About this Research Topic
Marine N2 fixation exerts a significant influence on oceanic productivity by controlling the size of the oceanic nitrogen (N) inventory. As new tools and techniques are being developed in the fields of microbiology, physiology and numerical modelling, and with an increasing coverage of field measurements, the understanding of this process is significantly moving forward. Knowledge of the existence of a wider variety of both N2 fixers and N2 fixation strategies is emerging.
The known spatial distribution and temporal dynamics of marine N2 fixers in the world ocean are, however, still enigmatic. A coherent understanding of how ecological interactions (eg. competition and grazing) and environmental factors (eg. nutrient supply ratios, light, temperature) affect the magnitude, distribution and fate of the newly fixed N is lacking. This hinders our ability to provide robust N2 fixation estimates on a global scale, and determine the N inventory balance, making future predictions a real challenge.
This timely, interdisciplinary effort shall bring together the expertise and ideas developed in various sub-disciplines, in order to provide a coherent, unifying framework on the functioning and role of marine N2 fixation. The objective of this Research Topic is to summarize and identify weaknesses and strengths in our current knowledge, discuss new findings, novel protocols and future directions of N2 fixation research. We welcome original research articles, methods papers, perspectives, opinions, and reviews that contribute to advance our knowledge on marine N2 fixation and its interactions with other biogeochemical cycles (C, P, Fe).
Keywords: Marine N2 fixation, N cycle, Marine Biogeochemistry
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