Microorganisms make up more than two-thirds of the biomass in the oceans. They remove significant amounts of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, and they form the basis of the ocean's food web. Yet we have little knowledge regarding who they are, how they work and how they interact with the world around them. As a member of the European network EMBRC , UMF contributes to this vital knowledge building via our participation in EMO-BON , the long-term omics observatory of marine biodiversity.
Text: Kristina Viklund
How we manage our oceans is crucial for humanity as a whole and for balancing the effects of climate change. It is not only a question of protecting the oceans, but also how humanity can use the oceans' resources sustainably. To make the right management decisions, we need to better understand the oceans, not least, the microorganisms that form the very basis of the oceans' ecosystems.
UMF conducts sampling for research and environmental monitoring. During winter the sampling is performed on the ice.
As part of the environmental monitoring and research carried out by UMF, we contribute directly to expanding our biodiversity knowledge base. With modern technology, including genomic approaches, our data forms an important part of the worldwide effort to characterize the microbial communities of the oceans which is being celebrated today on World Microbiome Day[NK1] .
UMF is a member of EMBRC, the European Marine Biological Resource Centre. EMBRC is a European infrastructure that offers scientists access to marine organisms and the equipment needed to study them. In particular, our contribution to EMBRC EMO-BON, the European Marine Omics Biodiversity Observation Network is helping generate a long-term omics observatory of marine biodiversity. Critically, the overall goal of EMBRC is to increase knowledge about marine life and to find ways to sustainably use the oceans' resources -- goals that are consistent with both the UN Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development and the Global Sustainable Development Goals.