The ocean is big enough to contain the biggest marine creatures but also the smallest ones. Marine microbiology specialises in studying those microorganisms. Though they may be difficult to see with the naked eye, they exist in large amounts.
The small creatures are also known as microbes which include bacteria, virus, algae and many more. The following 17 Importance of Marine Microbiology will make you realise the big impact of these microbes. Learn their effects on the ocean and human lives.
1. Biogeochemical Cycles
The biogeochemical cycle is the recycling of materials in the ocean. For instance, the cyanobacteria degrades certain ocean elements such as the nitrogen. The cyanobacteria receive the nitrogen from its surrounding and change it into amino acids. Marine microbiologists can study this cycle and its impact throughout the years.
2. Research More Species
Although there have been a lot of microbes discovered in the oceans, there are still those that are unknown. Even those that are already recognised may still need to be further researched to fully understand their features. Marine microbiologists are needed with their knowledge so that more species can be classified.
3. Find Out the Roles of Microbes
Indeed, some microbes are still poorly understood in terms of their roles. Studies are always made so that more information can be gathered. All of that would not be possible without marine microbiology. A lot of insight is needed so that the microbiologists can at least have something that they can rely on for new discoveries.
Also read: Importance of Microbes in the Ocean
4. Environmental Control Companies
Marine microbiology is important for the environmental control companies. Microbiologists are always needed to check on the condition of the ocean. This especially happens during a disaster such as a major oil spill. They are crucial in looking at how microbes are doing around the polluted water.
Read more: How to Treat Oil Spills in the Ocean
5. Petroleum Industries
Other than for environmental control companies, marine microbiology is also crucial in the petroleum industries. The field will need knowledge on the oil reservoir located underneath the oceans. Here, marine microbiologists will carry out research and give them the information that they need. Microbes living near the reservoir are also significant to study as they can determine the condition of the oil.
6. Knowing the Right Habitat for Microbes
It’s important to know how microbes survive in the ocean. By knowing how they adapt, what pressure crushes them and what temperature is suitable for them, we are able to know more about their features. Also, information on their evolution can also be uncovered.
7. Main Composition of Food Web
Microbes in the marine microbiology are the basic of the food web. They serve as the main producers in the marine ecosystem. Some of them are algae, flagellates, virus and bacteria. Knowing that they are a part of the main compositions of the food web will give the microbiologists better understanding of the interactions between the species.
8. Maintain Ocean Water Quality
More and more sewage waters enter the ocean. They carry harmful and toxic elements that can damage nearby microbes. Marine microbiology can help in maintaining a healthy ocean water quality. Preventions of the pollution can be done and recoveries can be made for the microbes.
9. Rock Alteration
Oceanic rocks alter from time to time. They affect the cycle that happens within the ocean. They include the biogeochemical cycle and the carbon cycle. Microbes play a role in altering the oceanic rocks. Continuous research through marine microbiology is still carried out to further understand just how much they control the alteration.
10. Learn Past Ocean Conditions
Learning past ocean conditions can be the key in understanding the whole formation of the earth. Through microbes, scientists can see how much the ocean has changed. There are also shells and some zooplankton particles to help. By knowing the ever changing condition of the ocean, predictions on climate change can also be made.
11. Algal Blooms
Algal blooms are caused by small microbes in the ocean. There is one that is particularly dangerous called the Red Tides. The blooms are formed by dinoflagellate. They release biotoxin that is harmful to everything in the ocean water. Marine microbiology will help in understanding their impact to marine species and humans.
12. Marine Diseases
Marine microbiology is also useful for studying marine diseases. The history behind the diseases can be used for identification or creating the cure. There are so many diseases infecting various marine species and they keep increasing. The diseases are often caused by bacteria, virus or parasites.
Also know: Types of Ocean Parasites
13. Marine Snow
Marine snow are organic materials consisting of phytoplankton and zooplankton. The materials fall from the upper layer of the ocean to the deep waters. These microbes help to distribute nutrients into other parts of the ocean. Microbiology constantly use the marine snow to see how they are affecting the ocean environment.
14. Biomedical Science
This next importance of the marine microbiology affects the biomedical field. There are luminous bacteria in the ocean that often latch on to fish which makes it glow. The microbes are now used to detect early tumors in animals. They are also available to be used in studying the brain functions.
15. Studies How Virus Spread
Studies in the ways virus spread can help human lives and also treat marine species that are ill. With studying microbes, the cause of cholera can be traced back. It may form through polluted waters or spread by ocean currents. Knowing how virus outbreaks occur will help in preventing it happen too often.
16. Effects of Waste
Marine microbiology can also tell the effects of waste. In particular, the human waste that spread into the ocean through sewage. What harmful microbes are involved in the waste can tell what disease they will cause.
Read more: Effects of Radioactive Waste in Ocean
17. Formation of Sediments
The formation of ocean sediments are due to many materials. Clays, volcanic ash and meteors are some of them. Microbes are also involved. They help in understanding the feature of the sediments. Also, the kinds of changes they go through can be observed by marine microbiology.
Marine Microbiology is often overlooked and underrated. But, it is one of the fields in oceanic studies that make us realise the small things that give big influences on Earth.