Continental microbes helped seed ancient seas with nitrogen

(Arizona State University) ASU researcher Ferran Garcia-Pichel, along with Christophe Thomazo, from the Laboratoire Biogéosciences in Dijon, France, and Estelle Couradeau, a former Marie Curie postdoc in both labs, show that biological soil crusts — colonies of microorganisms that today colonize arid, desert environments — may have played a significant role in the Earth's nitrogen cycle, helping to fertilize early oceans and create a nutrient link between atmosphere, continents and oceans.

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