OMZ Microbes - A SCOR working group

  • Stacks Image 319
  • Stacks Image 320
  • Stacks Image 321
Oxygen Minimum Zones (OMZs) are places in the global ocean where oxygen saturation is at its lowest. These oxygen starved waters are typically located between 200 and 1000 meters in the open ocean, but can also occur closer to the surface in enclosed basins or coastal systems with restricted circulation. OMZs directly influence marine ecosystem functions and services through changes in food web structure, biodiversity and biogeochemical cycling. Under oxygen starved conditions, energy is diverted away from higher trophic levels into microbial community metabolism. This results in significant environmental changes including fixed nitrogen loss, possible accumulation of hydrogen sulfide, and the production of climate active trace gases. With a changing climate, water columns become increasingly stratified, thus enhancing OMZ formation and expansion.


  • The OMZ working group met over 13-18 July 2014 in Vancouver and conducted a comparison of sampling protocols in Saanich Inlet.
  • The OMZ working group will meet again in late summer 2015 in Warnemünde, Germany.