New videography techniques have opened up the oceans' microscopic ecosystem, revealing it to be both mesmerizingly beautiful and astoundingly complex. Marine biologist Tierney Thys teamed with Christian Sardet (CNRS/Tara Oceans), Noé Sardet and Sharif Mirshak to use footage from the Plankton Chronicles project to create a film designed to ignite wonder and curiosity about this hidden world that underpins our own food chain.
Numerous species of krill inhabit the world’s oceans.(One world ocean http://oceanservice.noaa.gov/education/literacy/ocean_literacy.pdf.)One particular species, Antarctic krill, has made headlines lately because of its alarming decline. What’s driving this decline? Why is Euphausia superbain (Euphausia superba?) such an important species? Research the issue and identify what, if anything, can be done to curb the loss of Antarctic krill. Second, imagine that the stock of Euphausia superbain(superba)is wiped out. What impacts do you foresee within the Antarctic food chain, and what would the impacts be for humans? Some good sources of information include:
Antarctic Krill Conservation Project http://www.krillcount.org/index.html
Australian Government’s Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population, and Communities: Antarctic Division: Krill
Nature: Ecologists fear Antarctic krill crisis (09/01/2010) http://www.nature.com/news/2010/100901/full/467015a.html
The New York Times: Team tracks a food supply at the end of the world (03/13/2012) http://www.nytimes.com/2012/03/13/science/tracking-antarctic-krill-as-more-is-harvested-for-omega-3-pills.html
The ocean plays a vital (and often under- appreciated) role in sequestering carbon—something that’s become increasingly important as the planet’s human inhabitants increase their carbon emissions. What role do plankton play in creating this incredible “carbon sink”? Investigate the roles of phytoplankton and zooplankton like copepods, krill and other organisms. Create a diagram that explains how the ocean captures carbon and how different types of plankton are involved.
Tara Ocean expedition: an exploration of plankton in all oceans http://oceans.taraexpeditions.org
NHPTV NatureWorks: Plankton http://www.nhptv.org/natureworks/nwep6d.htm
NASA Earth Observatory: What are phytoplankton? http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/Features/Phytoplankton/
The New York TimesDot Earth: On plankton, warming and whiplash (04/26/2011) http://dotearth.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/04/26/on-plankton-warming-and-whiplash/#