A fluorescence microscopy image of phytoplankton including chain-forming diatoms and many large dinoflagellates. The different colors indicate different components of the cells including the cell’s cytoplasm (green), nuclear material (blue) and chlorophyll pigments (red). The phytoplankton are magnified 1,000 times their actual size. Credit: Alexis Pasulka
In a recent study published in Marine Ecology Progress Series, researchers at California Polytechnic State University revealed that in addition to seasonal changes in winds and ocean temperatures, natural climate cycles greatly influenced the base of the food web at the Cal Poly Pier in San Luis Obispo Bay, an embayment located in Central California in the California Current Large Marine Ecosystem. Like seasons that drive recurring changes in ocean and atmospheric patterns every year, natural climate cycles drive rhythmic changes in these patterns over longer cycles.
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