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Food Web Base

CCE scientists developed a model that accurately predicts how the growth of phytoplankton at the base of the ocean's food web varies with depth and from inshore to offshore. These results help scientists forecast how physical and chemical changes affect marine fisheries and biodiversity.

Li, Q. P., P. J.S. Franks, M. R. Landry, R. Goericke, and A. G. Taylor. 2010. Modeling phytoplankton growth rates and chlorophyll to carbon ratios in California coastal and pelagic ecosystems. Journal of Geophysical Research 115, G04003, doi:10.1029/2009JG001111.
Peter Franks, Scripps Institution of Oceanography
Microscopic, single-celled phytoplankton from offshore (left) and nearshore (right) in the California Current System LTER site. Epifluorescence microscope images (green = protein, red= chlorophyll a, blue = DNA, orange = phycoerythrin).
Vertical distribution of observed and modeled growth rates for CCE-LTER Process Cruise P0605, for 5 experimental "cycles." Note the agreement between observations (black) and model-total phytoplankton (blue). The model also predicts the growth rates of diatoms (green), and nondiatom phytoplankton (red), although there were no measurements of these two taxa. The last panel shows the overall comparison between model and data.
Li et al. (2010)



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