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Latest Planktology Stories

2009-03-18 08:21:28

 Tiny creatures at the bottom of the food chain called diatoms suck up nearly a quarter of the atmosphere's carbon dioxide, yet research by Michigan State University scientists suggests they could become less able to "sequester" that greenhouse gas as the climate warms. The microscopic algae are a major component of plankton living in puddles, lakes and oceans.  Zoology professor Elena Litchman, with MSU colleague Christopher Klausmeier and Kohei Yoshiyama of the University of...

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2009-03-17 08:46:53

Scientists have long established that the Antarctic Peninsula is one of the most rapidly warming spots on Earth. Now, new research using detailed satellite data indicates that the changing climate is affecting not just the penguins at the apex of the food chain, but simultaneously the microscopic life that is the base of the ecosystem. The research was published in the March 13 edition of Science magazine by researchers with the National Science Foundation's (NSF) LTER (Long Term Ecological...

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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...

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2009-01-08 16:50:00

The evolutionary history of diatoms -- abundant oceanic plankton that remove billions of tons of carbon dioxide from the air each year -- needs to be rewritten, according to a new Cornell study. The findings suggest that after a sudden rise in species numbers, diatoms abruptly declined about 33 million years ago -- trends that coincided with severe global cooling.The study is published in the Jan. 8 issue of the journal Nature.The research casts doubt on the long-held theory that diatoms'...

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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2008-11-11 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...


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...

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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
call-note
  • The call or cry of a bird or other animal to its mate or its young.
'Call-note' is newer than 'bird-call,' which originally referred to 'an instrument for imitating the note of birds' but now also refers to 'the song or cry of a bird.'
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