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Viruses are the most abundant biological organisms of the world's oceans. Viral infections are a substantial source of mortality in a range of organisms-including autotrophic and heterotrophic plankton-but their impact on the deep ocean and benthic biosphere is completely unknown. Here we report that viral production in deep-sea benthic ecosystems worldwide(More)
Here, for the first time, we have carried out synoptic measurements of viral production and decay rates in continental-shelf and deep-sea sediments of the Mediterranean Sea to explore the viral balance. The net viral production and decay rates (1.1-61.2 and 0.6-13.5 x 10(7) viruses g(-1) h(-1), respectively) were significantly correlated, and were also(More)
Although the relationships between trophic conditions and viral dynamics have been widely explored in different pelagic environments, there have been few attempts at independent estimates of both viral production and decay. In this study, we investigated factors controlling the balance between viral production and decay along a trophic gradient in the north(More)
Two of the largest crude oil-polluted areas in the world are the semi-enclosed Mediterranean and Red Seas, but the effect of chronic pollution remains incompletely understood on a large scale. We compared the influence of environmental and geographical constraints and anthropogenic forces (hydrocarbon input) on bacterial communities in eight geographically(More)
Mediterranean Sea is facing a very high risk of oil pollution due to the high number of oil extractive and refining sites along the basin coasts, and the intense maritime traffic of oil tankers. All the Mediterranean countries have adopted severe regulations for minimizing pollution events and bioremediation feasibility studies for the most urgent polluted(More)
Viruses are the most abundant and dynamic biological entities in the world's ecosystems. Marine sediments, the largest biome in the world, have the potential to represent an optimal environment for viral development. To assess the viral effect on their hosts, and to understand the ecological role of the viruses in the benthic food webs and biogeochemical(More)
Biostimulation with different nitrogen sources is often regarded as a strategy of choice in combating oil spills in marine environments. Such environments are typically depleted in nitrogen, therefore limiting the balanced microbial utilization of carbon-rich petroleum constituents. It is fundamental, yet only scarcely accounted for, to analyze the(More)
Uric acid is a promising hydrophobic nitrogen source for biostimulation of microbial activities in oil-impacted marine environments. This study investigated metabolic processes and microbial community changes in a series of microcosms using sediment from the Mediterranean and the Red Sea amended with ammonium and uric acid. Respiration, emulsification,(More)
Coastal ecosystems are subjected to multiple stresses, from physical disturbance to chemical contamination related to the local anthropogenic activities. The recent European directives and Italian laws recommend that the assessment of the ecological quality of costal seawater should be based on an integrated approach, taking into account the ecological(More)
Petroleum pollution results in co-contamination by different classes of molecules, entailing the occurrence of marine sediments difficult to remediate, as in the case of the Ancona harbor (Mediterranean Sea, Italy). Autochthonous bioaugmentation (ABA), by exploiting the indigenous microbes of the environment to be treated, could represent a successful(More)