diatoms Research Reveals that Old Theory of Phytoplankton Growth Wrong

diatoms, the most common type of photoplankton.

A recent study has revealed that the previously accepted theor of how and phytoplankton appear in the worlds’ oceans is in fact not correct.

The results of the study have overturned over 50 years of common knowledge about the growth of phytoplankton, which is the foundation of almost all life in the ocean as well as many major fisheries. These results also bring to light new concerns that global warming may actually be stunting the growth of phytoplankton, rather than increasing it.

The study was published in the journal Ecology by a professor of botany at the Oregon State University, Michael Behrenfeld, who just happens to be one of the leading experts in the world when it comes to using remote sensors to take a gander at the productivity in the ocean. This study was also backed up by NASA, it’s good to see they still have an interest in what goes on down here, and not just in what goes on in space.

The new study has concluded that the theory developed in 1953, the “critical depth hypothesis”, is not only incomplete, but also inaccurate in explaining summer phytoplankton appearances which have been observed for the last few centuries in the North Atlantic Ocean. These appearances are the foundation of many of the worlds’ fisheries.

The old theory stated that due to increased light in the spring, the phytoplankton bloomed more, however its been discovered that the production actually goes up in the middle of winter, effectively blowing that theory out of the water.

The new theory is that the winter storms churn the water, and make it more difficult for the organisms that eat the phytoplankton to find them, hence the phytoplankton is more abundant in those months.