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Why is the land green and the ocean red?
Falkowski, P.G.; Schofield, O.; Katz, M.E.; van de Schootbrugge, B.; Knoll, A.H. (2004). Why is the land green and the ocean red?, in: Thierstein, H.R. et al. Coccolithophores: from molecular processes to global impact. pp. 429-453.
In: Thierstein, H.R.; Young, J.R. (2004). Coccolithophores: from molecular processes to global impact. Springer: Berlin; Heidelberg. ISBN 3-540-21928-5. xiii, 565 pp., more

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  • Falkowski, P.G.
  • Schofield, O.
  • Katz, M.E.
  • van de Schootbrugge, B.
  • Knoll, A.H.

    Fossil evidence suggests that during the Paleozoic Era, green algae dominated eukaryotic phytoplankton taxa. One branch of this originally aquatic clade colonized terrestrial ecosystems to form what would become a green hegemony on land -with few exceptions, terrestrial plants are green. In contrast to land plants, contemporary oceanic phytoplankton are represented by relatively few species that are phylogenetically deeply branching. Since the Triassic Period, the major taxa of eukaryotic phytoplankton preserved in the fossil record have been dominated by organisms containing plastids derived from the “red”, chlorophyll c containing algal clade. The ocean became “red” sometime during the Triassic or early Jurassic periods. The evolutionary success of the red line in Mesozoic and younger oceans appears related to changing oceanic conditions. In this chapter, we briefly explore the evolutionary processes and ecological traits that potentially led to the success of the red line in the oceans.

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