Marine algae conduct about half of the global carbon dioxide fixation, impacting organic net primary production. The role of bacteria in this process is as yet only poorly understood but of interest to a broad scientific community. The COGITO (Coastal Microbe Genomic & Taxonomic Observatory) project is an integrative marine microbiology ecosystems study that is expected to help fill in these gaps of knowledge by determining statistical meaningful correlations, for example between algal and bacterial species or between bacteria and dedicated classes of carbon compounds through long-term research on coastal bacterial communities of the North Sea. The project’s major scientific goal of COGITO is to learn more about the bacterial part of carbon turnover in the coastal North Sea and how this impacts the ecosystem’s productivity. Long-term observation will lay the foundation to obtain data that ultimately are expected to be of great value for ecosystem management of coastal areas.
PI: Hanno Teeling, Max-Planck Institute, Bremen, Germany