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Latest Plankton Stories

a5f4988e0824ad3fac3b5221d3017cfc
2010-11-01 06:25:00

'It is past time to get serious about measuring what's happening to the seas around us' The ocean surface is 30 percent more acidic today than it was in 1800, much of that increase occurring in the last 50 years - a rising trend that could both harm coral reefs and profoundly impact tiny shelled plankton at the base of the ocean food web, scientists warn. Despite the seriousness of such changes to the ocean, however, the world has yet to deploy a complete suite of available tools to monitor...

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2010-10-30 08:12:44

Researchers have been working to figure out how jellyfish may benefit from marine ecosystems weakened by climate change and overfishing.Experts and scientists are concerned that an increase in jellyfish populations could prevent depleted fish stocks from recovering to historical levels.European scientists, however, say more data is needed to identify what is happening beneath the sea.Researchers from Ireland and the UK, who have been collecting samples from the Irish Sea since 1970, said they...

2010-10-23 01:33:28

Eutrophication of the Baltic Sea has clear negative effects, such as dead bottoms and massive blooms of cyanobacteria. But high plankton production can also have positive effects on acidification. Researchers at the University of Gothenburg, Sweden, have shown that it is possible to work out the aggregate effects of various environmental measures. "The environmental state of the Baltic Sea is affected by many different processes at the same time and on several different time scales....

df98b3e950d73d6a62de6abf02640a041
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...

8fcb40dd29ca74223fcbc74e4df5831c
2010-10-12 11:47:23

Despite its primitive structure, the North American comb jellyfish can sneak up on its prey like a high-tech stealth submarine, making it a successful predator. Researchers, including one from the University of Gothenburg, have now been able to show how the jellyfish makes itself hydrodynamically 'invisible'. The North American comb jellyfish Mnemiopsis leidyi has long been known to consume vast quantities of zooplankton. A few years ago the species became established in Northern Europe. Like...

2010-10-07 13:40:48

Advocates for seeding regions of the ocean with iron to combat global warming should be interested in a new study published today in Geophysical Research Letters. A Canada-US team led by University of Victoria oceanographer Dr. Roberta Hamme describes how the 2008 eruption of the Kasatochi volcano in the Aleutian Islands spewed iron-laden ash over a large swath of the North Pacific. The result, says Hamme, was an "ocean productivity event of unprecedented magnitude""”the largest...

26e39d7e799abede2e7cddd28698ab4d
2010-10-07 08:37:47

It just got easier to pinpoint biological hot spots in the world's oceans where some inhabitants are smaller than, well, a pinpoint. Microscopic algae are called phytoplankton and range from one to hundreds of microns in size "“ the smallest being 1/100th the size of a human hair. But as tiny as they may be, communities of the phytoplankton south of Vancouver Island, British Columbia, are big players when it comes to carbon: They take up 50 percent of the carbon dioxide going from the...

593649fa75c5ed956904d3304f0f4ab1
2010-09-05 08:18:28

On Sunday, the French yacht Tara will leave on its second leg of a three-year voyage across the world's oceans to try and collect data on the effects of climate change on microorganisms. The 118-foot boat will depart from Cape Town to head across the Atlantic and Pacific oceans for New Zealand next August as part of a 93,750-mile journey. "Sunday ... will be the birthday of the Tara Oceans project because it's the beginning of the second year of the project," said captain Olivier Marien.The...

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2010-08-10 08:05:00

Role extends to removing carbon dioxide from upper ocean and atmosphere What if trains, planes and automobiles all were powered simply by the air through which they move?  What if their exhaust and by-products helped the environment? Such an energy-efficient, self-propelling mechanism already exists in nature. The salp, a small, barrel-shaped organism that resembles a streamlined jellyfish, gets everything it needs from ocean waters to feed and propel itself. Scientists believe its waste...

bc79cb4ba24ad0e730999466b3d6c0d71
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...


Latest Plankton Reference Libraries

Mediterranean feather star, Antedon mediterranea
2013-05-18 06:26:42

The Mediterranean feather star is a filter feeder that obtains food by straining suspended matter and food particles from water. The star has a stalk that has up to forty tendrils, (threadlike organs) which help the star cling to hard surfaces. The “body” of the star is called a calyx and is shaped like a small cup. This calyx is surrounded by feathery pinnules bearing arms. These arms are quite unique in the fact that they can regenerate if one should get broken off; these arms extend to...

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...

0_36648507753f8c7e3c33d3c137060fc4
2009-06-19 13:00:04

The White-spotted jellyfish is also known as the Australian spotted jellyfish (Phyllorhiza punctata). The jellyfish feeds primarily on assorted snail species and thrives in the southwestern Pacific. The bell of the White-spotted jellyfish averages 17-19 inches in diameter but there had been a maximum reported size of 24 inches. However, on Sunset Beach in North Carolina in October, 2007, a White-spotted jellyfish was found on the shore measuring in at 28 inches, perhaps the largest to...

39_68ab5781f79103bd6c23c27f59baafb3
2007-03-26 13:57:44

The Tarakihi or Jackass morwong, Nemadactylus macropterus, is a morwong of the genus Nemadactylus found off the coast of southern Australia, the Atlantic coast of South America, and all around New Zealand to depths of about 1312.34 ft (400 m). Its length is between 11.81 and 23.62 in (30 and 60 cm). The Tarakihi is similar to the Porae but with a silver body color and a distinctive black saddle immediately behind the head. Their diet is similar to that of the Porae but also with a wide...

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Word of the Day
omadhaun
  • A fool; a simpleton: a term of abuse common in Ireland and to a less extent in the Gaelic-speaking parts of Scotland.
This word is partly Irish in origin.