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Census of Marine Zooplankton (CMarZ)

CMarZ is focused on assessing the global biodiversity of animal plankton, particularly those zooplankton that remain adrift in ocean currents their entire lives. Additionally, the project is studying the biomass, distribution, genetic diversity, and community structure of this extremely common and worldwide group of animals. These Census scientists hope to 1ocate global hotspots of biodiversity, with the goal of creating an online database that will allow for such things as more effective ecosystem-based ocean management and provide tools for rapid assessment of ecosystem health. To achieve these goals by 2010, CMarZ is working in close coordination with other ongoing surveys, research initiatives, and cooperating projects worldwide, developing genetic barcodes that allow for quick species identification and comprehensive cataloging.

This calanoid copepod, Neocalanus plumchus, is just one of many thousands of zooplankton species that make up a substantial portion of the world's marine biodiversity. The red scale bar equals 2 millimeters, less than a 10th of an inch. (Census of Marine Zooplankton - CMarZ, Russ Hopcroft)

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University of Rhode Island

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