Plank_3 - Teachers Background Information Program 3 How To Successfully Ride the Ocean Currents During this program we will introduce the factors

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Teacher’s Background Information Program 3: How To Successfully Ride the Ocean Currents! During this program we will introduce the factors influencing plankton movement and distribution from place to place. We will also discuss the many adaptations plankton have acquired to succeed in the ocean environment. Plankton are often referred to as the ocean drifters, because they are not strong swimmers and rely on ocean currents to move horizontally in their water world. “On air” we will locate and identify the major ocean currents; students may want to complete worksheet, Major Ocean Currents. Additional activities for this program are: Plankton Shapes - Maintaining Position In The Water Column; Drifting With The Currents; When Two Currents Meet. What kinds of ocean currents are there, and how do they impact plankton? There are two kinds of ocean currents; surface currents which extend only a few feet below the surface and subsurface currents that run below the surface depths. The Gulf Stream is referred to as both current types. Ocean currents are produced and maintained by the rotation of the earth, the winds, and differences in water density. In addition, the depth of the water, the underwater topography, the location of the land, and the shape of the basin in which the current is flowing all affect the ocean’s circulation. Phytoplankton Adaptations Unlike most land plants, phytoplakton (algae) do not require true roots, stems, or leaves, because they can absorb water and nutrients directly from their environment. Phytoplankton have a great variety of unique patterns, shapes, and forms. Instead of leafs and blades they have developed numerous pores, spines, and other projections. The function of these projections is to increase the surface area of the plant body itself, reduce the sinking rate, facilitate absorption of nutrients and increased exposure to sunlight for photosynthesis . By the action of the sun’s rays on chlorophyll (light absorbing pigments found within the phytoplankton cell) these plants produce carbohydrates, proteins, fats, and oxygen. These products in turn are
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This note was uploaded on 07/31/2011 for the course OCB 6050 taught by Professor Staff during the Spring '11 term at University of South Florida - Tampa.

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Plank_3 - Teachers Background Information Program 3 How To Successfully Ride the Ocean Currents During this program we will introduce the factors

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