Plankton are drifters of the sea at the mercy of ocean currents. Plankton play many important roles as they form the basis of the marine food web, produce significant quantities of oxygen and also sequester large amounts of carbon. At the Auckland Islands, zooplankton have been collected using a drop net to provide baseline data about the presence of different plankton species. Looking at changes over time could help scientists understand the impacts of climate change on plankton communities.
Why might scientists want to understand the impacts of climate change on plankton communities?
Image acknowledgement: National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research (NIWA)