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Open ocean phytoplankton include coccolithophore algae, a key element in carbon cycle regulation with important feedbacks to the climate system. We document latitudinal variability in both coccolithophore assemblage and the mass variation in one particular species, Emiliania huxleyi, for a transect across the Drake Passage (in the Southern Ocean). Coccolithophore abundance, diversity and maximum depth habitat decrease southwards, coinciding with changes in the predominant E. huxleyi morphotypes.
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BG | Articles | Volume 16, issue 19
Biogeosciences, 16, 3679–3702, 2019
https://doi.org/10.5194/bg-16-3679-2019
Biogeosciences, 16, 3679–3702, 2019
https://doi.org/10.5194/bg-16-3679-2019

Research article 30 Sep 2019

Research article | 30 Sep 2019

Calcification and latitudinal distribution of extant coccolithophores across the Drake Passage during late austral summer 2016

Mariem Saavedra-Pellitero et al.

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Balch, W. M., Drapeau, D. T., Bowler, B. C., Lyczskowski, E., Booth, E. S., and Alley, D.: The contribution of coccolithophores to the optical and inorganic carbon budgets during the Southern Ocean Gas Exchange Experiment: New evidence in support of the “Great Calcite Belt” hypothesis, J. Geophys. Res.-Ocean., 116, C00F06, https://doi.org/10.1029/2011JC006941, 2011. 
Balch, W. M., Bates, N. R., Lam, P. J., Twining, B. S., Rosengard, S. Z., Bowler, B. C., Drapeau, D. T., Garley, R., Lubelczyk, L. C., Mitchell, C., and Rauschenberg, S.: Factors regulating the Great Calcite Belt in the Southern Ocean and its biogeochemical significance, Global Biogeochem. Cy., 30, 1124–1144, https://doi.org/10.1002/2016gb005414, 2016. 
Beaufort, L., Couapel, M., Buchet, N., Claustre, H., and Goyet, C.: Calcite production by coccolithophores in the south east Pacific Ocean, Biogeosciences, 5, 1101–1117, https://doi.org/10.5194/bg-5-1101-2008, 2008. 
Beaufort, L., Probert, I., de Garidel-Thoron, T., Bendif, E. M., Ruiz-Pino, D., Metzl, N., Goyet, C., Buchet, N., Coupel, P., Grelaud, M., Rost, B., Rickaby, R. E. M., and de Vargas, C.: Sensitivity of coccolithophores to carbonate chemistry and ocean acidification, Nature, 476, 80–83, https://doi.org/10.1038/nature10295, 2011. 
Blanco-Ameijeiras, S., Lebrato, M., Stoll, H. M., Iglesias-Rodriguez, D., Müller, M. N., Méndez-Vicente, A., and Oschlies, A.: Phenotypic Variability in the Coccolithophore Emiliania huxleyi, PloS one, 11, e0157697, https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0157697, 2016. 
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Short summary
Open ocean phytoplankton include coccolithophore algae, a key element in carbon cycle regulation with important feedbacks to the climate system. We document latitudinal variability in both coccolithophore assemblage and the mass variation in one particular species, Emiliania huxleyi, for a transect across the Drake Passage (in the Southern Ocean). Coccolithophore abundance, diversity and maximum depth habitat decrease southwards, coinciding with changes in the predominant E. huxleyi morphotypes.
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