Posted by: The ocean update | May 22, 2015

Planktons do much more than function as whale food: They produce tons of Oxygen for our planet Earth

phytoplanctonMay 22nd, 2015 (Steven Goodstein) The most complete ocean plankton study has been released by scientists recently. The half of the Earth’s oxygen production is done by the microorganisms. They observed that microorganisms do much more than function as whale food.

Planktons are easily found at the bottom of the marine food chain. Planktons also serve to be the food of different animals living in water, mostly whales. Planktons are responsible for the production of tons of oxygen by the process of photosynthesis.

During the project of Tara ocean, the investigators carried the research aboard the schooner Tara for duration of 3-1/2 years, and travelled 87,000 miles which is almost equal to 140,000 Km. The researchers were able to gather samples of around 5,000 Planktons, these samples were collected from 210 global sites. By studying these microbes further, scientists determined the distribution and interaction of these microorganisms plus they also carried out a genetic analysis.

Jennifer Brum, anoceanographer from the University of Arizona said, “Every mouthful of seawater contains about 200 million viruses. These viruses are infecting around 20 million bacteria. He identified over 5,000 virus populations in the upper parts of Earth’s oceans, according to Discovery. However, all except 39 of the microorganism populations were new virus types.”

Planktons are basically different types of organisms living underwater. These organisms can be bacteria, viruses, plants, fish larvae and animals. The research further explained that there are many different functions of Planktons except being the whale food.

Bowler explained that “plankton remove carbon dioxide from Earth’s atmosphere, and then use photosynthesis to convert it to organic carbon. This creates a microbe shield from the more carbon dioxide being produced by burning fossil fuels.”

Scientists say that Planktons are very important element of the Life support system of Earth. They are producing tons of oxygen every year for human beings ; the production of Oxygen is done by the process of photosynthesis. There are more than 40 million genes of plankton identified by the researchers, and interestingly most of them were undiscovered before this recent study.




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