Tagged: phytoplankton



Image: Hannes Grobe, Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research, Bremerhaven, Germany/Wikimedia Commons.

That sinking feeling…

Whilst forests – aided and abetted by cryptogams (see my previous post) – have a major role as biotic carbon sinks on land, in the oceans that role is largely down to the activity of cryptogamous phytoplankton, which ‘draw-down’ vast amounts of CO2 during photosynthesis. However – and unlike trees – much of that aquatic primary productivity is consumed by herbivores, which in turn are preyed upon by various levels of carnivores. Ultimately, a lot of the CO2 that is fixed is released quite soon thereafter in respiration. Which is why attempts to consign such fixed carbon that is retained...

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Rejoice, ‘tis the real Bloom’s Day (to be sure…)

June 16th is the date upon which certain individuals around the world celebrate Irish writer James Joyce’s 1904-set literary classic Ulysses. Termed Bloom’s Day – after Leopold Bloom, the famously impenetrable novel’s main character, whose Dublin comings-and-goings are minutely catalogued over a 24-hour period – this is only a day-long phenomenon. A recently discovered bloom of another – phytoplankton – kind, and which lasts far longer than one day, is reported by Kevin Arrigo et al. But such blooms – a ‘rapid increase or accumulation in the population of algae… in an aquatic system’  – are common enough, and the well-documented,...

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