What is it about?
Marine phytoplankton are unicellular microorganisms that form the base of the marine food web and have an important role in regulating oxygen and carbon dioxide. Using a biogeochemical model we constrained their elemental composition throughout the geologic past.
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Why is it important?
We find that the nutrient content of phytoplankton has increased over the last 550 million years of Earth history. This increase in the organic matter nutrient content has likely been important for the evolution of marine fauna.
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This page is a summary of: Geologic controls on phytoplankton elemental composition, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, December 2021, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, DOI: 10.1073/pnas.2113263118.
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