New Study Sheds Light On Phytoplankton And The Ocean’s Circadian Rhythm

A new study by a scientist from the Ecosystems Center at the Marine Biological Laboratory has shed new light on the ocean’s day-night cycle.

The new research was published in Global Ecology and Biogeography and offers a closer look at how the rhythm affects Phytoplanktonthe basis of all life on the planet.

The research has shown that the diel (day / night) rhythm does indeed affect plankton life, although the exact methods are still poorly understood.

According to MBL postdoctoral researcher and first author on the paper Ioannis Tsakalakis:

“We know that a lot of traits of different Phytoplankton are based on the day / night cycle. Some dinoflagelletes go deeper [in the water column] to get more nutrients and then go up to photosynthesize. Some store carbon during the day, so they can use it at night. “

While senior author on the paper and MBL Senior Scientist Joe Vallino stated:

“This model contributes to advancing our fundamental understanding of how the ocean works … Being able to predict how the distribution of Phytoplankton will change is going to have repercussions higher up the food web … If you can’t get that base change right, you can ‘t get anything that’s connected to that above it. “

You can find the original study here.