Marine Snow and Plankton
Example images of plankton organisms sampled with an underwater imaging system. -Image: Klas Ove Möller / Hereon-
Marine aggregates of biogenic origin, known as marine snow, are considered to play a major role in the oceans particle flux. These aggregates are the major vector for the transfer of carbon from the upper ocean to the deeper layers and a potential food source for zooplankton. However, our mechanistic understanding of the processes controlling the ocean's biological carbon pump is limited by a lack of observational data at appropriate scales and little is known about their abundance, composition and trophic importance.
To improve our understanding of plankton and particle dynamics the department Marine snow & Plankton employs new methods (e.g. underwater imaging systems) to elucidate these processes and improve our understanding of marine ecosystems and the biological carbon pump.