Symbiosis is major driving force behind evolution of life. Mammals are absolutely dependant on gastrointestinal bacteria (e.g. escherichia coli) for digesting food. In fact, the digestive system is a key component of our immune system, protecting us against diseases and infections. Symbiosis can also be found among animals like ants which protects aphids and receive sugars in return. Symbiosis is key to life as we know it. Life did not take over the globe by combat, but by networking of different species helping each other to survive.
This image shows an amazing symbiotic relationship between microalgae and copepods. The microalgae are epibionts living on the surface of the copepods. Copepods are tiny crusteceans, about 1.5 mm in size. Normally, these species live separately, but in times when resources such as nutrition and oxygen levels are low, both benefit from a symbiotic relationship. Overgrown copepods, compared to those free from microalgae, are believed to have advantages in oxygen supply provided by the photosynthetic algae. At the same time, the copepod is the source of ammonium nitrogen algae needs.
Rarely can epibionts be seen on copepod eggs leading me to believe that the reproductive capability of the copepod may not be affected by the epibionts.
I have always been curious about the invisible. As a scientist by heart and education, I am inspired by looking beyond what you can see with the naked eye, whether it is distant stars or microscopic life forms. My work focus on unveiling the beautiful treasures of nature. A place where art and science meet. Photography brings an artistic sense to science and through my photographs, I aim to spark curiosity and create awareness of the ecological significance of microscopic life forms. My images are all about small life forms telling grand stories. The amazing thing is, it’s so close ...
This is a gallery-quality giclée art print on 100% cotton rag archival paper, printed with archival inks. Each art print is listed by sheet size and features a minimum one-inch border.