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Latest Plankton Stories

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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2010-07-26 12:57:15

The icy Arctic waters around Norway's archipelago of Svalbard are facing the threat of acidity. The waters have always absorbed part of the carbon dioxide present in the air, making them acidic.  However, the scientific community is getting worried about the acidification harming marine life with CO2 levels rising. At a tiny coal mine village turned scientific outpost just 745 miles from the North Pole, researchers from nine European countries conducted an unprecedented effort in July...

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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 09:57:23

Jellyfish moved into the oceans off the coast of southwest Africa when the sardine population crashed. Now another small fish is living in the oxygen-depleted zone part-time and turning the once ecologically dead-end jellyfish into dinner, according to an international team of scientists. "Originally there were sardines in the area but over fishing caused the sardine population to collapse in the 1960s and 1970s," said Victoria A. Braithwaite, professor of fisheries and biology, Penn State....

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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...

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2010-06-21 10:10:39

Computer simulations performed by researchers at the National Oceanography Centre and the University of Glasgow show how oceanic stirring and mixing influence the formation and dynamics of plankton patches in the upper ocean. Tiny free-floating marine plants called phytoplankton live in vast numbers in the sunlit upper ocean. Through the process of photosynthesis, they build carbon compounds such as sugars starting with just water and carbon dioxide, which is thereby drawn down from the...

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2010-06-02 10:35:00

Inputs of dust from the Sahara desert could change the composition of microbial communities in the (sub)tropical eastern North Atlantic say Southampton researchers writing this month in the journal FEMS Microbiology Letters. When high winds blow over the Sahara, dust particles consisting of soil particles are lifted high into the atmosphere, blown over the sea, and then deposited on the ocean surface. "Desert dust particles contain nutrients such as iron that can boost the production of tiny...


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...

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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...

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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
bibliopole
  • A bookseller; now, especially, a dealer in rare and curious books.
This word comes from a Greek phrase meaning 'book seller.'
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