Aeroplankton


Aeroplankton

Aeroplankton (or aerial plankton) is the term used to describe the tiny lifeforms which float and drift in the air, carried by the current of the wind; it is the atmospheric analogue to oceanic plankton.

Most of the living things that make up aeroplankton are very small to microscopic in size, and many can be difficult to identify because of their tiny size. Scientists can collect them for study in traps and sweep nets from airplanes.

The aeroplankton comprises numerous microbes, including viruses, about 1000 different species of bacteria, around 40,000 varieties of fungi, and hundreds of species of protists, algae, mosses and liverworts that live some part of their life cycle as aeroplankton, often as spores, pollen, and wind-scattered seeds.

A large number of small animals, mainly arthropods (such as insects and spiders), are also carried upwards into the atmosphere by air currents and may be found floating several thousand feet up. Aphids, for example, are frequently found at high altitudes. Many species of spiders deliberately use the wind to propel themselves around an area. The spider will find a vantage point (such as a branch, fence or surface) and, pointing its abdomen upward, eject fine threads of silk from the spinnerets. At some point, the friction of the air upon the silk thread(s) is great enough to get the spider lifted into the air and carried off by the breeze. This is called ballooning. Ballooning spiders (see Linyphiidae) are capable of drifting many miles away from where they started. The flexibility of their silk draglines can aid the aerodynamics of their flight, causing the spiders to drift an unpredictable and sometimes long distance [http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/5174012.stm] .

ee also

*aerobiology

External links

* [http://www.islandnet.com/~see/weather/almanac/arc_1998/98sep02.htm Living on the air]


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  • Aeroplankton — aeroplanktonas statusas T sritis ekologija ir aplinkotyra apibrėžtis Oro srovių nešiojamas planktonas – smulkūs gyvieji organizmai (mikroorganizmai, jų sporos, sėklos). atitikmenys: angl. aeroplankton vok. Aeroplankton, n rus. aэропланктон, m;… …   Ekologijos terminų aiškinamasis žodynas

  • aeroplankton — aeroplanktonas statusas T sritis ekologija ir aplinkotyra apibrėžtis Oro srovių nešiojamas planktonas – smulkūs gyvieji organizmai (mikroorganizmai, jų sporos, sėklos). atitikmenys: angl. aeroplankton vok. Aeroplankton, n rus. aэропланктон, m;… …   Ekologijos terminų aiškinamasis žodynas

  • Aeroplankton — Als Luftplankton oder Aeroplankton werden allgemein winzige biologische Organismen wie z. B. winzige Tiere (Gewittertierchen, Baldachinspinnen), Viren, Bakterien oder Bestandteile wie Pollen, Sporen und Pflanzensamen bezeichnet, die nicht oder… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • aeroplankton — An organism or a substance carried by air, e.g., bacterium, pollen, grain. [aero + G. planktos, ntr. on, wandering] * * * aero·plank·ton .ar ō plaŋ(k) tən, .er , .tän n small airborne organisms (as flying insects) * * * aero·plank·ton (ār&# …   Medical dictionary

  • Aeroplankton — Aero|plạnkton [a er...; ↑aero... u. ↑Plankton] s; s: Gesamtheit der im Luftraum schwebenden Kleinlebewesen (Bakterien, Sporen, Protozoen u.Aeroplanktona.; Biol.) …   Das Wörterbuch medizinischer Fachausdrücke

  • Aeroplankton — Ae|ro|plank|ton das; s: Gesamtheit der im Luftraum schwebenden Kleinlebewesen (Bakterien, Sporen, Protozoen u. a.; Biol.) …   Das große Fremdwörterbuch

  • aeroplankton — m IV, D. u, Ms. aeroplanktonnie, blm biol. «ogół drobnych organizmów zwierzęcych i roślinnych, takich jak małe owady, pyłek kwiatowy, zarodniki, unoszących się biernie w atmosferze z prądami powietrza; anemoplankton» …   Słownik języka polskiego

  • aeroplankton — n. small organisms carried in the air …   English contemporary dictionary

  • aeroplankton — aero·plankton …   English syllables

  • aeroplankton — ¦a(ə)rə, ¦e(ə)rə, ¦āərə, rōˌ noun Etymology: aer + plankton : small airborne organisms (as small insects or fungus spores) * * * aeroplankˈton noun Minute organisms carried in the air • • • Main Entry: ↑aero …   Useful english dictionary


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