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3e23e28588a3ce7d2ce5c1e2245dd0a81
2009-03-09 09:55:00

A new study found that ocean acidification caused by climate change is stripping away the protective shell of tiny yet vital organisms that absorb huge amounts of carbon pollution from the atmosphere, the AFP reported. The study found that the calcium carapace of microscopic animals called foraminifera living in the Southern Ocean have fallen in weight by a third since the start of the Industrial Revolution. The tiny organisms inhabit the surface waters of oceans around the world and are an...

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2009-01-31 11:05:00

An experiment to study the effects of naturally deposited iron in the Southern Ocean has filled in a key piece of the puzzle surrounding iron's role in locking atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) in the ocean. The research, conducted by an international team led by Raymond Pollard of the National Oceanography Centre, Southampton, and included Matthew Charette, a marine chemist at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI), found that natural iron fertilization enhanced the export of carbon...

2009-01-16 10:51:06

An international team of scientists has solved a mystery that has puzzled marine chemists for decades. They have discovered that fish contribute a significant fraction of the oceans' calcium carbonate production, which affects the delicate pH balance of seawater. The study gives a conservative estimate of three to 15 percent of marine calcium carbonate being produced by fish, but the researchers believe it could be up to three times higher.Published January 16th in Science, their findings...

38040e1e573a30a12a59a4c0cb77d4be1
2009-01-16 08:00:00

Scientists have learned that fish poop may be beneficial to maintaining the delicate balance of the Earth's oceans. Using computer models, Rod W. Wilson, of the University of Exeter in England, and colleagues from the US, Canada and England discovered that bony fish excrete a crucial amount of inorganic carbon that works to maintain the oceans' ph balance. Using computer models, researchers estimated that bony fish produce between 812 million and 2,050 million tons of valuable inorganic...

378592cd24137a5c7b3c3d0a8d2ab3621
2009-01-08 16:50:00

The evolutionary history of diatoms -- abundant oceanic plankton that remove billions of tons of carbon dioxide from the air each year -- needs to be rewritten, according to a new Cornell study. The findings suggest that after a sudden rise in species numbers, diatoms abruptly declined about 33 million years ago -- trends that coincided with severe global cooling.The study is published in the Jan. 8 issue of the journal Nature.The research casts doubt on the long-held theory that diatoms'...

2008-12-18 15:48:24

Concern about increasing ocean acidification has often focused on its potential effects on coral reefs, but broader disruptions of biological processes in the oceans may be more significant, according to Donald Potts, a professor of ecology and evolutionary biology at the University of California, Santa Cruz, and an expert in coral reef ecology and marine biodiversity. Potts gave an invited talk on "Geobiological Responses to Ocean Acidification" at the Fall Meeting of the American...

92203fc48cf6e9b2aa95dfbe7eb9ddb51
2008-12-15 16:21:57

MIT researchers have created a microbial ecosystem smaller than a stick of gum that sheds new light on the plankton-eat-plankton world at the bottom of the aquatic food chain. The work, reported in the January print issue of American Naturalist, may lead to better predictions of marine microbes' global-scale influence on climate. Through photosynthesis and uptake of carbon compounds, diverse planktonic marine microorganisms "” too small to be seen with the naked eye "” help...

1f22d810bf9418af5b7c946f2c6d7a3a1
2008-12-15 13:00:00

The icy seas between Australia and Antarctica could become a money generator by engineering nature to soak up carbon dioxide and then selling carbon credits worth millions of dollars. But many scientists believe the concept of using nature to mop up mankind's excess CO2 to fight global warming is fraught with risk and uncertainty. An Australian research body suggests more research is needed before commercial ventures are allowed to fertilize oceans on a large scale and over many years to...

8c4609302ea6fc9d9f40fc921b0ca6431
2008-10-31 11:34:47

Researchers in Germany and Canada reported on Thursday that climate change could effect the global food chain by supporting animals with short life spans rather than their larger long-lived predators. Researchers noted that animals showed widely differing "thermal windows" -- a range of temperatures in which they best feed, grow and reproduce, meaning that global warming would have a varying effect on each species. "Climate change will favor species with wide thermal windows, short life...

5dc1d38b8fdb348706fc9f597ff3bd031
2008-10-16 14:29:54

Diatoms, mighty microscopic algae, have profound influence on climate, producing 20 percent of the oxygen we breathe by capturing atmospheric carbon and in so doing, countering the greenhouse effect. Since their evolutionary origins these photosynthetic wonders have come to acquire advantageous genes from bacterial, animal and plant ancestors enabling them to thrive in today's oceans. These findings, based on the analysis of the latest sequenced diatom genome, Phaeodactylum tricornutum, are...


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
omphalos
  • The navel or umbilicus.
  • In Greek archaeology: A central boss, as on a shield, a bowl, etc.
  • A sacred stone in the temple of Apollo at Delphi, believed by the Greeks to mark the 'navel' or exact center-point of the earth.
'Omphalos' comes from the ancient Greek.
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