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Plankton in Biological News

Lohafex provides new insights on plankton ecology

The Indo-German team of scientists from the National Institute of Oceanography and the Alfred Wegener Institute has returned from its expedition on research vessel Polarstern. The cooperative project Lohafex has yielded new insights on how ocean ecosystems function. But it has dampened hopes on th...

Decline of carbon-dioxide-gobbling plankton coincided with ancient global cooling

ITHACA, N.Y. 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 declin...

Puzzling plankton yield secrets to role in evolution/global photosynthesis

The analysis of DNA sequences from tiny green algae have provided new insights into the mystery of how new species of plankton evolve—and further highlights their critical role in managing the global cycling of carbon. These findings, by a group led by the DOE Joint Genome Institute (DOE JGI); the...

Plankton Power and RTDC announce proposed algae-to-biofuels pilot facility on Cape Cod

...fleet, Mass. and Woods Hole, Mass., August 4, 2009 plankton Power and the Regional Technology Development Corp...wable biofuels from algae. Under the leadership of plankton Power, the RTDC, Massachusetts National Guard, Woo...pecies research and production. The biodiesel from plankton Power algae is a "drop-in" replacement for home he...

Humans 'damaging the oceans'

...id global warming seen since the peak of the last Ice Age. At the same time the carbon is acidifying the oceans, with harmful consequences for certain plankton and shellfish. "At current emission rates it is possible we will pass the critical level of 450 parts per million CO2 in the atmosphere by 2040. T...

URI researcher sheds light on 'man-eating' squid; finds them timid, nonthreatening

...hat feed on large fish and marine mammals, jumbo squid use their numerous small, toothed suckers on their arms and tentacles to feed on small fish and plankton that are no more than a few centimeters in length. The highlight of Seibel's research cruise with colleagues from the Monterey Bay Aquarium Resear...

URI researcher sheds light on 'man-eating' squid; finds them timid, non-threatening

...hat feed on large fish and marine mammals, jumbo squid use their numerous small, toothed suckers on their arms and tentacles to feed on small fish and plankton that are no more than a few centimeters in length. The highlight of Seibel's research cruise with colleagues from the Monterey Bay Aquarium Resear...

University of Leicester geologists demonstrate extent of ancient ice age

...es' of north Africa and Arabia which constitute the world's most productive oil source rock. In fact, the burial of organic carbon derived from fossil plankton may have served to draw down CO 2 from the atmosphere to promote cooling during the Early Palaeozoic Icehouse. Page commented: "These fossil fuel...

Who will pick up the bill?

...uld directly damage corals and mollusks which all depend on sufficient carbonate levels to form shells successfully. Subsequent losses of prey such as plankton and shellfish would also alter food webs and intensify competition among predators for nourishment. As harvesting levels drop, job losses are likel...

Studies shed light on collapse of coral reefs

... ways that we might help." Corals are tiny animals, polyps that exist as genetically identical individuals, and can eat, defend themselves and kill plankton for food. In the process they also secrete calcium carbonate that becomes the basis for an external skeleton on which they sit. These calcified deposi...

NASA satellite detects red glow to map global ocean plant health

...on. At the same time, the amount of iron-rich dust delivered by winds is reduced. "On time-scales of weeks to months, we can use this data to track plankton responses to iron inputs from dust storms and the transport of iron-rich water from islands and continents," said Doney. "Over years to decades, we ca...

UIC biologists use DNA to study migration of threatened whale sharks

... Whale sharks -- giants of the fish world that strike terror only among tiny creatures like the plankton and krill they eat -- are imperiled by over-fishing of the species in parts of its ocean range. That threat is underscored in a new study from gene...

April 2009 Geology and GSA Today media highlights

...massive, even catastrophic growth in the number and variety of marine species began. The previously largely uninhabited water column became thick with plankton and the predators that fed on them, while the lifeless substrate to the ocean floor suddenly teamed with burrowing fauna. It was the GOBE that provide...

Mighty diatoms: Global climate feedback from microscopic algae

...cientists suggests they could become less able to "sequester" that greenhouse gas as the climate warms. The microscopic algae are a major component of plankton living in puddles, lakes and oceans. Zoology professor Elena Litchman, with MSU colleague Christopher Klausmeier and Kohei Yoshiyama of the Univ...

Lobster traps going high tech

...for oceanographic studies ranging from where coastal currents in the Gulf of Maine could spread pollutants and invasive species to the distribution of plankton and zooplankton that serve as a major food for whales and other marine life. Manning and colleagues published drifter observations in the journal C...

CO2 drop and global cooling caused Antarctic glacier to form

...sions are based on sea-surface "temperature proxies" calculations of temperature based on the distribution of specific organic molecules from ancient plankton that only lived at certain temperatures and were later preserved in ocean sediments. These molecules were assayed in ocean cores collected by the Inte...

Phytoplankton cell membranes challenge fundamentals of biochemistry

...ort supply as water is in the desert. How are they doing it? These creative plankton build a membrane lipid called SQDG, a molecule based on sulfur rather than ...ents at all." Van Mooy found that cyanobacteria aren't the only class of plankton building phosphate-free cell membrane lipids. When he and his co-authors st...

Ocean islands fuel productivity and carbon sequestration through natural iron fertilization

...t years, schemes to fight global warming have included sequestering carbon in the deep ocean by fertilizing the ocean with iron to artificially induce plankton blooms. As public interest in these ideas has increased, the authors point out that the amount of carbon sequestered in the deep ocean for a given inp...

Polarstern expedition 'LOHAFEX' can be conducted

..., and ecological changes in all layers of the water column from the surface to the seafloor in 3,800 metres depth will be monitored for 40 days. The plankton community biomass is expected to increase substantially about two weeks following fertilisation, and the fate of the organic matter produced will be i...

Dramatic expansion of dead zones in the oceans

...ped from the ocean by the process of denitrification. This in turn would shift biological production in the lighted surface layers of the ocean toward plankton species that are able to fix free dissolved nitrogen. This would then lead to large, unpredictable changes in ocean ecosystem structure and productivi...

UD research study to shed light on emerging seaborne pathogen

... the organism is likely to continue to expand," Boyd notes. An oyster filters its food from the seawater in which it lives, ingesting not only tiny plankton but whatever else may be present in the water, including harmful bacteria such as V. parahaemolyticus . Thus, when a person consumes a raw oyster con...

Fish guts explain marine carbon cycle mystery

...omenon that has perplexed oceanographers: the sea becomes more alkaline at much shallower depths than expected. The carbonates produced by microscopic plankton should not be responsible for this alkalinity change, because they sink to much deeper depths intact, often becoming locked up in sediments and rocks ...

LOHAFEX: An Indo-German iron fertilization experiment

...he fertilized waters, although located offshore, have been previously in contact with the coast of South America and South Georgia and contain coastal plankton species that are adapted to high iron concentrations. The size of the fertilized patch is considerably smaller than the impact of melting icebergs tha...

Study links ecosystem changes in temperate lakes to climate warming

...es composition of small, microscopic algae preserved in sediments from more than 200 lake systems in the northern hemisphere. These algae dominate the plankton that float at or near the surface of lakes, and serve as food for other larger organisms. Striking ecosystem changes were recorded from a large sui...

Study links ecosystem changes in temperate lakes to climate warming

...es composition of small, microscopic algae preserved in sediments from more than 200 lake systems in the northern hemisphere. These algae dominate the plankton that float at or near the surface of lakes, and serve as food for other larger organisms. Striking ecosystem changes were recorded from a large sui...

Ecologists use oceanographic data to predict future climate change

...zations of northern ocean circulation patterns. Since 1989, a species of plankton native to the Pacific Ocean has been colonizing the North Atlantic Ocean, a feat that hasn't occurred in more than 800 thousand years. These plankton were carried across the Arctic Ocean by Pacific waters that made their way ...

Cold water corals conference to be held in Woods Hole

... of the ocean making it more acidic and more difficult to precipitate calcium carbonate skeletons. This threat is doubled for deep corals that rely on plankton for food, many of which also have calcium carbonate shells. To accomplish the TRACES science mission, state of the art deep-submergence technologie...

Researchers find animal with ability to survive climate change

...od for many fish - including cod - in the North Atlantic appears to adapt in order to survive climate change. Billions of Calanus finmarchicus , a plankton species, which are just a few millimetres in size, live in the waters of the North Atlantic where the research was carried out. It showed they resp...

How corals adapt to day and night

...uncovered a gene in corals that responds to day/night cycles, which provides some tantalizing clues into how symbiotic corals work together with their plankton partners. Corals are fascinating animals that form the largest biological constructions in the world, sprawling coral reefs that cover less than 0...

Biological invasions increasing due to freshwater impoundments, says CU-Boulder study

...kes considered vulnerable to zebra mussel invasion by 50 percent. The zebra mussel, first introduced into the Great Lakes in 1987 and which affects plankton abundance, nutrients and water clarity, also has caused declines in native mollusks and fouled industrial pipes. Another invader, the Eurasian watermi...

Complex ocean behavior studied with 'artificial upwelling'

...pump water from the depths to the surface and fuel plankton growth. But there are many nuances; simply bringin...use a bloom of diatoms, which are a common type of plankton often single-celled. The diatoms will consume the...rows." The researchers believe they can control plankton growth by determining which species respond to spe...

New giant clam species offers window into human past

...species. The new giant clam differs from others in the Red Sea in an early and brief reproductive period each spring, coinciding with the seasonal plankton bloom, they report. Underwater surveys carried out in the Gulf of Aqaba and northern Red Sea revealed that the long-overlooked clam must be considered...

Little teeth suggest big jump in primate timeline

... from a strata in the mine while "really gigantic trucks" scooped up coal above them, Kay said. The teeth were dated by identifying microscopic marine plankton fossils of known age in nearby rock layers, he added. Bajpai's team was funded by India's Department of Science and Technology. Work by Williams an...

River damming leads to dramatic decline in native fish numbers

...rvae had a natural refuge from predators due to sediment suspended in the water, and water turbulence increased the ability of larvae to encounter the plankton that they feed on. Fish also rapidly outgrew their period of high-vulnerability to predation due to higher water temperatures," she declares. "Dammi...

Census of Marine Life lists 122,500 known species, over halfway to complete inventory by Oct. 2010

...y of previously undescribed species can exceed 80% of specimens captured, especially for smaller animals like crustaceans, worms and molluscs. Census plankton project leader Ann Bucklin predicts her collaborators will at least double the number of known zooplankton species in the world, which in 2008 consist...

National Science Foundation funds research addressing enduring questions of life

... the blue whale, which is believed to be the largest animal that ever existed on Earth. As a filter feeder, each baleen whale strains sea water for plankton and other small creatures through its baleen--a comb-like structure that hangs from its upper jaw. By integrating anatomical studies of fossils and sk...

A Great Lakes mystery: The case of the disappearing species

...imal's survival or may be interfered with by particular stressors. Diporeia put on much of their weight during the spring bloom of diatoms, algal plankton they feed upon, during which energy capture and storage are particularly paramount. This leaves them vulnerable to disruptions in food or their abilit...

Ocean acidification -- another undesired side effect of fossil fuel-burning

...tions. The expected biological impact of ocean acidification remains still uncertain. Most calcifying organisms such as corals, mussels, algae and plankton investigated so far, respond negatively to the more acidic ocean waters. Because of the increased acidity, less carbonate ions are available, which me...

Clue to mystery crustacean in parasite form

...nsformation of the larvae into a previously unseen, wholly un-crustacean-like, parasitic form. Y larvae, or facetotectans, are found amongst marine plankton in oceans from the poles to the tropics. In coral reef areas they occur dizzying diversity, even though they are ubiquitous and similar to the larvae ...

Warming climate is changing life on global scale, says new study

...gher latitudes and altitudes in the northern hemisphere; changes in bird migrations in Europe, North America and Australia; and shifting of the oceans plankton and fish from cold- to warm-adapted communities. The study appears in the May 15 issue of the leading scientific journal Nature. Humans are infl...
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