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3b901b753b6927a53cbdb462f454aa8e
2011-06-07 08:43:40

A new study by researchers at the Virginia Institute of Marine Science (VIMS) shows that jellyfish are more than a nuisance to bathers and boaters, drastically altering marine food webs by shunting food energy from fish toward bacteria. An apparent increase in the size and frequency of jellyfish blooms in coastal and estuarine waters around the world during the last few decades means that jellies' impact on marine food webs is likely to increase into the future. The results of the study, led...

6efa8b0f2ee3914c978c09ed8edd2f6a
2011-05-13 03:20:56

Cycle enables marine phytoplankton to use carbon and nitrogen from their environment Scientists have discovered that marine diatoms, tiny phytoplankton abundant in the sea, have an animal-like urea cycle, and that this cycle enables the diatoms to efficiently use carbon and nitrogen from their environment. The researchers, from the J. Craig Venter Institute (JCVI) and other institutions, published their findings in this week's issue of the journal Nature. The team, led by lead author Andrew...

ccb30b6d8f51fd9f11e5d2aeaf422803
2011-05-13 03:11:59

Scientists have known for two decades that sulfur compounds that are produced by bacterioplankton as they consume decaying algae in the ocean cycle through two paths. In one, a sulfur compound dimethylsulfide, or DMS, goes into the atmosphere, where it leads to water droplet formation "“ the basis of clouds that cool the Earth. In the other, a sulfur compound goes into the ocean's food web, where it is eaten and returned to seawater. What they haven't known is how sulfur is routed one...

2011-05-12 00:06:42

The urea cycle is a metabolic pathway used in mammals to incorporate excess nitrogen into urea and remove it from the body. However, it appears to play a far more wide-ranging role in the group of algae known as diatoms. Scientists from the Max Planck Institute of Molecular Plant Physiology in Potsdam are part of an international team of researchers that has succeeded in identifying the urea cycle in diatoms as a distribution and recycling centre for inorganic carbon and nitrogen. The urea...

d43f4facaad8e1e654584e6557be8e831
2011-04-19 14:21:18

By David Malmquist, Virginia Institute of Marine Science A new study by researchers at the Virginia Institute of Marine Science shows that turbulence from boat propellers can and does kill large numbers of copepods"”tiny crustaceans that are an important part of marine food webs. The study"”by VIMS graduate student Samantha Bickel, VIMS professor Kam Tang, and Hampton University undergraduate Joseph Malloy Hammond"”appears in the on-line issue of the Journal of Experimental...

2081f70dc870e82bd1fd33d13f2edfd31
2011-03-27 11:08:50

Passage of icebergs through surface waters changes their physical and biological characteristicsIn a finding that has global implications for climate research, scientists have discovered that when icebergs cool and dilute the seas through which they pass for days, they also raise chlorophyll levels in the water that may in turn increase carbon dioxide absorption in the Southern Ocean.An interdisciplinary research team supported by the National Science Foundation (NSF) highlighted the research...

ce0efdcbbd6c103fecc5e72273884ea61
2011-03-05 11:43:55

Ongoing climate-driven changes to the Arctic sea-ice could have a significant impact on the blooming of tiny planktonic plants (phytoplankton) with important implications for the Arctic ecosystem, according to new research conducted by scientists at the UK's National Oceanography Centre (NOC)."Ice-edge phytoplankton blooms in the Arctic Ocean provide food for planktonic animals called zooplankton, which are in turn exploited by animals higher up the food chain such as fish," explained Dr...

c84bdfc10f2d949b3a01b39ea55114321
2011-03-03 12:27:56

Phytoplankton peak arising up to 50 days early, with unknown impacts on marine food chain and carbon cycling Warming temperatures and melting ice in the Arctic may be behind a progressively earlier bloom of a crucial annual marine event, and the shift could hold consequences for the entire food chain and carbon cycling in the region. Scientists at Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego, along with colleagues in Portugal and Mexico, plotted the yearly spring bloom of...

e506ad9e9ea99fb85389e70e874db45c
2011-03-01 10:04:36

Diatoms account for a large proportion of the phytoplankton found in the water, and live both in the open sea and in freshwater lakes. By reviving 100-year-old spores that had laid buried and inactive in bottom sediment, researchers at the University of Gothenburg, Sweden, have shown that diatoms are also genetically stable and survival artists. Recent research has shown that diatoms exhibit great genetic differences and that they occur in discrete populations, which means that they multiply...

2011-02-24 23:36:31

Adding particles to liquids to make currents visible is a common practice in the study of fluid mechanics, one that was adopted and perfected by artist Paul Matisse in sculptures he calls Kalliroscopes. Matisse's glass-enclosed liquid sculptures contain an object whose movement through the liquid creates whorls that can be seen only because elongated particles trailing the object align with the direction of the current; light reflects off the particles, making the current visible to the...


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
malpais
  • The ragged surface of a lava-flow.
'Malpais' translates from Spanish as 'bad land.'