|Life in the lab, packed with our Iceland containers and samples!|
|Is it Anabaena or Anabaenopsis? Turns out the |
community is quite diverse,with a mix of these
cyanobacteria species and diatoms too!
|This is an image of Nostoc, one of the dominant |
nitrogen-fixers, captured from one of our samples.
Photo by P.C. Furey
We are also very excited by our developing work with Dr. Paula Furey, a long-time collaborator of mine and colleague in the Biology Department. Dr. Furey is an expert in algal identification and taxonomy and she is working to identify the incredible diversity of nitrogen-fixers in our Iceland samples that come into view under the microscope. The images she is capturing are truly amazing and remind us that the plant diversity we see when looking at a tropical forest or native prairie ecosystem is certainly matched by algal and microbial species at the micro-scale. It is neat to see the new images as they emerge each week in the lab and to think about these species in relation to the nitrogen fixation rates we have measured. Given the species diversity, we want to know which ones are primarily responsible for the high nitrogen fixation rates we have observed. Who is fixing all of that nitrogen?