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HomeUncategorizedScientists discover that shipwrecks are changing life in the deep ocean

Scientists discover that shipwrecks are changing life in the deep ocean

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Many of the boats The wrecks are made of wood, a material that appears to be a breeding ground for deep-sea microbes.

A group of researchers recently published in the magazine Frontiers in Marine Science a study in which they assure that the millions of ships that have been shipwrecked for centuries and that lie at the bottom of the world’s oceans have a significant impact on the life of the microbes that live there.

These microorganisms are located at the bottom of the food chain, so changes in their delicate ecosystems could have a knock-on effect on the rest of marine life and, ultimately, on terrestrial life.

“Knowing and understanding microbial communities is important, because they provide early and clear evidence of how human activities change life in the ocean,” said Leila Hamdan, study co-author and molecular microbial ecologist from the University of Southern Mississippi (USA).

Many of the shipwrecks are made of wood, a material that appears to be a breeding ground for microbes from the deep sea.

To prove this theory, researchers chose two 19th-century shipwreck sites in the Gulf of Mexico and placed blocks of pine and oak around them up to 200 meters away.

After four months, the blocks were removed from the water and taken to the laboratory, where experts studied them for of bacteria, archaea and fungi.

The results of these analyzes showed that the microbial diversity varied depending on the proximity of the block to the wreck site, reaching a maximum in those that were about 125 meters away. On the other hand, it was also discovered that oak wood was more favorable for the development of marine microbial biodiversity than pine wood.

The presence of shipwrecks, in general, increased the microbial richness in the surrounding water and altered the composition and patterns of dispersal of microbe-containing biofilms.

“These biofilms are ultimately what allow harsh habitats to transform into islands of biodiversity,” he explained. Hamdan, who concluded that the study’s findings are sufficient to show that shipwrecks have a significant influence on underwater biodiversity, although the phenomenon still needs to be investigated in a wider range of sites.

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