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Nitrosococcus Oceani and Nitrosopumilus Maritimus

1. What chemicals do Nitrosococcus oceani and Nitrosopumilus maritimus consume from their ocean environment? How does the abundance of these chemicals influence their success and abundance? What is the relationship between nutrient availability and natural selection, in general?
2. What chemical byproducts do each contribute? (Be sure to cite the references above!) How does this relate to the "Greenhouse Effect?"
3. If one group is selected for due to their ability to withstand an abundance of crude oil, what chemical offsets to the environment are possible? How will this affect other organisms in this community? Provide specific examples with references to support your ideas.
4. In this Case Assignment you will learn about the ecosystems that make up the regions impacted by the Deepwater Horizon Spill. Using resources from the NOAA and your own independent research, that summarizes the characteristics of each ecosystem including organisms commonly found there, potential threats based on their relative location to the spill, and the economic impact of damages in these communities.

Begin your research using diagrams in the report, Natural Resource Damage Assessment for the Deepwater BP Oil Spill presented on the NOAA website:

In your report,


An introduction of the characteristics of the ecosytem community:
Marine Wetlands
Shoreline and Beaches
Nearshore benthos
Photic zone
Deep benthos
The level of the threat posed by the oil spill
The affected species
The type of surveys conducted to gather the data
The economic and environmental cost associated with the damage


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Natural Selection and Ecology
1. What chemicals do Nitrosococcus oceani and Nitrosopumilus maritimus consume from their ocean environment?
They consume hydrocarbons, nitrogen and phosphorus which are incorporated into the cellular biomass and stimulate hydrocarbon metabolism (Prince, 1997; McKew et al 2007a; Calvo et al., 2009)
They also consume sulphur and potassium which are limiting factors for oil spill Evans 2004)

1.1. Nitrosococcus oceani is a marine, gram-negative, chemolithoautotrophic, ammonia-oxidizing bacterium (AOB)
1.1.1. Its main source of energy is from oxidizing ammonia
1.1.2. In return the cells release nitrogen and nitrogen oxide
1.1.3. The first nitrifying bacteria isolated from open ocean water by Watson in 1962
1.1.4. N. oceani has both nitrification and denitrification activities
1.1.5. It contributes significantly in denitrifying the toxic ammonium, a waste product of animals and plants, into nitrate releasing back into the atmosphere as a resource for plants to grow on
1.1.6. It also could denitrify NO3- back into N2 green gas.(Head 1993)
1.2. Nitrosopumilus maritimus(Loscher 2012)
1.2.1. Oxidizes ammonia to nitrite
1.2.2. Produces Nitrous oxide at low oxygen concentrations from Ammonia
1.2.3. Atmospheric nitrous oxide is a strong greenhouse gas (Forster et al., 2007)
1.2.4. Produces a major precursor of strato-spheric ozone depleting radicals
1.2.5. compete for ...

Solution Summary

This solution provides a guideline on the economic impact of oil spills, how these organisms provide a cost effective method for reducing that impact process.