Articles | Volume 12, issue 21
Biogeosciences, 12, 6493–6501, 2015
Biogeosciences, 12, 6493–6501, 2015
Research article
13 Nov 2015
Research article | 13 Nov 2015

Phytoplankton calcification as an effective mechanism to alleviate cellular calcium poisoning

M. N. Müller et al.

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Cited articles

Arp, G., Reimer, A., and Reitner, J.: Photosynthesis-Induced Biofilm Calcification and Calcium Concentrations in Phanerozoic Oceans, Science, 292, 1701–1704, 2001.
Baas-Becking, L. G. M.: Salt effects on swarmers of Dunaliella virdis Teod., J. Gen. Physiol., 14, 765–779, 1931.
Bach, L. T., Riebesell, U., Gutowska, M. A., Federwisch, L., and Schulz, K. G.: A unifying concept of coccolithophore sensitivity to changing carbonate chemistry embedded in an ecological framework, Prog. Oceanogr., 135, 125–138, 2015.
Barcelos e Ramos, J., Schulz, K. G., Febiri, S., and Riebesell, U.: Photoacclimation to abrupt changes in light intensity by Phaeodactylum tricornutum and Emiliania huxleyi: the role of calcification, Mar. Ecol.-Prog. Ser., 452, 11–26, 2012.
Ben-Yaakov, S. and Goldhaber, M. B.: The influence of sea water composition on the apparent constants of the carbonate system, Deep-Sea Res., 20, 87–99, 1973.
Short summary
The White Cliffs of Dover date back to the Cretaceous and are made up of microscopic chalky shells which were produced mainly by marine phytoplankton (coccolithophores). This is iconic proof for their success at times of relatively high seawater calcium concentrations and, as shown here, to be linked to their ability to precipitate calcium as chalk. The invention of calcification can thus be considered an evolutionary milestone allowing coccolithophores to thrive at times when others struggled.
Final-revised paper