Saharan dust and Mediterranean ecosystems - the phosphorous story
What is it about?
Acid processes in the atmosphere, particularly those caused by man made acid gases, increase the amount of phosphorous that is available for organisms to take in. Because of this process we predict an increase to the population of microbes when Saharan dust is supplied to oceanic surface waters. This is likely to be particularly important in the Eastern Mediterranean Sea, which has very low phosphorus during winter and low phosphorus and nitrogen in the summer.
Why is it important?
The study found that the effect of man made acid processes on Saharan dust in the atmosphere increases the amount of phosphorous available for organisms . However, it may also add toxic trace metals such as Al, which moderates the fertilizing effect of the added nutrients.
The following have contributed to this page: Anthony Stockdale