Phytoplankton represent the base of the food web in marine ecosystems. Changes in the structure and composition of these phytoplankton communities will, therefore, have a direct effect on the amount of carbon available to higher trophic levels. In the absence of significant grazing, light and nutrients are the primary factors regulating phytoplankton photosynthesis and productivity in marine environments. As the requirements for light and nutrients differ between species, phytoplankton community structure is also sensitive to dynamic optical and chemical conditions in the water column.



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The original publication is available at ISBN: 978-0-387-95317-5.

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