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Latest Coccolith Stories

2011-10-14 09:15:53

The tiny phytoplankton Emiliania huxleyi, invisible to the naked eye, plays an outsized role in drawing carbon from the atmosphere and sequestering it deep in the seas. But this role may change as ocean water becomes warmer and more acidic, according to a San Francisco State University research team. In a study published this week in the journal Global Change Biology, SF State Assistant Professor of Biology Jonathon Stillman and colleagues show how climate-driven changes in nitrogen...

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2011-07-22 12:12:55

Sediments buried beneath the Black Sea contain ancient virus and host DNA A scientist analyzing ancient plankton DNA signatures in sediments of the Black Sea has found that the same genetic populations of a virus and its algal host can persist--and coexist--for centuries. The findings have implications for the ecological significance of viruses in shaping ecosystems in the ocean, and perhaps in fresh water. "The finding that the DNA of viruses and their algal hosts can be preserved in the...

2011-06-22 22:19:56

The world's oceans support vast populations of single-celled organisms (phytoplankton) that are responsible, through photosynthesis, for removing about half of the carbon dioxide that is produced by burning fossil fuels "“ as much as the rainforests and all other terrestrial systems combined. One group of phytoplankton, known as the coccolithophores, are known for their remarkable ability to build chalk (calcium carbonate) scales inside their cells, which are secreted to form a...

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2011-06-08 05:30:00

Geologists at MIT and Harvard have discovered fossils along the Alaska-Canada border that reveal protective plates for microscopic organisms.  Phoebe Cohen, a postdoc in MIT's Department of Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences, and Francis Macdonald, an assistant professor of geology at Harvard University, spent two weeks chiseling out rock samples during the summer of 2007 in a remote mountain range in the Yukon. They brought the rocks back to Cambridge and made a surprising...

2011-05-10 16:02:52

The acidification of the world's oceans could have major consequences for the marine environment. New research shows that coccoliths, which are an important part of the marine environment, dissolve when seawater acidifies. Associate Professor Tue Hassenkam and colleagues at the Nano-Science Center, University of Copenhagen, are the first to have measured how individual coccoliths react to water with different degrees of acidity. Coccoliths are very small shells of calcium carbonate that...

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2010-10-22 08:11:03

A study led by Dr Stuart Painter of the National Oceanography Centre helps explain the formation of huge phytoplankton blooms off the southeast coast of South America during the austral summer (December-January). The region supports the highly productive Patagonian Shelf marine ecosystem, which includes a globally important fishery. Coccolithophores are key members of the marine phytoplankton community. They are abundant in the sunlit upper layer of the world's oceans, often forming vast...

2010-07-01 14:01:58

Lack of sufficient iron may be a significant factor in controlling massive blooms of Emiliania huxleyi, a globally important species of marine algae or phytoplankton, according to research led by researchers at the National Oceanography Centre (NOC) in Southampton. Emiliania huxleyi is a species of coccolithophore found in oceans all around the world, from the tropics to the Arctic Ocean. Coccolithophore blooms often develop during the summer when a blanket of water called the thermocline...

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2010-02-12 09:27:15

Evidence from the Challenger Deep "“ the deepest surveyed point in the world's oceans "“ suggests that tiny single-celled creatures called foraminifera living at extreme depths of more than ten kilometers build their homes using material that sinks down from near the ocean surface. The Challenger Deep is located in the Mariana Trench in the western Pacific Ocean. It lies in the hadal zone beyond the abyssal zone, and plunges down to a water depth of around 11 kilometers. "The...

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2009-01-07 08:30:11

An international group of scientists is linking nutrient pollution in the world's coastal seas to an increase in the number of harmful algal blooms reported in recent years. When harmful algal blooms (HAB's) occur, they taint seafood with toxins, cause human respiratory and skin irritations and cause fish or mammal kills in coastal waters. In the December edition of the journal Harmful Algae, scientists present a compilation of 21 articles outlining the role of nutrient pollution in the...


Word of the Day
bellycheer
  • Good cheer; viands.
  • To revel; to feast.
The word 'bellycheer' may come from 'belle cheer', "good cheer".
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