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Why marine phytoplankton calcify

Monteiro, FM; Bach, LT; Brownlee, C; Bown, P; Rickaby, REM; Poulton, AJ; Tyrrell, T; ... Ridgwell, A; + view all (2016) Why marine phytoplankton calcify. Science Advances , 2 (7) , Article e1501822. 10.1126/sciadv.1501822. Green open access

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Calcifying marine phytoplankton—coccolithophores— are some of the most successful yet enigmatic organisms in the ocean and are at risk from global change. To better understand how they will be affected, we need to know “why” coccolithophores calcify. We review coccolithophorid evolutionary history and cell biology as well as insights from recent experiments to provide a critical assessment of the costs and benefits of calcification. We conclude that calcification has high energy demands and that coccolithophores might have calcified initially to reduce grazing pressure but that additional benefits such as protection from photodamage and viral/bacterial attack further explain their high diversity and broad spectrum ecology. The cost-benefit aspect of these traits is illustrated by novel ecosystem modeling, although conclusive observations remain limited. In the future ocean, the trade-off between changing ecological and physiological costs of calcification and their benefits will ultimately decide how this important group is affected by ocean acidification and global warming.

Type: Article
Title: Why marine phytoplankton calcify
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.1501822
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1126/sciadv.1501822
Language: English
Additional information: Copyright © 2016 The Authors. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Keywords: Coccolithophores; calcification; photosynthesis; trade-offs; ecological and physiological costs and benefits; ecosystem modeling
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Maths and Physical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Maths and Physical Sciences > Dept of Earth Sciences
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1518019
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