The low latitude nitrogen fixation project focuses on the distributions and physiology of nitrogen fixing organisms (diazotrophs) in the (sub-)tropical Atlantic Ocean.
Diazotrophs fix dinitrogen (N2) in oligotrophic ocean regions, where we assume their growth is controlled by iron and phosphorus availability. North of the equator in the Atlantic Ocean, Saharan dust supplies iron, as well as some nitrogen and phosphorus, to the surface ocean, which helps to support diazotrophic growth. Other inputs of these nutrients, such as mixing, may also play a role in facilitating diazotroph growth in this region.
We aim to assess the affects this observed environmental gradients has on the protein composition of Trichodesmium spp. relative to its elemental composition.
We are also interested in the fate of diazotrophs in this region and have collected sinking particles to assess the role diazotrophs play in the biogeochemistry of deeper waters.
Low Latitude Nitrogen Fixation