Scientists have discovered a mindboggling deposit of sugar in an odd place: beneath seagrass meadows within the oceans of the world.
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According to researchers from the Max Planck Institute for Marine Microbiology, seagrass meadows conceal mountains of sugar. It’s like a Willy Wonka fantasy, with sufficient sugar to energy 32 billion cans of Coke, in line with Manuel Liebeke, a scientist on the institute. “To put this into perspective: we estimate that worldwide there are between 0.6 and 1.3 million tons of sugar, primarily within the kind of sucrose,” mentioned Liebeke in a press launch.
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What’s with all this underwater sugar? “Seagrasses professionalduce sugar during photosynthesis,” mentioned Nicole Dubilier, director on the Max Planck Institute. “Under average mild conditions, these vegetation use most of the sugars they professionalduce for their very own metabolism and development. But under excessive mild conditions, for example at midday or during the summer, the vegetation professionalduce extra sugar than they’ll use or retailer. Then they release the excess sucrose into their rhizosphere. Think of it as an overstream valve.”
Bacteria residing beneath the roots of seagrass devour sugar, which provides them with the vitality to supply nitrogen and different vitamins to fertilize seagrass meadows. However, the seagrass releases phenolic compounds which forestall the micro organism from digesting the sugar. And that’s fortunate for us, as a result of researchers decided that if the micro organism have been to eat all this saved sugar, we’d be dealing with a further 1.54 million tons of carbon dioxide launched into the ambiance. This is about the identical quantity that 330,000 gas-guzzling vehicles spew out in a 12 months.
So this implies we have to defend seagrass meadows, which are one of Earth’s most threatened habitat sorts. All of the world’s oceans are experiencing a speedy decline in seagrass, with annual losses as much as 7% in some locations. “We have no idea as a lot about seagrass as we do about land-based habitats,” mentioned Maggie Sogin, who led the Max Planck Institute’s research off the Italian island of Elba, the place a very excessive focus of sucrose was discovered. “Our examine contributes to our understanding of one of essentially the most critical coastal habitats on our planet, and excessivelights how important it’s to preserve these blue automotivebon ecosystems.”
Via The Weather Network, Max Planck Institute for Marine Microbiology
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