Plankton ecosystems contain a phenomenal reservoir of life: more than 10 billion organisms inhabit every litre of oceanic water, including viruses, prokaryotes, unicellular eukaryotes (protists), and metazoans. Plankton’s importance for the earth’s climate is at least equivalent to that of the rainforest. Yet only a small fraction of organisms that compose it have been classified and analysed.
Tara Oceans expedition, led by EMBL senior scientist Eric Karsenti, has been travelling around the world (2009-13) collecting over 35,000 ocean samples containing millions of small organism collected in more than 210 ocean stations. More about Tara