Whale Feces Essential To Ecosystem

11/01/10 12:50PM By Jane Lindholm
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AP/Marcelo Ruschel

Joe Roman is a conservation biologist and fellow at the University of Vermont's Gund Institute for Ecological Economics and the author of a book on whales.  Roman has been focused on the serious side of...whale poop.

Perhaps not surprisingly, journalists have jumped at the chance to interview Dr. Roman about the subject, probably just to be able to say the phrase "flocculent fecal plumes" on the air.

But what Joe Roman and his colleague James McCarthy have discovered is more than just a quirky story.  The fecal matter of whales is an essential contributor to the productivity of the oceanic ecosystem.

Roman spoke with VPR's Jane Lindholm about his studies.

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