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  • 1
    Publication Date: 2016-11-23
    Description: The Eurasian basin of the Central Arctic Ocean is nitrogen limited, but little is known about the presence and role of nitrogen-fixing bacteria. Recent studies have indicated the occurrence of diazotrophs in Arctic coastal waters potentially of riverine origin. Here, we investigated the presence of diazotrophs in ice and surface waters of the Central Arctic Ocean in the summer of 2012. We identified diverse communities of putative diazotrophs through targeted analysis of the nifH gene, which encodes the iron protein of the nitrogenase enzyme. We amplified 529 nifH sequences from 26 samples of Arctic melt ponds, sea ice and surface waters. These sequences resolved into 43 clusters at 92% amino acid sequence identity, most of which were non-cyanobacterial phylotypes from sea ice and water samples. One cyanobacterial phylotype related to Nodularia sp. was retrieved from sea ice, suggesting that this important functional group is rare in the Central Arctic Ocean. The diazotrophic community in sea-ice environments appear distinct from other cold-adapted diazotrophic communities, such as those present in the coastal Canadian Arctic, the Arctic tundra and glacial Antarctic lakes. Molecular fingerprinting of nifH and the intergenic spacer region of the rRNA operon revealed differences between the communities from river-influenced Laptev Sea waters and those from ice-related environments pointing towards a marine origin for sea-ice diazotrophs. Our results provide the first record of diazotrophs in the Central Arctic and suggest that microbial nitrogen fixation may occur north of 77ºN. To assess the significance of nitrogen fixation for the nitrogen budget of the Arctic Ocean and to identify the active nitrogen fixers, further biogeochemical and molecular biological studies are needed.
    Repository Name: EPIC Alfred Wegener Institut
    Type: Article , NonPeerReviewed , info:eu-repo/semantics/article
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  • 2
    Publication Date: 2019-03-08
    Description: The first Ocean Sampling Day (OSD) took place on June 21, 2014. In a coordinated effort, an internationally distributed group of scientists collected samples from marine surface waters in order to study microbial diversity on a single day with global granularity. Concurrently, citizen scientists enriched the OSD initiative through the MyOSD project, providing additional oceanographic measurements crucial to the contextualization of microbial diversity. Clear protocols, a user-friendly smartphone application, and an online web-form guided citizens in accurate data acquisition, promoting quality submissions to the project’s information system. To evaluate the coverage and quality of MyOSD data submissions, we compared the sea surface temperature measurements acquired through OSD, MyOSD, and automatic in situ systems and satellite measurements. Our results show that the quality of citizen-science measurements was comparable to that of scientific measurements. As 79% of MyOSD measurements were conducted in geographic areas not covered by automatic in situ or satellite measurement, citizen scientists contributed significantly to worldwide oceanographic data gathering. Furthermore, survey results indicate that participation in MyOSD made citizens feel more engaged in ocean issues and may have increased their environmental awareness and ocean literacy.
    Repository Name: EPIC Alfred Wegener Institut
    Type: Article , NonPeerReviewed , info:eu-repo/semantics/article
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  • 3
    Publication Date: 2017-01-30
    Description: The application of multivariate statistical analyses has become a consistent feature in microbial ecology. However, many microbial ecologists are still in the process of developing a deep understanding of these methods and appreciating their limitations. As a consequence, staying abreast of progress and debate in this arena poses an additional challenge to many microbial ecologists. To address these issues, we present the GUide to STatistical Analysis in Microbial Ecology (GUSTA ME): a dynamic, web-based resource providing accessible descriptions of numerous multivariate techniques relevant to microbial ecologists. A combination of interactive elements allows users to discover and navigate between methods relevant to their needs and examine how they have been used by others in the field. We have designed GUSTA ME to become a community-led and -curated service, which we hope will provide a common reference and forum to discuss and disseminate analytical techniques relevant to the microbial ecology community.
    Repository Name: EPIC Alfred Wegener Institut
    Type: Article , NonPeerReviewed , info:eu-repo/semantics/article
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  • 4
    Publication Date: 2017-10-26
    Description: Marine bacteria colonizing deep-sea sediments beneath the Arctic ocean, a rapidly changing ecosystem, have been shown to exhibit significant biogeographic patterns along transects spanning tens of kilometers and across water depths of several thousand meters (Jacob et al., 2013). Jacob et al. (2013) adopted what has become a classical view of microbial diversity – based on operational taxonomic units clustered at the 97% sequence identity level of the 16S rRNA gene – and observed a very large microbial community replacement at the HAUSGARTEN Long Term Ecological Research station (Eastern Fram Strait). Here, we revisited these data using the oligotyping approach and aimed to obtain new insight into ecological and biogeographic patterns associated with bacterial microdiversity in marine sediments. We also assessed the level of concordance of these insights with previously obtained results. Variation in oligotype dispersal range, relative abundance, co-occurrence, and taxonomic identity were related to environmental parameters such as water depth, biomass, and sedimentary pigment concentration. This study assesses ecological implications of the new microdiversity-based technique using a well-characterized dataset of high relevance for global change biology.
    Repository Name: EPIC Alfred Wegener Institut
    Type: Article , NonPeerReviewed , info:eu-repo/semantics/article
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  • 5
    Publication Date: 2017-01-30
    Description: In order to preserve the variety of life on Earth, we must understand it better. Biodiversity research is at a pivotal point with research projects generating data at an ever increasing rate. Structuring, aggregating, linking and processing these data in a meaningful way is a major challenge. The systematic application of information management and engineering technologies in the study of biodiversity (biodiversity informatics) help transform data to knowledge. However, concerted action is required to be taken by existing e-infrastructures to develop and adopt common standards, provisions for interoperability and avoid overlapping in functionality. This would result in the unification of the currently fragmented landscape that restricts European biodiversity research from reaching its full potential. The overarching goal of this COST Action is to coordinate existing research and capacity building efforts, through a bottom-up trans-disciplinary approach, by unifying biodiversity informatics communities across Europe in order to support the long-term vision of modelling biodiversity on earth. BioUnify will: 1. specify technical requirements, evaluate and improve models for efficient data and workflow storage, sharing and re-use, within and between different biodiversity communities; 2. mobilise taxonomic, ecological, genomic and biomonitoring data generated and curated by natural history collections, research networks and remote sensing sources in Europe; 3. leverage results of ongoing biodiversity informatics projects by identifying and developing functional synergies on individual, group and project level; 4. raise technical awareness and transfer skills between biodiversity researchers and information technologists; 5. formulate a viable roadmap for achieving the long-term goals for European biodiversity informatics, which ensures alignment with global activities and translates into efficient biodiversity policy.
    Repository Name: EPIC Alfred Wegener Institut
    Type: Article , NonPeerReviewed
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  • 6
    Publication Date: 2017-01-30
    Description: The study of biodiversity spans many disciplines and includes data pertaining to species distributions and abundances, genetic sequences, trait measurements, and ecological niches, complemented by information on collection and measurement protocols. A review of the current landscape of metadata standards and ontologies in biodiversity science suggests that existing standards such as the Darwin Core terminology are inadequate for describing biodiversity data in a semantically meaningful and computationally useful way. Existing ontologies, such as the Gene Ontology and others in the Open Biological and Biomedical Ontologies (OBO) Foundry library, provide a semantic structure but lack many of the necessary terms to describe biodiversity data in all its dimensions. In this paper, we describe the motivation for and ongoing development of a new Biological Collections Ontology, the Environment Ontology, and the Population and Community Ontology. These ontologies share the aim of improving data aggregation and integration across the biodiversity domain and can be used to describe physical samples and sampling processes (for example, collection, extraction, and preservation techniques), as well as biodiversity observations that involve no physical sampling. Together they encompass studies of: 1) individual organisms, including voucher specimens from ecological studies and museum specimens, 2) bulk or environmental samples (e.g., gut contents, soil, water) that include DNA, other molecules, and potentially many organisms, especially microbes, and 3) survey-based ecological observations. We discuss how these ontologies can be applied to biodiversity use cases that span genetic, organismal, and ecosystem levels of organization. We argue that if adopted as a standard and rigorously applied and enriched by the biodiversity community, these ontologies would significantly reduce barriers to data discovery, integration, and exchange among biodiversity resources and researchers.
    Repository Name: EPIC Alfred Wegener Institut
    Type: Article , NonPeerReviewed , info:eu-repo/semantics/article
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  • 7
    Publication Date: 2019-07-16
    Repository Name: EPIC Alfred Wegener Institut
    Type: Conference , NonPeerReviewed
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  • 8
    Publication Date: 2019-10-02
    Description: Presented at OceanObs’19, Honolulu, HI, September 16-20, 2019
    Description: The FAIR principles (Findability, Accessibility, Interoperability, Re-usability) have pervaded discussions on data across disciplines and sectors.While data Findability and Accessibility has greatly improved, considerable difficulties in scalable interoperation remain. Without significant progress, the rapidly growing stores of ocean data risk being siloed for many years to come. A key aspect of Interoperability is "semantic": using knowledge representation (KR) to translate human understanding into machine-readable form. Quality KR allows machines to "understand" what any information artifact is about and relate it to similar artifacts, enabling discovery and enhancing reuse. KR products are usually expressed as vocabularies, glossaries, thesauri, or ontologies (collectively, terminologies), each with its own costs and benefits. Ironically, most marine terminologies are, themselves, not truly interoperable. This is an unfortunate but inevitable outcome of localised and transient funding, and the lack of sustained global infrastructures.Nonetheless, voluntary consortia are addressing this issue with urgency to realise the promise of KR in ocean observation. Here, we present 1) the alignment of well-adopted marine terminologies, 2) a collective strategy for sustained interoperability, and 3) a use case featuring the IOC-UNESCO Ocean Best Practice System. Initialised by the Biological and Chemical Oceanography Data Management Office, we are interlinking terminologies from the Natural Environment Research Council's Vocabulary Server, the Open Biological and Biomedical Ontologies Foundry, and the Earth Science Information Partners. To serve the UNESCO Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development, this effort includes ontologies which represent both the Essential Ocean Variables and the UN Sustainable Development Goals. Finally, we provide perspectives on what measures are needed to meet the interoperability challenge at scale over the next decade.
    Description: NSF #1435578, #1924618
    Keywords: Semantics ; Linked Data ; Ontologies ; Vocabularies ; Thesaurii ; Datasets ; Parameters
    Repository Name: Woods Hole Open Access Server
    Type: Presentation
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  • 9
    Publication Date: 2018-01-09
    Description: © The Author(s), 2017. This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License. The definitive version was published in The ISME Journal 12 (2018): 237–252, doi:10.1038/ismej.2017.165.
    Description: Temperate coastal marine environments are replete with complex biotic and abiotic interactions that are amplified during spring and summer phytoplankton blooms. During these events, heterotrophic bacterioplankton respond to successional releases of dissolved organic matter as algal cells are lysed. Annual seasonal shifts in the community composition of free-living bacterioplankton follow broadly predictable patterns, but whether similar communities respond each year to bloom disturbance events remains unknown owing to a lack of data sets, employing high-frequency sampling over multiple years. We capture the fine-scale microdiversity of these events with weekly sampling using a high-resolution method to discriminate 16S ribosomal RNA gene amplicons that are 〉99% identical. Furthermore, we used 2 complete years of data to facilitate identification of recurrent sub-networks of co-varying microbes. We demonstrate that despite inter-annual variation in phytoplankton blooms and despite the dynamism of a coastal–oceanic transition zone, patterns of microdiversity are recurrent during both bloom and non-bloom conditions. Sub-networks of co-occurring microbes identified reveal that correlation structures between community members appear quite stable in a seasonally driven response to oligotrophic and eutrophic conditions.
    Description: PLB is supported by the European Research Council Advanced Investigator grant ABYSS 294757 to Antje Boetius. AF-G is supported by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation program (Blue Growth: Unlocking the potential of Seas and Oceans) under grant agreement no. (634486) (project acronym INMARE). This study was funded by the Max Planck Society. Further support by the Department of Energy Joint Genome Institute (CSP COGITO) and DFG (FOR2406) is acknowledged by HT (TE 813/2-1) and RA (Am 73/9-1).
    Repository Name: Woods Hole Open Access Server
    Type: Article
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  • 10
    Publication Date: 2017-01-05
    Description: Author Posting. © The Author(s), 2011. This is the author's version of the work. It is posted here by permission of Nature Publishing Group for personal use, not for redistribution. The definitive version was published in Nature Biotechnology 29 (2011): 415-420, doi:10.1038/nbt.1823.
    Description: Here we present a standard developed by the Genomic Standards Consortium (GSC) to describe marker gene sequences—the minimum information about a marker gene sequence (MIMARKS). We also introduce a system for describing the environment from which a biological sample originates. The “environmental packages” apply to any sequence whose origin is known and can therefore be used in combination with MIMARKS or other GSC checklists. Finally, to establish a unified standard for describing sequence data and to provide a single point of entry for the scientific community to access and learn about GSC checklists, we establish the minimum information about any (x) sequence (MIxS). Adoption of MIxS will enhance our ability to analyze natural genetic diversity across the Tree of Life as it is currently being documented by massive DNA sequencing efforts from myriad ecosystems in our ever-changing biosphere.
    Description: See Supplementary Note
    Repository Name: Woods Hole Open Access Server
    Type: Preprint
    Format: application/pdf
    Format: application/vnd.ms-excel
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