PAOC Spotlights

Ecological Balancing Act

Fri September 17th, 2010
MIT News Office - Morgan Bettex

New research by PAOC graduate student Andrew Barton suggests phytoplankton diversity depends on a balance between competition and the ocean’s physical dynamics...Phytoplankton are single-celled organisms that serve as the base of the marine food web and provide half the oxygen we breathe on Earth. They also play a key role in global climate change by removing carbon from the atmosphere and injecting it deep into the oceans. Scientists study phytoplankton to understand how the tiny plants help transport elements like carbon through the environment. Although they understand much of what phytoplankton do, less is understood about why particular plankton live in particular environments and what maintains the diversity of phytoplankton.

Andrew works with Mick Follows. This work is part of the Darwin Project.

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