eCite Digital Repository

Why marine phytoplankton calcify


Monteiro, FM and Bach, LT and Brownlee, C and Bown, P and Rickaby, REM and Poulton, AJ and Tyrrell, T and Beaufort, L and Dutkiewicz, S and Gibbs, S and Gutowska, MA and Lee, R and Riebesell, U and Young, J and Ridgwell, A, Why marine phytoplankton calcify, Science Advances, 7, (2) pp. e1501822. ISSN 2375-2548 (2016) [Substantial Review]

Pending copyright assessment - Request a copy

DOI: doi:10.1126/sciadv.1501822


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.

Item Details

Item Type:Substantial Review
Keywords:phytoplankton, coccolithophores, calcification, global change
Research Division:Earth Sciences
Research Group:Oceanography
Research Field:Biological oceanography
Objective Division:Expanding Knowledge
Objective Group:Expanding knowledge
Objective Field:Expanding knowledge in the earth sciences
UTAS Author:Bach, LT (Dr Lennart Bach)
ID Code:133572
Year Published:2016
Web of Science® Times Cited:109
Deposited By:Ecology and Biodiversity
Deposited On:2019-07-02
Last Modified:2019-07-03

Repository Staff Only: item control page