Article |

    In situ experiments have demonstrated chemotaxis of marine bacteria and archaea towards specific phytoplankton-derived dissolved organic matter, which leads to microscale partitioning of biogeochemical transformation in the ocean.

    • Jean-Baptiste Raina
    • , Bennett S. Lambert
    •  & Justin R. Seymour
  • Article |

    A tight coupling between metabolic rate, efficacy of oxygen supply and the temperature sensitivities of marine animals predicts a variety of geographical niches that better aligns with the distributions of species than models of either temperature or oxygen alone.

    • Curtis Deutsch
    • , Justin L. Penn
    •  & Brad Seibel
  • Article |

    Sea surface density observations in the Arctic Ocean reveal a relationship between the present-day surface water density and the anthropogenic carbon inventory and coincident acidification, suggesting that recent acidification projections are underestimates.

    • Jens Terhaar
    • , Lester Kwiatkowski
    •  & Laurent Bopp
  • Review Article |

    Analyses of the recovery of marine populations, habitats and ecosystems following past conservation interventions indicate that substantial recovery of the abundance, structure and function of marine life could be achieved by 2050 if major pressures, including climate change, are mitigated.

    • Carlos M. Duarte
    • , Susana Agusti
    •  & Boris Worm
  • Article |

    Analyses of microbial communities that live 10–750 m below the seafloor at Atlantis Bank, Indian Ocean, provide insights into how these microorganisms survive by coupling energy sources to organic and inorganic carbon resources.

    • Jiangtao Li
    • , Paraskevi Mara
    •  & Virginia P. Edgcomb
  • Article |

    Satellite-derived analysis of daily vertical migrations of ocean animals shows that the relative abundance and total biomass of these animals differ between different regions globally, depending on the availability of food and necessity to avoid predators.

    • Michael J. Behrenfeld
    • , Peter Gaube
    •  & Scott C. Doney
  • Perspective |

    The authors discuss the potential for sex and gender analysis to foster scientific discovery, improve experimental efficiency and enable social equality.

    • Cara Tannenbaum
    • , Robert P. Ellis
    •  & Londa Schiebinger
  • Letter |

    Nutrient content analyses of marine finfish and current fisheries landings show that fish have the potential to substantially contribute to global food and nutrition security by alleviating micronutrient deficiencies in regions where they are prevalent.

    • Christina C. Hicks
    • , Philippa J. Cohen
    •  & M. Aaron MacNeil
  • Letter |

    Seafloor-derived planktonic foraminifera communities of pre-industrial age are compared with communities from sediment-trap time series and show that Anthropocene communities of a globally distributed zooplankton group differ from their unperturbed pre-industrial state.

    • Lukas Jonkers
    • , Helmut Hillebrand
    •  & Michal Kucera
  • Article |

    Convergent estimates of nitrogen fixation from an inverse biogeochemical and a prognostic ocean model show that biological carbon export in the ocean is higher than expected and that stabilizing nitrogen-cycle feedbacks are weaker than we thought.

    • Wei-Lei Wang
    • , J. Keith Moore
    •  & François W. Primeau
  • Letter |

    A structurally unusual zwitterionic metabolite, dimethylsulfoxonium propionate (DMSOP), is synthesized by several dimethylsulfoniopropionate-producing microalgae and marine bacteria and is readily metabolized into dimethylsulfoxide by marine bacteria, expanding our knowledge of the marine organosulfur cycle.

    • Kathleen Thume
    • , Björn Gebser
    •  & Georg Pohnert
  • Article |

    Analyses of current coral reef growth rates in the tropical western Atlantic and Indian Ocean show that few reefs will have the capacity to track sea-level rise projections under Representative Concentration Pathway scenarios without sustained ecological recovery.

    • Chris T. Perry
    • , Lorenzo Alvarez-Filip
    •  & Chancey Macdonald
  • Letter |

    Acute heat stress from the extended marine heatwave of 2016 is a potent driver of the transformation of coral assemblages, which affects even the most remote and well-protected reefs of the Great Barrier Reef.

    • Terry P. Hughes
    • , James T. Kerry
    •  & Gergely Torda
  • Letter |

    Phytotransferrin, a functional analogue of transferrin, has an obligate requirement for carbonate to bind iron, which suggests that acidification-driven declines in the concentration of seawater carbonate ions may negatively affect diatom iron acquisition.

    • Jeffrey B. McQuaid
    • , Adam B. Kustka
    •  & Andrew E. Allen
  • Letter |

    Nutrient amendment experiments at the boundary of the South Atlantic gyre reveal extensive regions in which nitrogen and iron are co-limiting, with other micronutrients also approaching co-deficiency; such limitations potentially increase phytoplankton community diversity.

    • Thomas J. Browning
    • , Eric P. Achterberg
    •  & C. Mark Moore
  • Outlook |

    The increasing acidity of our seas is a threat to marine life that for many species may be impossible to overcome.

    • Sarah DeWeerdt
  • Letter |

    Steroid biomarkers provide evidence for a rapid rise of marine planktonic algae between 659 and 645 million years ago, establishing more efficient energy transfers and driving ecosystems towards larger and increasingly complex organisms.

    • Jochen J. Brocks
    • , Amber J. M. Jarrett
    •  & Tharika Liyanage
  • Article |

    Aerial and underwater survey data combined with satellite-derived measurements of sea surface temperature over the past two decades show that multiple mass-bleaching events have expanded to encompass virtually all of the Great Barrier Reef.

    • Terry P. Hughes
    • , James T. Kerry
    •  & Shaun K. Wilson
  • Article |

    Bacteria of the SAR11 clade constitute up to one half of all marine microbes and are thought to require oxygen for growth; here, a subgroup of SAR11 bacteria are shown to thrive in ocean oxygen minimum zones and to encode abundant respiratory nitrate reductases.

    • Despina Tsementzi
    • , Jieying Wu
    •  & Frank J. Stewart
  • Letter |

    Depth-dependent patterns in ocean species diversity can be explained by latitudinal variations in energy availability, with shelf and upper-slope diversity increasing with thermal energy availability, and deep-sea diversity increasing with chemical energy availability; the discovery of these distinct patterns could help to guide the conservation and management of these remote ecosystems.

    • Skipton N. C. Woolley
    • , Derek P. Tittensor
    •  & Timothy D. O’Hara
  • Article |

    Plankton communities in the top 150 m of the nutrient-depleted, oligotrophic global ocean that are most associated with carbon export include unexpected taxa, such as Radiolaria, alveolate parasites, and Synechococcus and their phages, and point towards potential functional markers predicting a significant fraction of the variability in carbon export in these regions.

    • Lionel Guidi
    • , Samuel Chaffron
    •  & Gabriel Gorsky
  • Letter |

    The presence of ice in clouds can influence cloud lifetime, precipitation and radiative properties; here, organic material at the sea–air interface, possibly associated with phytoplankton cell exudates, is shown to nucleate ice under conditions relevant for ice cloud formation in the atmospheric environment.

    • Theodore W. Wilson
    • , Luis A. Ladino
    •  & Benjamin J. Murray
  • Letter |

    Here, the feedback between marine nitrogen fixation and denitrification is shown to yield an oceanic nitrate deficit more than double its observed value in a model with realistic ocean circulation; this discrepancy can be resolved by accounting for diversity in the metabolic N:P requirements of plankton.

    • Thomas Weber
    •  & Curtis Deutsch
  • Comment |

    Geoengineering efforts to bring oxygen into the deep Baltic should be abandoned, says Daniel J. Conley.

    • Daniel J. Conley