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Bioturbation refers to the biological reworking of soils and sediments, and its importance for soil processes and geomorphology was first realised by Charles Darwin, who devoted his last scientific book to the subject. Here, we review some new insights into the evolutionary and ecological role of bioturbation that would have probably amazed Darwin. In(More)
Whereas the non-heterocystous cyanobacteria Trichodesmium spp. are the dominant N2-fixing organisms in the tropical oceans, heterocystous species dominate N2 fixation in freshwater lakes and brackish environments such as the Baltic Sea. So far no satisfactory explanation for the absence of heterocystous cyanobacteria in the pelagic of the tropical oceans(More)
Because ecosystems fit so nicely the framework of a "dissipative system", a better integration of thermodynamic and ecological perspectives could benefit the quantitative analysis of ecosystems. One obstacle is that traditional food web models are solely based upon the principles of mass and energy conservation, while the theory of non-equilibrium(More)
The physical mechanism that drives bioirrigation is strongly dependent on the permeability of the sediment. We advance two mechanisms, each described by a corresponding microenvironment model. In muds, burrow water cannot penetrate the sediment, so bioirrigation is intrinsically driven by diffusional transfer across the burrow wall. This ''diffusive'' mode(More)
Globally, the methane (CH4) efflux from the ocean to the atmosphere is small, despite high rates of CH4 production in continental shelf and slope environments. This low efflux results from the biological removal of CH4 through anaerobic oxidation with sulfate in marine sediments. In some settings, however, pore water CH4 is found throughout the(More)
Recently, a novel mode of sulphur oxidation was described in marine sediments, in which sulphide oxidation in deeper anoxic layers was electrically coupled to oxygen reduction at the sediment surface. Subsequent experimental evidence identified that long filamentous bacteria belonging to the family Desulfobulbaceae likely mediated the electron transport(More)
Recently, a novel electrogenic type of sulphur oxidation was documented in marine sediments, whereby filamentous cable bacteria (Desulfobulbaceae) are mediating electron transport over cm-scale distances. These cable bacteria are capable of developing an extensive network within days, implying a highly efficient carbon acquisition strategy. Presently, the(More)
Phosphorus is an essential nutrient for life. The release of phosphorus from sediments is critical in sustaining phytoplankton growth in many aquatic systems and is pivotal to eutrophication and the development of bottom water hypoxia. Conventionally, sediment phosphorus release is thought to be controlled by changes in iron oxide reduction driven by(More)