Does algal diversity matter for oceanic biogeochemical cycles?

14 January 2015, 3.00 PM - 14 January 2015, 4.00 PM

Seminar Room 1, Geographical Sciences, University Road, Bristol, BS8 1SS

The first Physical Geography seminar of 2015 will be given by Alex Poulton (National Oceanography Centre) who will be talking about the impact of algal diversity on oceanic biogeochemical cycles.


Diversity, the richness of an ecosystem in terms of its species, is an inherent property of marine communities, often highly prized by marine managers. But does it matter? In terms of oceanic biogeochemical cycles, is who you are important? Can we find evidence of specific species having different roles or biogeochemical impacts? Coccolithophores, a group of marine algae with a long fossil record, form cellular scales of calcium carbonate and hence have a key role in the pelagic production of calcite. On a cellular level there is significant variability in the calcite content of individual cells, making this group of marine algae an ideal candidate to examine how species composition regulates calcite production and export. Coccolithophores are also unique in that cells have a dual personality, an outer shell formed of calcite scales and an inner organic rich cell with the main source of energy for the cell being photosynthesis. Hence, coccolithophores also have important roles in primary production, nutrient uptake and recycling. This talk will examine diversity patterns in contrasting communities from the tropics to the poles, from blooms to non-blooms and link calcite production from the scale of single cells to mixed communities.

No booking required, open to all UoB staff and students.

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