Author(s): Karl DM
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Abstract Phosphorus (P) is a required element for life. Its various chemical forms are found throughout the lithosphere and hydrosphere, where they are acted on by numerous abiotic and biotic processes collectively referred to as the P cycle. In the sea, microorganisms are primarily responsible for P assimilation and remineralization, including recently discovered P reduction-oxidation bioenergetic processes that add new complexity to the marine microbial P cycle. Human-induced enhancement of the global P cycle via mining of phosphate-bearing rock will likely influence the pace of P-cycle dynamics, especially in coastal marine habitats. The inextricable link between the P cycle and cycles of other bioelements predicts future impacts on, for example, nitrogen fixation and carbon dioxide sequestration. Additional laboratory and field research is required to build a comprehensive understanding of the marine microbial P cycle.
This article was published in Ann Rev Mar Sci
and referenced in Biochemistry & Physiology: Open Access