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Thursday, March 26, 2009

Many Factors Can Cause Shifts in Forage Plankton Needed by Whales

Mar 23, 2009

Aerosols can poison plankton

For many years, researchers have believed that atmospheric aerosols can dissolve into the oceans and provide phytoplankton with nutrients beneficial to their growth, such as iron and phosphates. But now a team from the US and Israel has found that some aerosols can actually harm the micro-organisms.

"This is the first time that a toxicity effect from aerosols in the ocean is seen and it highlights the complexity of the system – basically we cannot treat aerosols as all being the same and we cannot treat phytoplankton as all responding similarly to aerosol inputs," Adina Paytan of the Univeristy of California, Santa Cruz told environmentalresearchweb. "We will have to think about the balance between the benefits and the negative impacts of aerosols. This is particularly important since it is likely that aerosol deposition amount and composition will change with climate change and increased urbanization."

Complete article at: http://environmentalresearchweb.org/cws/home

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