Phytoplanktons are the powerhouse of the marine ecosystem. The photosynthetic algae, like the mitochondria, serves as a foundation, but specifically for the biological and environmental ocean system. Along with being an essential part of the marine ecosystem, phytoplanktons also have the ability to absorb carbon from our planet's atmosphere as much as the forests do. The microscopic algae are also crucial to the food chain of marine life even though it is too tiny for the naked eye. Moreover, phytoplanktons have absolute influence over marine life population and Eath's climate.

Phytoplankton Importance in the Marine Ecosystem

(Photo: NOAA MESA Project / WikiCommons)

Phytoplanktons were recently studied in part by GEOMAR Helmholtz Center for Ocean Research Kiel to understand more about how they fit the role of being the base of the marine ecosystem. Through the efforts of the biology experts, we will have more knowledge about the phytoplankton's biogeochemical processes.

These microorganisms, known as phytoplankton, play an essential function in marine ecology. Among their biggest biological functions are to impact the development of fisheries and control the capacity of the ocean to harness carbon emissions from the atmosphere. According to a report by Florida News Times, understanding both of these aspects is required, as it will benefit us with the knowledge of our nutrition and climate's future.

The phytoplankton growth was investigated through the collaborative effort of prestigious institutes, including GEOMAR Helmholtz Center for Ocean Research Kiel, University of Liverpool, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, and the Dalhousie University. The research included a model based on the biology of phytoplanktons in the ocean. The developed model was then aligned with the data gathered from the metaproteomic and environmental observation in the Southern Ocean's phytoplanktons.

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Growth of Photosynthetic Algae Dictates Fisheries and Climate Change

Dalhousie University expert and principal author of the study Scott McCain said that the growth of phytoplankton is similar to factory production, where materials are taken into the factory for assembly operations to manufacture a finished product. Based on this principle, McCain said that their team attempted to override the process and increase the output rate. The examination of the biological growth of phytoplanktons is published in the journal Cell Biology, titled "Cellular Costs Underpin Micronutrient Limitation in Phytoplankton."

The growth of phytoplankton, based on the research, heavily relies on their cellular assembly line. GEOMAR expert and co-author of the paper Eric Achterberg said on a Lab Manager report that the rearrangement of the cellular assembly lines in the phytoplankton caught their attention, as it is a more vital attribute on their growth compared to nutrient intake. With that said, they utilized their model and simulated the phytoplankton's unique process to interpret its growth and adaptation. The results showed that the photosynthetic protist's growth development is influenced by the cumulative cellular costs. Achterberg added that the phytoplankton growth research is a gateway to predicting phytoplankton's rise in the marine ecosystem, the fish stocks availability, and the future of our planet through the changing climate.

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