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Diatoms

A Star of the Food Web

A diatom chain of the genus Thalassionema is one of thousands of images captured each hour by the Imaging FlowCytobot, an automated, submersible microscope, operating continuously at the Martha's Vineyard Coastal Observatory. Diatoms are one of several major types of marine phytoplankton, which are important primary producers in the region's complex food web. A new Long-Term Ecological Research project off the Northeast U.S. coast will investigate their diversity and role in food webs, as well as how they respond to environmental change over seasons to decades. (Photo by Heidi Sosik, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution)

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