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Resurrecting the ecological underpinnings of ocean plankton blooms
Behrenfeld, M.J.; Boss, E.S. (2014). Resurrecting the ecological underpinnings of ocean plankton blooms. Ann. Rev. Mar. Sci. 6: 167-194. hdl.handle.net/10.1146/annurev-marine-052913-021325
In: Annual Review of Marine Science. Annual Reviews: Palo Alto, Calif.. ISSN 1941-1405, more
Peer reviewed article  

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Keyword
    Marine
Author keywords
    phytoplankton, zooplankton, predator-prey, succession, climate

Authors  Top 
  • Behrenfeld, M.J.
  • Boss, E.S.

Abstract
    Nutrient and light conditions control phytoplankton division rates in the surface ocean and, it is commonly believed, dictate when and where high concentrations, or blooms, of plankton occur. Yet after a century of investigation, rates of phytoplankton biomass accumulation show no correlation with cell division rates. Consequently, factors controlling plankton blooms remain highly controversial. In this review, we endorse the view that blooms are not governed by abiotic factors controlling cell division, but rather reflect subtle ecosystem imbalances instigated by climate forcings or food-web shifts. The annual global procession of ocean plankton blooms thus represents a report on the recent history of predator-prey interactions modulated by physical processes that, almost coincidentally, also control surface nutrient inputs.

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