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BG | Articles | Volume 17, issue 11
Biogeosciences, 17, 2955–2969, 2020
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
Biogeosciences, 17, 2955–2969, 2020
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Research article 09 Jun 2020

Research article | 09 Jun 2020

A 15-million-year-long record of phenotypic evolution in the heavily calcified coccolithophore Helicosphaera and its biogeochemical implications

Luka Šupraha and Jorijntje Henderiks

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Cited articles

Antoine, D., André, J.-M., and Morel, A.: Oceanic primary production: 2. Estimation at global scale from satellite (Coastal Zone Color Scanner) chlorophyll, Global Biogeochem. Cy., 10, 57–69,, 1996. 
Aubry, M.-P.: Phylogeny of the Cenozoic calcareous nannoplankton genus Helicosphaera, Paleobiology, 14, 64–80,, 1988. 
Aubry, M.-P.: A sea of Lilliputians, Palaeogeogr. Palaeocl., 284, 88–113,, 2009. 
Backman, J., Duncan, R. A., Peterson, L. C., Baker, P. A., Baxter, A. N., Boersma, A., Cullen, J. L., Droxler, A. W., Fisk, M. R., Greenough, J. D., Hargraves, R. B., Hempel, P., Hobart, M. A., Hurley, M. T., Johnson, D. A., Macdonald, A. H., Mikkelsen, N., Okada, H., Rio, D., Robinson, S. G., Schneider, D., Swart, P. K., Tatsumi, Y., Vandamme, D., Vilks, G., and Vincent, E.: Site 707, in Proceedings of the Ocean Drilling Program covering Leg 115 of the cruises of the drilling vessel JOIDES Resolution, Port Louis, Mauritius, to Colombo, Sri Lanka, sites 705–716, 13 May 1987–2 July 1987, edited by: Barbu, E. M., 233–399, Texas A & M University, 1988. 
Baumann, K.-H., Böckel, B., and Frenz, M.: Coccolith contribution to South Atlantic carbonate sedimentation, in: Coccolithophores, 367–402, Springer Berlin Heidelberg, Berlin, Heidelberg, available at: (last access: 4 May 2020), 2004. 
Publications Copernicus
Short summary
The cell size, degree of calcification and growth rates of coccolithophores impact their role in the carbon cycle and may also influence their adaptation to environmental change. Combining insights from culture experiments and the fossil record, we show that the selection for smaller cells over the past 15 Myr has been a common adaptive trait among different lineages. However, heavily calcified species maintained a more stable biogeochemical output than the ancestral lineage of E. huxleyi.
The cell size, degree of calcification and growth rates of coccolithophores impact their role in...
Final-revised paper