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Image : Phytoplankton Blooms

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This image is a color-coded map indicating where communities of phytoplankton, tiny plants living near the surface of the ocean, are very diverse (red) or low in diversity (blue). This map is generated by a model of the ocean based on principles that we understand to be true, and relationships and patterns that we have observed in the ocean. In this image, we see areas of high biodiversity (red) associated with very energetic parts of the ocean, such as the Gulf Stream off the east coast of the USA and the Kuroshio Current off the coast of Japan.
As part of my research, I try to untangle how biological processes such as growth and competition, and physical processes such as transport of phytoplankton across the ocean interact to create these patterns of phytoplankton biodiversity.
(Model Output: Sophie Clayton and Oliver Jahn, MIT)

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Last updated: June 8, 2012
 


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