The diversity of plankton
At first glance, the plankton may not seem anything more than small marine organisms that serve as food for fish and whales. However, a marine scientist has dedicated itself to counter this trend and to disseminate the great diversity of these organisms.
Richard Kirby has dedicated all the carries to study and photograph the plankton, which exists in abundance in the ocean. In his book, “Ocean Drifters: A Secret World Beneath the Waves”, the researcher puts plankton under the microscope, showing to the world its variety of shapes and colors.
Among the organisms are algae, bacteria, stray animals and micro-organisms living in the sea or freshwater. The microscopic algae and small animals that eat them float freely in the sea, where they underpin the marine food chain.
The book includes high-resolution enlargements of plankton and explains how these organisms are being affected by global warming, which may have implications far-reaching for planetary ecology if the amount of available plankton in the oceans decreases.
“Without the plankton, there would be no fish in the sea,” states Richard Kirby, a professor at the University of Plymouth. The increasingly warmer global temperatures are causing the warming of ocean waters and consequently change the plankton habitat and create changes in their abundance, distribution and seasonality, “states the expert.