Studying marine microorganisms from space
Keywords:marine microorganisms, chlorophylls, dimethyl sulfide, remote sensing, primary production
AbstractMicroorganisms are but a few micrometers in diameter and are not visible to the naked eye. Yet, the large numbers of microorganisms present in the oceans and the global impact of their activities make it possible to observe them from space. Here a few examples of how microorganisms can be studied from satellites are presented. The first case is the best known: the main pigment used in photosynthesis (chlorophyll a) can be determined from satellites. These kinds of studies have contributed a tremendous amount of understanding about the distribution and dynamics of primary production in the oceans. Two other examples will concern analysis of heterotrophic prokaryotic production and estimates of dimethyl sulfide (DMS) concentration and flux to the atmosphere. These three processes are of fundamental importance for the functioning of the biosphere. Marine microbes carry out about half of the total primary production in the planet. A substantial fraction of the respiration in the oceans is due to the activity of heterotrophic prokaryotes. Finally, the flux of DMS to the atmosphere is believed to constitute one of the mechanisms by which the biota can regulate climate. The global implications of microbial processes in the oceans can only be addressed with the help of satellites.
LicenseSubmission of a manuscript to International Microbiology implies: that the work described has not been published before, including publication in the World Wide Web (except in the form of an Abstract or as part of a published lecture, review, or thesis); that it is not under consideration for publication elsewhere; that all the coauthors have agreed to its publication. The corresponding author signs for and accepts responsability for releasing this material and will act on behalf of any and all coauthors regarding the editorial review and publication process.
If an article is accepted for publication in International Microbiology, the authors (or other copyright holder) must transfer to the journal the right–not exclusive–to reproduce and distribute the article including reprints, translations, photographic reproductions, microform, electronic form (offline, online) or any other reproductions of similar nature. Nevertheless, all article in International Microbiology will be available on the Internet to any reader at no cost. The journal allows users to freely download, copy, print, distribute, search, and link to the full text of any article, provided the authorship and source of the published article is cited. The copyright owner's consent does not include copying for new works, or resale. In these cases, the specific written permission of International Microbiology must first be obtained.
Authors are requested to create a link to the published article on the journal's website. The link must be accompanied by the following text: "The original publication is available on LINK at <http://www.im.microbios.org>. Please use the appropiate URL for the article in LINK. Articles disseminated via LINK are indexed, abstracted, and referenced by many abstracting and information services, bibliographic networks, subscription agencies, library networks, and consortia.