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  1. Abstract. The trace metal iron (Fe) is an essential micronutrient that controls phytoplankton productivity, which subsequently affects organic matter cycling with feedback on the cycling of macronutrients. Along the continental margin of the US West Coast, high benthic Fe release has been documented, in particular from deep anoxic basins in the Southern California Borderland. However, the influence of this Fe release on surface primary production remains poorly understood. In the present study from the Santa Barbara Basin, in situ benthic Fe fluxes were determined along a transect from shallow to deep sites in the basin. Fluxes ranged between 0.23 and 4.9 mmol m−2 d−1, representing some of the highest benthic Fe fluxes reported to date. To investigate the influence of benthic Fe release from the oxygen-deficient deep basin on surface phytoplankton production, we combined benthic flux measurements with numerical simulations using the Regional Ocean Modeling System coupled to the Biogeochemical Elemental Cycling (ROMS-BEC) model. For this purpose, we updated the model Fe flux parameterization to include the new benthic flux measurements from the Santa Barbara Basin. Our simulations suggest that benthic Fe fluxes enhance surface primary production, supporting a positive feedback on benthic Fe release by decreasing oxygen in bottom waters. However, a reduction in phytoplankton Fe limitation by enhanced benthic fluxes near the coast may be partially compensated for by increased nitrogen limitation further offshore, limiting the efficacy of this positive feedback.

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    Free, publicly-accessible full text available February 14, 2025
  2. The Association for the Sciences of Limnology and Oceanography (ASLO) sponsors Eco-DAS, which is now in its 30th year. The program aims to unite aquatic scientists, develop diverse collaborations, and provide professional development training opportunities with guests from federal agencies, nonprofits, academia, tribal groups, and other workplaces (a previous iteration is summarized in Ghosh et al. 2022). Eco-DAS XV was one of the largest and most nationally diverse cohorts, including 37 early career aquatic scientists, 15 of whom were originally from 9 different countries outside the United States (Fig. 2). As the first cohort to meet in-person since the COVID-19 pandemic, Eco-DAS participants convened from 5 to 11 March 2023 to expand professional networks, create shared projects, and discuss areas of priority for the aquatic sciences. During the weeklong meeting, participants developed 46 proposal ideas, 16 of which will be further developed into projects and peer-reviewed manuscripts. 
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    Free, publicly-accessible full text available July 3, 2024
  3. null (Ed.)
  4. Abstract Background Cyanobacteria maintain extensive repertoires of regulatory genes that are vital for adaptation to environmental stress. Some cyanobacterial genomes have been noted to encode diversity-generating retroelements (DGRs), which promote protein hypervariation through localized retrohoming and codon rewriting in target genes. Past research has shown DGRs to mainly diversify proteins involved in cell-cell attachment or viral-host attachment within viral, bacterial, and archaeal lineages. However, these elements may be critical in driving variation for proteins involved in other core cellular processes. Results Members of 31 cyanobacterial genera encode at least one DGR, and together, their retroelements form a monophyletic clade of closely-related reverse transcriptases. This class of retroelements diversifies target proteins with unique domain architectures: modular ligand-binding domains often paired with a second domain that is linked to signal response or regulation. Comparative analysis indicates recent intragenomic duplication of DGR targets as paralogs, but also apparent intergenomic exchange of DGR components. The prevalence of DGRs and the paralogs of their targets is disproportionately high among colonial and filamentous strains of cyanobacteria. Conclusion We find that colonial and filamentous cyanobacteria have recruited DGRs to optimize a ligand-binding module for apparent function in signal response or regulation. These represent a unique class of hypervariable proteins, which might offer cyanobacteria a form of plasticity to adapt to environmental stress. This analysis supports the hypothesis that DGR-driven mutation modulates signaling and regulatory networks in cyanobacteria, suggestive of a new framework for the utility of localized genetic hypervariation. 
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