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On phytoplankton trends

March 7, 2008

Phytoplankton—unicellular algae in the surface layer of lakes and oceans—fuel the lacustrine and marine food chains and play a key role in regulating atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations. How will rising carbon dioxide concentrations in the air and surface ocean in turn affect phytoplankton? Answering this question is crucial for projecting future climate change. However, because phytoplankton species populations appear and disappear within weeks, assessing change requires high-resolution monitoring of annual cycles over many years. Such long-term studies at coastal sites ranging from estuaries and harbors to open coastlines and islands are yielding bewildering variability, but also fundamental insights on the driving forces that underlie phytoplankton cycles.

Publication Year 2008
Title On phytoplankton trends
DOI 10.1126/science.1151330
Authors Victor Smetacek, James E. Cloern
Publication Type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Series Title Science
Index ID 70200498
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization Toxic Substances Hydrology Program