Each glance into a marine plankton sample is a look into a fantastic world for anyone who wants to study protists and invertebrate animals. Nowhere is it possible to observe with a simple device such a variety of forms and taxa, developmental stages and adaptations as in a Petri dish with a small plankton sample placed under a light microscope. This book is an introduction to the most important and most common taxa present in the plankton, and it allows the identification even of numerous common species. Micrographs demonstrate characteristic forms of the phytoplankton, 70 of protozoans, more than 300 show larvae and other developmental stages, and about 90 show holoplanktonic adults of the zooplankton. The comprehensively annotated pictures are taken from living organisms, during marine excursions, mainly from the North Sea coastal area but also from other European coastlines, including the western Mediterranean. Therefore the book is excellently suited to be used in such university courses for students of zoology and marine biology as well as for their teachers, but it is certainly also a comprehensible guide for any amateur microscopist and interested layperson. In the Second Edition the most evident new feature is the considerable increase in the number of photographs. In particular, numerous Mediterranean species have been added, leading, among others, to the inclusion of entirely new plates on trematodes, sipunculids, pelagic gastropods, several crustacean taxa, enteropneusts, and holothurians.
Prof. Dr. Otto Larink is a zoologist. He studied morphology and developmental history of insects (PhD 1968 in Kiel, habilitation 1975 in Braunschweig). Later he was the head of a working group on soil zoology at the Technical University in Braunschweig, till 2004. During annual courses at the Biological Station on the isle of Helgoland in the North Sea since 1963 and during various visits at European coasts he observed the diversity of plankton organisms and documented them with many of the micrographs presented here. Prof. Dr. Wilfried Westheide is zoologist as well and focused in his research on systematics and morphology of invertebrates, especially annelids. After his PhD (1966) he was a scientific member of the Biologische Anstalt Helgoland for a short time, got his habilitation at the University of Göttingen and was head of the Department of Systematic Zoology at the University of Osnabrück from 1983 to 2003.