Viruses fill the ocean and have a significant effect on ocean biology, specifically marine microbiology, according to a professor of biology at UC Santa Barbara and his collaborators.
Craig A. Carlson, professor with UCSB's Department of Ecology, Evolution, and Marine Biology, is the senior author of a study of marine viruses published this week by the International Society for Microbial Ecology Journal, of the Nature Publishing Group.
The new findings, resulting from a decade of research, reveal striking recurring patterns of marine virioplankton dynamics in the open sea, which have implications regarding our understanding of cycling of nutrients in the world's oceans.
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"Ocean time-series reveals recurring seasonal patterns of virioplankton dynamics in the northwestern Sargasso Sea" (http://www.nature.com/ismej/journal/vaop/ncurrent/full/ismej2011101a.html)