Whether you refer to them as the ‘briny deep’, the ‘seven seas’ or ‘Davy Jones’ locker’, the world’s oceans
play a huge part in all of our lives. Consisting of 70% of the earth’s surface, oceans driving global weather patterns, through regulating a conveyor belt of heat from the equator to the poles. Oceans are also teeming with life, from single-celled organisms to large apex predators, such as the killer whale ( Orcinus orca).
As with every other ecosystem on earth, the world’s oceans and the marine life they provide a home to, are under
increasing pressure from human-related activities. At the 1992 Earth Summit, Canada proposed the concept of a World Ocean Day as a day to celebrate our oceans and to raise awareness about the crucial role the ocean plays in our lives and the important ways people can help protect it. Since 2002, the Ocean Project has been coordinating and promoting of World Ocean Day. Continue reading
Below is a press release about the Methods in Ecology and Evolution article ‘ What goes in, must come out: Combining scat‐based molecular diet analysis and quantification of ingested microplastics in a marine top predator‘ taken from Plymouth Marine Laboratory.
Wild grey seals. By Philip Newman, Natural Resources Wales
A brand new method has been developed by scientists at
Plymouth Marine Laboratory (PML) and the University of Exeter, in collaboration with Abertay University and Greenpeace Research Laboratories, to investigate links between top predator diets and the amount of microplastic they consume through their prey. It offers potential insights into the exposure of animals in the ocean and on land to microplastics.
An estimated 9.6-25.4 million tonnes of plastic will enter the sea annually by 2025. Microplastics in particular have been found on the highest mountains and in the deepest seas. New techniques are needed to trace, investigate and analyse this growing concern.
Posted in General, Methods papers |
Tagged DNA, Food Web, Grey Seal, Marine Ecosystems, metabarcoding, Microplastics, Plastic Pollution, Plymouth Marine Laboratory, Sarah Nelms, Scat, Top Predator, Trophic Transfer |