Latest News on Plankton Research: Dec – 2019

The Continuous Plankton Recorder: concepts and history, from Plankton Indicator to undulating recorders

Alister Hardy conceived the continual Plankton Recorder (CPR) survey within the 1920s as a way of mapping near-surface plankton in space and time, interpreting the changing fortunes of the fisheries and relating plankton changes to hydrometeorology and climatic change. The seed he planted has grown to become the foremost extensive long-term survey of marine organisms within the world and therefore the breadth of his vision becomes ever more apparent. The survey has now run over 70 years and its value increases with every passing decade. Operating from ‘ships of opportunity’ the machines used are robust, reliable and straightforward to handle. Wherever possible, all the sampling and analytical methods haven’t been changed to take care of the consistency of the statistic. [1]

Microdistribution of plankton

The term ‘microdistribution’ is to some extent self-explanatory and itis undesirable to define too rigidly the dimensions of the physical dimensions at which distribution is taken into account to become ‘micro’ since this is able to restrict discussion of a number of the more significant implications of the topic. The concept of microdistribution, though sometimes studied for its own sake, first arose in reference to the estimation of sampling errors in large-scale geographical investigations. Since it’s hoped that each plankton sample is representative of the population of a really much larger volume of water, the range of variation in samples taken within this volume is of importance in evaluating the differences between more widely spaced samples. Thus, the study of microdistribution will involve the utilization of statistical techniques and can worry rather more with quantitative than qualitative changes within the plankton. [2]

Climate change and marine plankton

Understanding how global climate change will affect the earth may be a key issue worldwide. Questions concerning the pace and impacts of global climate change are thus central to several ecological and biogeochemical studies, and addressing the results of global climate change is now high on the list of priorities for funding agencies. Here, we review the interactions between global climate change and plankton communities, that specialize in systematic changes in plankton community structure, abundance, distribution and phenology over recent decades. We examine the potential socioeconomic impacts of those plankton changes, like the consequences of bottom-up forcing on commercially exploited fish stocks (i.e. plankton as food for fish). [3]

Micro-scale patchiness enhances trophic transfer efficiency and potential plankton biodiversity

Rather than spatial means of biomass, observed overlap within the intermittent spatial distributions of aquatic predators and prey is understood to be more important for determining the flow of nutrients and energy up the organic phenomenon. a couple of previous studies have separately suggested that such intermittency enhances phytoplankton growth and trophic transfer to sustain zooplankton and ultimately fisheries. Recent observations have revealed that phytoplankton distributions display consistently high degrees of mm scale patchiness, increasing along a gradient from estuarine to open ocean waters. [4]

Evaluating the Physico-chemical Characteristics and Plankton Diversity of Nwaniba River, South-South Nigeria

The physicochemical characteristics and plankton diversity of Nwaniba River, Uruan, Akwa Ibom, Nigeria were studied between April and September 2013. Surface water samples were collected for physicochemical parameter and plankton analysis consistent with standard methods. The results of the physicochemical parameters were within recommended limits of the National Environmental Standards and Regulations Enforcement Agencies (NESREA) for aquatic life. Twenty plankton species belonging to 5 taxa were encountered within the following order of dominance; Bacillariophyceae (69.23%) > Chlorophyceae (18.38%) > Cyanophyceae (11.97%) > Dinophyceae (0.85%) > Rotifera (0.43%). [5]

Reference

[1] Reid, P.C., Colebrook, J.M., Matthews, J.B.L., Aiken, J.C.P.R. and Team, C.P.R., 2003. The Continuous Plankton Recorder: concepts and history, from Plankton Indicator to undulating recorders. Progress in Oceanography, 58(2-4), (Web Link)

[2] Cassie, R.M., 1963. Microdistribution of plankton. Oceanography and Marine Biology: an Annual Review. (Web Link)

[3] Hays, G.C., Richardson, A.J. and Robinson, C., 2005. Climate change and marine plankton. Trends in ecology & evolution, 20(6), (Web Link)

[4] Micro-scale patchiness enhances trophic transfer efficiency and potential plankton biodiversity
Anupam Priyadarshi, S. Lan Smith, Sandip Mandal, Mamoru Tanaka & Hidekatsu Yamazaki
Scientific Reports volume 9, (Web Link)

[5] K. Esenowo, I., A. A. Ugwumba, A. and U. Akpan, A. (2018) “Evaluating the Physico-chemical Characteristics and Plankton Diversity of Nwaniba River, South-South Nigeria”, Asian Journal of Environment & Ecology, 5(3), (Web Link)

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