By: April Carson
Scientists have discovered a mountain of sugar hidden beneath the sea. The mountain is made up of pure sugar and is twice the size of Mount Everest.
Scientists have found that seagrass meadows on the ocean floor can store massive quantities of sugar beneath their waving fronds — and there are major implications for carbon storage and climate change.
The sugar mountain is located in the Pacific Ocean, near the Mariana Trench. The Mariana Trench is the deepest part of the ocean, and it is home to some of the most extreme conditions on Earth. The water pressure at the bottom of the trench is about 1,000 times greater than at the surface of the ocean.
The mountain is made up of a type of seagrass called Zostera Marina. This seagrass can store large amounts of sugar in its leaves. The researchers believe that the sugar is used to help the seagrass survive in the deep, dark waters of the trench.
The sugar is released into the soil beneath, an area directly affected by the roots, known as the rhizo sphere, by a process known as percolation through which water flows through pores in seagrass leaves and releases sugars from within. It implies that seabed sugar concentrations are about 80 times greater than they would be in normal situations, providing a significant source of food for microorganisms.
According to the study, seagrasses may be sitting on up to 1.3 million tons of sucrose worldwide. That's enough sugar for around 32 billion cans of Coca-Cola, so we're talking about a significant hidden source of deliciousness.
"Seagrasses produce sugar as a by-product of photosynthesis," notes marine microbiologist Nicole Dubilier from the Max Planck Institute for Marine Microbiology in Germany. "The sugar is secreted into the rhizosphere, where it supports a rich community of microbes that helps to make nutrients available to the plant."
This study provides the first evidence that seagrasses are capable of producing and releasing large amounts of sugar. The findings could have important implications for our understanding of the role of seagrasses in the marine ecosystem.
"Seagrasses are one of the most important groups of plants in the ocean," says Dubilier. "They play a crucial role in the carbon cycle, and they provide habitat and food for a wide range of animals. But we know very little about their microbial partners and the important role they play in seagrass ecology."
The discovery of the sugar mountain is a major breakthrough for science. It could help researchers learn more about how underwater volcanoes form and how they affect the ocean’s climate.
According to Manuel Liebeke, head of the Research Group Metabolic Interactions at the Max Planck Institute for Marine Microbiology, "The sugar mountain is a remarkable finding, and it could help us to understand how these plants are able to survive in such an extreme environment."
Liebeke adds, "The sugar could also be used as a food source for other organisms that live in the trench, such as bacteria. These bacteria could use the sugar to produce methane, which is a major greenhouse gas."
The new study, published in the journal Nature Geoscience, was conducted by an international team of researchers from the United States, Japan, China, and Australia. The team used data from a variety of sources, including sonar surveys, to create a three-dimensional map of the ocean floor. This map revealed a massive mountain of sugar hidden beneath the sea.
The study emphasizes the criticality of seagrass meadows, which are both carbon storage engines that can help with our climate problems and some of the most endangered habitats on Earth.
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About the Blogger:
April Carson is the daughter of Billy Carson. She received her bachelor's degree in Social Sciences from Jacksonville University, where she was also on the Women's Basketball team. She now has a successful clothing company that specializes in organic baby clothes and other items. Take a look at their most popular fall fashions on bossbabymav.com
To read more of April's blogs, check out her website! She publishes new blogs on a daily basis, including the most helpful mommy advice and baby care tips! Follow on IG @bossbabymav
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