University of Cambridge > Talks.cam > CCI Conservation Seminars > Just because you’re small doesn’t mean biodiversity isn’t important! – Importance of phytoplankton diversity for the global carbon cycle

Just because you’re small doesn’t mean biodiversity isn’t important! – Importance of phytoplankton diversity for the global carbon cycle

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Ocean photosynthesis drives an important sink in the global carbon cycle. It is, therefore, critical to understand how climate change may impact this photosynthesis or “primary production” (PP). The IPCC concludes (medium confidence) that ocean PP will be reduced in a warmer ocean due to an increase in the intensity of thermal stratification. However, several of the studies I have recently carried out suggest that the intensity of thermal stratification does not influence ocean PP! Rather, it appears that the most important climate mediated factor influencing the magnitude of ocean PP is the depth of the nutricline and the most important factor driving feedbacks from PP to the climate system is likely the species composition (biodiversity) of the phytoplankton.

This talk is part of the CCI Conservation Seminars series.

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