zooplankton tagged posts

Small but Mighty

Tiny plankton – measuring less than 20 µm (or 0.02 mm) in diameter—make up the majority of plankton in the ocean and play a critical role in the planet’s health, according to new research. However, scientists say challenges in identifying them have led to them becoming a silent majority that is currently being overlooked when it comes to global ocean policy. The study is one of the first to explore the abundance and importance of these tiny ocean inhabitants around the U.K. coastline, with the technology capable of monitoring them only having been introduced in around 2010.

However, that monitoring has shown that in some instances, 99.98% of plankton abundance—and 71% of plankton biomass—is derived from these tiny cells.

The research has also shown they can be impacted direct...

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Coral reefs more sensitive to CO2 than previously thought

Zooplankton research in action

Coral reefs and their associated animals are more sensitive to global warming than previously thought, according to a new study that shows how ocean acidification wipes out zooplankton populations, which are vital for coral survival. Researchers at the Australian Institute of Marine Science (AIMS) in Queensland studied zooplankton levels in the vicinity of underwater volcanic CO2 seeps to determine how they are affected by water acidity.

“Zooplankton gives corals vital nutrients such as phosphorus and nitrogen as well as important things like trace elements and essential amino acids...

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