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Marine Ecology Progress Series

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MEPS - Vol. 443 - Feature article
SEM of coccoliths and coccospheres of Emiliania huxleyi Morphotypes A (orange) and B/C (dark and pale blue), which have different coccolith calcite contents. Image: Helen Smith (NOC).

Poulton AJ, Young JR, Bates NR, Balch WM


Biometry of detached Emiliania huxleyi coccoliths along the Patagonian Shelf


The coccolithophorid Emiliania huxleyi is a key contributor to pelagic calcite production and exists as a variety of morphotypes throughout the ocean. Limited information is currently available as to the relative distribution or hydrographic conditions which each of these morphotypes favour. Poulton and co-authors examined the relative distribution of detached coccoliths of the different morphotypes along the Patagonian Shelf in December 2008. The two morphotypes had distinctive distributions, with morphotype A in warm waters with low nutrients and morphotype B/C in cold waters with high nutrients. Morphotype B/C dominated the large-scale bloom that was present along the Patagonian Shelf and the B/C morphotype is presumably common throughout the Southern Ocean.


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