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Latest Phytoplankton Stories

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2009-03-11 08:06:36

University of Hawaii at Manoa researchers involved in novel strategy Phytoplankton comprise the forests of the sea, and are responsible for providing nearly half of the oxygen that sustains life on Earth including our own. However, unlike their counterparts on land, the marine plants are nearly exclusively microscopic in size, and mostly out of human sight. Consequently, we are still in a very early stage of understanding even the most basic aspects of phytoplankton biology and ecology. In a...

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2009-03-10 09:44:29

Dust blown off the continents and deposited in the open ocean is an important source of nutrients for marine phytoplankton, the tiny algae that are the foundation of the ocean food web. But new findings show that some sources of dust also carry toxic elements that can kill marine phytoplankton. Researchers discovered the toxic effects during a study of how phytoplankton respond to atmospheric aerosols deposited in the northern Red Sea. The results will be published in the online early edition...

2009-02-02 11:07:30

Get ready to send the biology textbooks back to the printer. In a new paper published in Nature, Benjamin Van Mooy, a geochemist with the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI), and his colleagues report that microscopic plants growing in the Sargasso Sea have come up with a completely unexpected way of building their cells. Until now, it was thought that all cells are surrounded by membranes containing molecules called phospholipids "“ oily compounds that contain phosphorus,...

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2009-01-31 11:05:00

An experiment to study the effects of naturally deposited iron in the Southern Ocean has filled in a key piece of the puzzle surrounding iron's role in locking atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) in the ocean. The research, conducted by an international team led by Raymond Pollard of the National Oceanography Centre, Southampton, and included Matthew Charette, a marine chemist at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI), found that natural iron fertilization enhanced the export of carbon...

2008-12-18 15:48:24

Concern about increasing ocean acidification has often focused on its potential effects on coral reefs, but broader disruptions of biological processes in the oceans may be more significant, according to Donald Potts, a professor of ecology and evolutionary biology at the University of California, Santa Cruz, and an expert in coral reef ecology and marine biodiversity. Potts gave an invited talk on "Geobiological Responses to Ocean Acidification" at the Fall Meeting of the American...

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2008-12-15 16:21:57

MIT researchers have created a microbial ecosystem smaller than a stick of gum that sheds new light on the plankton-eat-plankton world at the bottom of the aquatic food chain. The work, reported in the January print issue of American Naturalist, may lead to better predictions of marine microbes' global-scale influence on climate. Through photosynthesis and uptake of carbon compounds, diverse planktonic marine microorganisms "” too small to be seen with the naked eye "” help...

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2008-12-15 13:00:00

The icy seas between Australia and Antarctica could become a money generator by engineering nature to soak up carbon dioxide and then selling carbon credits worth millions of dollars. But many scientists believe the concept of using nature to mop up mankind's excess CO2 to fight global warming is fraught with risk and uncertainty. An Australian research body suggests more research is needed before commercial ventures are allowed to fertilize oceans on a large scale and over many years to...

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2008-11-11 15:45:00

Researchers say they are now using satellite monitoring of marine environments for predicting cholera outbreaks. Cholera outbreaks follow seasonal increases in sea temperature, scientists said, and this could provide an early warning system for India and Bangladesh where cholera epidemics occur regularly. Tiny animals, which increase in number with sea temperature rise, bring the cholera pathogen into the drinking water supply. The satellites were able to pick up sea temperature changes in...

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2008-10-16 14:29:54

Diatoms, mighty microscopic algae, have profound influence on climate, producing 20 percent of the oxygen we breathe by capturing atmospheric carbon and in so doing, countering the greenhouse effect. Since their evolutionary origins these photosynthetic wonders have come to acquire advantageous genes from bacterial, animal and plant ancestors enabling them to thrive in today's oceans. These findings, based on the analysis of the latest sequenced diatom genome, Phaeodactylum tricornutum, are...

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2008-09-04 10:50:00

A team of scientists is studying the complex ocean upwelling process by mimicking nature "“ pumping cold, nutrient-rich water from deep within the Pacific Ocean and releasing it into surface waters near Hawaii that lack the nitrogen and phosphorous necessary to support high biological production. The researchers are harnessing the power of the ocean to conduct their experiments, using the up-and-down motion of waves to pump deep water to the surface. Their next step is to create a pump...


Latest Phytoplankton Reference Libraries

Chilean Sea Urchin, Loxechinus albus
2013-01-28 14:52:23

Image Caption: Chilean Sea Urchin, Loxechinus albus. Credit: Dentren/Wikipedia (CC BY-SA 3.0) The Chilean sea urchin (Loxechinus albus) is a species that can be found along the coastlines of Chile and Peru. It is typically found in shallow waters at or below the tide level, buried in sand or lying just on top of it. This species is often associated with Macrocystis pyrifera, a type of kelp. It is most often found in more open spaces. The Chilean sea urchin can reach an average width of...

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Word of the Day
Cthulhu
  • A gigantic fictional humanoid alien god being described with a head resembling an octopus and dragon wings and claws, around whom an insane cult developed.
  • Pertaining to the mythos of Cthulhu and additional otherworldly beings created by H. P. Lovecraft or inspired by his writings and imitators.
This word was invented in 1926 by H.P. Lovecraft for his short story, 'The Call of Cthulhu.' 'Cthulhu' may be based on the word 'chthonic,' which in Greek mythology refers to the underworld.
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