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Latest Planktology Stories

2011-07-04 13:01:18

A new discovery reveals that the shrimp-like creature at the heart of the Antarctic food chain could play a key role in fertilising the Southern Ocean with iron "“ stimulating the growth of phytoplankton (microscopic plant-like organisms). This process enhances the ocean's capacity for natural storage of carbon dioxide. Reporting this month in the journal Limnology and Oceanography, an international team of researchers describe how Antarctic krill (Euphausia superba), once thought to...

2011-07-02 02:47:39

Tiny marine organisms called zooplankton can use specialized adaptations that allow them to hide from predators in areas of the ocean where oxygen levels are so low that almost nothing can survive, but they may run into trouble as these areas expand due to climate change. "Oxygen minimum zones are very difficult places to survive," said University of Rhode Island doctoral student Leanne Elder. "But we have discovered that these tiny animals have adapted in two specialized ways. First, they...

2011-06-29 12:04:21

Tiny seawater algae could hold the key to crops as a source of fuel and plants that can adapt to changing climates Tiny seawater algae could hold the key to crops as a source of fuel and plants that can adapt to changing climates. Researchers at the University of Edinburgh have found that the tiny organism has developed coping mechanisms for when its main food source is in short supply. Understanding these processes will help scientists develop crops that can survive when nutrients are scarce...

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2011-06-27 05:35:00

Scientists said a surprising appearance of plankton and whales through the Northwest Passage might be a sign of how global warming is affecting animals and plants in the oceans as well as on land. Scientists found plankton in the North Atlantic where it has not existed for at least 800,000 years. "The implications are enormous. It's a threshold that has been crossed," said Philip C. Reid, of the Alister Hardy Foundation for Ocean Science in Plymouth, England. "It's an indication of the speed...

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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2011-06-10 11:08:21

Fish farming is the world's fastest growing food production method and is projected to continue rising to meet the demands of an increasing world population. ESA's new Aquaculture project will support sustainable aquaculture by developing an information service based on state-of-the-art remote sensing. Satellites can provide a wealth of data on waves, sea-surface temperature and ocean color "“ all highly useful for planning where to establish new fish farms. "Sustainability depends on...

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2011-06-07 08:43:40

A new study by researchers at the Virginia Institute of Marine Science (VIMS) shows that jellyfish are more than a nuisance to bathers and boaters, drastically altering marine food webs by shunting food energy from fish toward bacteria. An apparent increase in the size and frequency of jellyfish blooms in coastal and estuarine waters around the world during the last few decades means that jellies' impact on marine food webs is likely to increase into the future. The results of the study, led...

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2011-05-13 03:20:56

Cycle enables marine phytoplankton to use carbon and nitrogen from their environment Scientists have discovered that marine diatoms, tiny phytoplankton abundant in the sea, have an animal-like urea cycle, and that this cycle enables the diatoms to efficiently use carbon and nitrogen from their environment. The researchers, from the J. Craig Venter Institute (JCVI) and other institutions, published their findings in this week's issue of the journal Nature. The team, led by lead author Andrew...

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2011-05-13 03:11:59

Scientists have known for two decades that sulfur compounds that are produced by bacterioplankton as they consume decaying algae in the ocean cycle through two paths. In one, a sulfur compound dimethylsulfide, or DMS, goes into the atmosphere, where it leads to water droplet formation "“ the basis of clouds that cool the Earth. In the other, a sulfur compound goes into the ocean's food web, where it is eaten and returned to seawater. What they haven't known is how sulfur is routed one...

2011-05-12 00:06:42

The urea cycle is a metabolic pathway used in mammals to incorporate excess nitrogen into urea and remove it from the body. However, it appears to play a far more wide-ranging role in the group of algae known as diatoms. Scientists from the Max Planck Institute of Molecular Plant Physiology in Potsdam are part of an international team of researchers that has succeeded in identifying the urea cycle in diatoms as a distribution and recycling centre for inorganic carbon and nitrogen. The urea...


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
jument
  • A beast of burden; also, a beast in general.
'Jument' ultimately comes from the Latin 'jugum,' yoke.
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