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Latest Plankton Stories

2009-08-13 15:45:42

 The same things that make Alaska's marine waters among the most productive in the world may also make them the most vulnerable to ocean acidification. According to new findings by a University of Alaska Fairbanks scientist, Alaska's oceans are becoming increasingly acidic, which could damage Alaska's king crab and salmon fisheries.This spring, chemical oceanographer Jeremy Mathis returned from a cruise armed with seawater samples collected from the depths of the Gulf of Alaska. When he...

2009-08-06 10:03:51

Geoengineering techniques aim to slow global warming through the use of human-made changes to the Earth's land, seas or atmosphere. But new research shows that the use of geoengineering to do environmental good may cause other environmental harm. In a symposium at the Ecological Society of America's Annual Meeting, ecologists discuss the viability of geoengineering, concluding that it is potentially dangerous at the global scale, where the risks outweigh the benefits."The bigger the scale of...

2009-08-04 10:48:10

Amongst the smallest micro-algae belonging to the group of so-called haptophytes(1) , considerable diversity has recently been demonstrated in our oceans. Scientists from the Marine Biology Laboratory in Roscoff and Oceanographic Laboratory in Villefranche sur Mer (UPMC/CNRS), in collaboration with Rutgers University (USA) and University of Ottawa (Canada), have shown that these photosynthetic microorganisms, highly diversified and extremely abundant, are some of the most important producers...

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2009-07-29 15:10:00

The ocean's smallest swimming animals, such as jellyfish, can have a huge impact on large-scale ocean mixing, researchers have discovered."The perspective we usually take is how the ocean--by its currents, temperature, and chemistry--is affecting animals," says John Dabiri, a Caltech bioengineer who, along with Caltech graduate student Kakani Katija, discovered the new mechanism. "But there have been increasing suggestions that the inverse is also important, how the animals themselves, via...

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2009-07-23 09:00:00

For a long time scientists have observed the biological consequences of global climate change. One of the most famous symptoms is the shift of habitats from the equator further north or further south. More recent studies show that not only the habitats but also the size of organisms is affected. Dr. Martin Daufresne of the HYAX Lake Ecosystem Laboratory in Aix-en-Provence, France, as well as Prof. Ulrich Sommer and Dr. Kathrin Lengfellner of the Leibniz-Institute of Marine Sciences...

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2009-07-21 12:55:00

A study published Monday reported that fish have lost half their average body mass and smaller species are making up a larger proportion of European fish stocks as a result of global warming. Martin Daufresne of the Cemagref Public Agricultural and Environmental Research Institute in Lyon, France said, "Size is a fundamental characteristic that is linked to a number of biological functions, such as fecundity - the capacity to reproduce." Smaller fish tend to produce fewer eggs, and they also...

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2009-07-14 10:50:00

Drifting across the world's oceans are a group of unicellular marine microorganisms that are not only a crucial source of food for other marine life "” but their fossils, which are found in abundance, provide scientists with an extraordinary record of climatic change and other major events in the history of the earth. Now, planktonic foraminifera "” single-celled shell building members of the marine microplankton community "” have given up a secret of their very own.A team...

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...


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
barratry
  • The offense of persistently instigating lawsuits, typically groundless ones.
  • An unlawful breach of duty on the part of a ship's master or crew resulting in injury to the ship's owner.
  • Sale or purchase of positions in church or state.
This word ultimately comes from the Old French word 'barater,' to cheat.
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