|A comparison of marine photosynthesis with terrestrial photosynthesis: a biochemical perspective|
Kelly, G.J. (1989). A comparison of marine photosynthesis with terrestrial photosynthesis: a biochemical perspective. Oceanogr. Mar. Biol. Ann. Rev. 27: 11-44
In: Oceanography and Marine Biology: An Annual Review. Aberdeen University Press/Allen & Unwin: London. ISSN 0078-3218, more
Biochemistry; Limiting factors; Literature reviews; Phytoplankton; Marine
The maximum photosynthetic rate of marine microalgae--both cultures and natural populations--is often estimated as being two to four times higher than that of leaves of terrestrial plants, although the average estimate is one to two times. In an attempt to ascertain whether the higher estimates are biochemically feasible, the photosynthetic biochemistry of the two groups of plants is compared. Information in the literature indicates that the actual in situ (light-limited) photosynthesis of marine microalgae is 7% of its potential (at light saturation). Assuming that phytoplankton biomass (chlorophyll) has been correctly estimated, and that the biochemistry of marine algal photosynthesis is similar to that of terrestrial plants, then the current estimate of in situ marine photosynthesis is concluded to be biochemically reasonable.