From little things, bigger things grow

Stacy DeppelerAntarctic marine life from krill to whales, seals, penguins and seabirds all ultimately depend on phytoplankton for their food, but a study published recently in the journal Frontiers has revealed these single-cell plants at the base of the food chain are being affected by a range of climate-induced stressors. Warming seas, increased ocean acidification, and reductions in salinity and sea ice are all posing a threat to the health of marine ecosystems.

The study was a collaborative project between PhD student Stacy Deppeler from Tasmania’s Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies, and researchers from the Australian Antarctic Division, and the Antarctic Climate and Ecosystems Cooperative Research Centre, to better understand how ecosystems are adapting in response to changes in phytoplankton communities in the Southern Ocean.         Continue reading From little things, bigger things grow