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Latest Plankton Stories

2009-07-07 15:20:00

Southampton scientists have demonstrated an unexpected role of iron in regulating biological production in the high-latitude North Atlantic. Their findings have important implications for our understanding of ocean-climate interactions.Tiny plant-like organisms called phytoplankton dominate biological production in the sunlit surface waters of the world's oceans and, through the process of photosynthesis, sequester large amounts of atmospheric carbon dioxide. A proportion of the carbon is...

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2009-06-30 10:45:00

The blooming of toxic algae that occurs during the summer conceal a fight for life and death. Scientists at the University of Gothenburg propose in an article published in the journal PNAS that algal blooms are created when aggressive algae kill and injure their competitors in order to absorb the nutrients they contain."The behaviour of the algae can be compared to that of blood-sucking insects", says Per Jonsson of the Department of Marine Ecology.The blooming of toxic algae in the oceans...

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2009-06-17 12:35:00

Changes in ocean chemistry "” a consequence of increased carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from human industrial activity "” could cause U.S. shellfish revenues to drop significantly in the next 50 years, according to a new study by researchers at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI).Intensive burning of fossil fuels and deforestation over the last two centuries have increased CO2 levels in the atmosphere by almost 40 percent. The oceans have absorbed about one-third of...

2009-05-28 12:43:36

Researchers are using the U.S. space agency's Aqua satellite to conduct the first global analysis of the health and productivity of ocean plants. Ocean scientists can now remotely measure the amount of fluorescent red light emitted by phytoplankton and assess how efficiently these microscopic plants turn sunlight and nutrients into food through photosynthesis, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration said. Single-celled phytoplankton fuel nearly all ocean ecosystems and the health of...

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2009-05-28 12:40:00

A unique signal detected by NASA's Aqua satellite is helping researchers check the health and productivity of ocean plants around the world. Fluorescent red light emitted by ocean phytoplankton and detected by Aqua reveals how efficiently the microscopic plants are turning sunlight and nutrients into food through photosynthesis. "This is the first direct measurement of the health of the phytoplankton in the ocean," says Michael Behrenfeld, a biologist at Oregon State University who...

2009-05-28 12:00:00

WASHINGTON, May 28 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Researchers have conducted the first global analysis of the health and productivity of ocean plants using a unique signal detected by NASA's Aqua satellite. (Logo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20081007/38461LOGO) Ocean scientists can now remotely measure the amount of fluorescent red light emitted by phytoplankton and assess how efficiently these microscopic plants turn sunlight and nutrients into food through photosynthesis. Researchers...

2009-05-11 14:01:31

U.S. government oceanographers say they've determined plankton carbon particles in the Southern Ocean never reached the deep ocean. Jim Bishop and Todd Wood of the U.S. Department of Energy's Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory studied the fate of carbon particles originating in plankton blooms using data deep-diving Carbon Explorer floats collected around the clock for more than a year. The discovery that most of the carbon never reaches the deep ocean deals a blow to the simplest version...

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2009-05-08 07:21:18

Researchers have discovered where basking sharks "“ the world's second largest fish "“ hide out for half of every year, according to a report published online on May 7th in Current Biology, a Cell Press publication. The discovery revises scientists' understanding of the iconic species and highlights just how little we still know about even the largest of marine animals, the researchers said. "While commonly sighted in surface waters during summer and autumn months, the...

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2009-05-07 09:05:40

Plankton blooms do not send atmospheric carbon to the deep ocean Oceanographers Jim Bishop and Todd Wood of the U.S. Department of Energy's Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory have measured the fate of carbon particles originating in plankton blooms in the Southern Ocean, using data that deep-diving Carbon Explorer floats collected around the clock for well over a year. Their study reveals that most of the carbon from lush plankton blooms never reaches the deep ocean. The surprising...

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2009-03-24 14:18:16

Scientists in Germany and India said an experiment to determine whether depositing hundreds of tons of dissolved iron in the Southern Ocean can diminish global warming has produced disappointing results. In conducting the research, scientists "fertilized" a 115 square mile area of ocean by placing six tons of dissolved iron inside the core of an eddy -- a large, rotating column of water. The researchers hoped the iron would stimulate the growth of tiny planktonic algae known as phytoplankton,...


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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