One of the biggest questions in modern oceanography is how animals in the deep sea get enough to eat. Marine biologists at the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute (MBARI) recently published a paper that helps answer this question, at least for animals that live on the deep seafloor off the coast of Central California. After analyzing hundreds of hours of deep-sea video, Bruce Robison and his colleagues found that "sinkers"—the cast-off mucus nets of small midwater animals called larvaceans—are a significant source of food for deep-sea organisms. They describe their findings in the June 10, 2005 issue of Science magazine.
Far from being a deserted place, the deep seafloor is inhabited by a wide variety of swimming, crawling, and burrowing animals. Since plants cannot grow more than few hundred meters below the surface, most deep-sea animals either eat their neighbors or feed on material (detritus) that drifts down from above. For decades oceanographers have used funnel-like collectors called sediment traps to measure how much food sinks down to the seafloor in the form of detritus. They have also estimated the amount of food consumed by animals on the seafloor. At many locations, they have found that the amount of food collected in sediment traps is significantly less than the amount of food being consumed by animals on the seafloor.
Over the years, researchers have suggested a number of possible additional food sources for deep-sea organisms that might make up for the lack of food observed in sediment traps. Some researchers have theorized that additional food washes into the deep sea from shallow coastal areas or river plumes. Other scientists have suggested that algal blooms or the sunken carcasses of whales and other large animals could account for the missing food. Robison believes that, although these sources may be important in some areas, they are not persistent enough or substantial enough to account for what is apparently a world-wide phenomenon.
Kim Fulton-Bennett | EurekAlert!
Ion treatments for cardiac arrhythmia — Non-invasive alternative to catheter-based surgery
20.01.2017 | GSI Helmholtzzentrum für Schwerionenforschung GmbH
Seeking structure with metagenome sequences
20.01.2017 | DOE/Joint Genome Institute
An important step towards a completely new experimental access to quantum physics has been made at University of Konstanz. The team of scientists headed by...
Yersiniae cause severe intestinal infections. Studies using Yersinia pseudotuberculosis as a model organism aim to elucidate the infection mechanisms of these...
Researchers from the University of Hamburg in Germany, in collaboration with colleagues from the University of Aarhus in Denmark, have synthesized a new superconducting material by growing a few layers of an antiferromagnetic transition-metal chalcogenide on a bismuth-based topological insulator, both being non-superconducting materials.
While superconductivity and magnetism are generally believed to be mutually exclusive, surprisingly, in this new material, superconducting correlations...
Laser-driving of semimetals allows creating novel quasiparticle states within condensed matter systems and switching between different states on ultrafast time scales
Studying properties of fundamental particles in condensed matter systems is a promising approach to quantum field theory. Quasiparticles offer the opportunity...
Among the general public, solar thermal energy is currently associated with dark blue, rectangular collectors on building roofs. Technologies are needed for aesthetically high quality architecture which offer the architect more room for manoeuvre when it comes to low- and plus-energy buildings. With the “ArKol” project, researchers at Fraunhofer ISE together with partners are currently developing two façade collectors for solar thermal energy generation, which permit a high degree of design flexibility: a strip collector for opaque façade sections and a solar thermal blind for transparent sections. The current state of the two developments will be presented at the BAU 2017 trade fair.
As part of the “ArKol – development of architecturally highly integrated façade collectors with heat pipes” project, Fraunhofer ISE together with its partners...
19.01.2017 | Event News
10.01.2017 | Event News
09.01.2017 | Event News
20.01.2017 | Awards Funding
20.01.2017 | Materials Sciences
20.01.2017 | Life Sciences