Microbes for Disappearing Dunes

A major challenge our coastal ecosystems face is rapid loss of sand dunes due to coastal erosion. Plants play an important role in sand dune restoration. However, without the right microbes these plants may not be able to establish themselves in the dunes.

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How do kelp forests change water conditions and microbial communities?

In honor of World Algae Day which is celebrated on October 12th, we cover a recent study on charismatic kelp forest in the Pacific Northwest. A study led by Cathy Pfister at the University of Chicago shows that kelp forests can change water conditions by locally decreasing pH which can benefit organisms with shells. Furthermore, kelp forests increase the diversity of microbes, which may have previously overlooked consequences for nutrient cycling.

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