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Latest Planktology Stories

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2010-08-09 10:47:21

A new study co-authored by professor Kam Tang of the Virginia Institute of Marine Science reveals that tiny aquatic organisms known as "water fleas" play an important role in carrying hitchhiking bacteria to otherwise inaccessible lake and ocean habitats. The article, "Bacteria dispersal by hitchhiking on zooplankton," appeared in the June 29 issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. It was co-authored by scientists from the Leibniz-Institute of Freshwater Ecology and...

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2010-07-29 13:05:00

Research suggests that the amount of phytoplankton found in the top layers of the ocean has declined markedly over the last century. Scientists wrote in the journal Nature that the decline appears to be linked to rising water temperatures. The researchers looked at records of the transparency of sea water, which is affected by the plants.  The decline could be ecologically significant as plankton sit at the base of marine food chains. This is the first study that has attempted a...

2010-07-28 19:12:17

Striking global changes at the base of the marine food web linked to rising ocean temperatures A new article published in the 29 July issue of the international journal Nature reveals for the first time that microscopic marine algae known as "phytoplankton" have been declining globally over the 20th century. Phytoplankton forms the basis of the marine food chain and sustains diverse assemblages of species ranging from tiny zooplankton to large marine mammals, seabirds, and fish. Says lead...

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2010-07-22 08:36:28

During NASA's ICESCAPE voyage to the Arctic, scientists have been looking at the phytoplankton in the Arctic's Chukchi Sea -- how many, how big and at what depths they are found. But there are other ways of looking at these small life forms. "We measure phytoplankton in terms of their pigments and light absorption properties," said Stan Hooker of NASA's Ocean Biology and Biogeochemistry Calibration and Validation Office at Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md. Hooker, Joaquin Chaves and...

b4194efa94b10449d486f1c7f667f1b71
2010-07-20 12:20:00

A team of scientists has returned to the North Atlantic to gather more data on the Icelandic volcanic eruption that took place earlier this year. The researchers are studying whether iron within the vast volcanic ash cloud entered the ocean, causing an extended bloom of tiny organisms known as phytoplankton. The scientists have recorded "enhanced levels" of iron in samples they have collected. The most recent project follows an earlier cruise, which was carried out in the spring. The...

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2010-07-16 09:15:00

Microorganisms display a behavior characteristic of larger animals New research indicates that the interactions of microscopic organisms around a particular organic material may alter the chemical properties of the ocean and ultimately influence global climate by affecting cloud formation in the atmosphere. Justin Seymour, a research fellow at the University of Technology Sydney, is the lead author of a paper published in the July 16 issue of Science that describes how a relative of the...

466bb0b13d6be1f6012d2850b03c74b5
2010-07-08 07:41:19

Onboard the U.S. Coast Guard Healy, June 29 -- "I think there are quite a lot of particles in the water today." That's the analysis from Dariusz Stramski, a scientist onboard the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Healy for NASA's ICESCAPE mission in the Arctic's Chukchi Sea. The five-week mission, NASA's first oceanographic field campaign, is studying the physics, chemistry and biology of the ocean and ice within a changing Arctic. Stramski, from the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, stirred a flask...

2010-07-01 14:16:40

Adding nutrients to the sea could decrease viral infection rates among phytoplankton and enhance the efficiency of the biological pump, a means by which carbon is transferred from the atmosphere to the deep ocean, according to a new mathematical modelling study. The findings, published in the Journal of Theoretical Biology, have implications for ocean geo-engineering schemes proposed for tackling global warming. Tiny free-floating algae called phytoplankton dominate biological production in...

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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2010-06-24 13:44:55

Even in the dark abyss of the deep ocean animal communities can undergo rapid, widespread and radical changes. Scientists at the National Oceanography Centre are at the forefront of monitoring these changes and understanding the mechanisms responsible. Their latest research is published in a special issue of the journal Deep Sea Research II. We often think of the deep ocean floor as stable, relatively unvarying environment untroubled by surface climate conditions. But long-term monitoring has...


Latest Planktology Reference Libraries

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2014-01-12 00:00:00

A salp is a barrel-shaped, free-floating tunicate (any living organism which has a saclike body enclosed in a thick membrane or tunic with two openings or siphons for the ingress and egress of water). It moves by contracting which pumps water through its body. The salp strains the water with internal feeding filters as it goes through the body. It consumes phytoplankton that are strained from the water. Salps are common throughout equatorial, temperate, and colder seas. They are most often...

39_6e87e3fa1b5a996861bc65cc76c916fa
2007-04-03 00:34:20

The South American pilchard, Sardinops sagax, is a sardine of the Family Clupeidae, the only member of the genus Sardinops, found in the indo-Pacific oceans. Their length is up to 15.75 in (40 cm). It has a number of other common names: Australian pilchard, Blue pilchard, Blue-bait, Californian pilchard, Chilean sardine, Japanese pilchard, Pacific sardine, and Southern African pilchard. The South American pilchard is a coastal species that forms large schools. Coloration is blue green on...

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Word of the Day
cock-a-hoop
  • Exultant; jubilant; triumphant; on the high horse.
  • Tipsy; slightly intoxicated.
This word may come from the phrase 'to set cock on hoop,' or 'to drink festively.' Its origin otherwise is unclear. A theory, according to the Word Detective, is that it's a 'transliteration of the French phrase 'coq a huppe,' meaning a rooster displaying its crest ('huppe') in a pose of proud defiance.' Therefore, 'cock-a-hoop' would 'liken a drunken man to a boastful and aggressive rooster.'
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