DW_Plankton is the basis for the entire marine food web – and it is under threat. From the Mediterranean to the Pacific, animals have been struggling to survive, due apparently to changes with plankton.
Food chains represent the greatest interdependency within the webs of life. The marine food chain, for instance, is essential for oceans – and depends on plankton. But environmental changes and human activities may be threatening plankton– and therefore all marine animals.
According to a recent study,the biomass of sardines and anchovies has been decreasing at alarming rates in the Mediterranean Sea. At the same time, sea lions are struggling to forage on the coasts of California. Both cases have shed light on how a single food chain element can affect all others.
While it is still unknown whether species will be able to adapt to new conditions, the marine food chain is already experiencing drastic changes – and plankton plays a crucial role across the board.
“If anything happens to the plankton, an immediate cascade effect will take place on the food chain,” Ivan Nagelkerken, a University of Adelaide’s biology professor, told DW.
Even top predators depend on plankton – indirectly
Building blocks of life
Plankton are tiny aquatic organisms that drift through the sea, forming the basis of the marine food chain.
For plankton, both quantity and quality – in terms of nutrients – affect life up the food chain. Tiếp tục đọc “Plankton decline hits marine food chain”