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The role of mixotrophic protists in the biological carbon pump / Aditee Mitra, Kevin Flynn, J. M. Burkholder, T. Berge, A. Calbet, J. A. Raven, E. Granéli, P. M. Glibert, P. J. Hansen, D. K. Stoecker, F. Thingstad, U. Tillmann, S. Våge, S. Wilken, M. V. Zubkov
Biogeosciences, Volume: 11, Issue: 4, Pages: 995 - 1005
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The role of mixotrophic protists in the biological carbon pump
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This work calls into question the very basis of the description of the ecology of the largest continual ecosystem, on the planet. We present a new paradigm for marine ecology. We suggest that the classic description of the marine ecosystem as dominated by phototrophic phytoplankton and heterotrophic zooplankton is flawed. Using plankton functional models coupled with observational and experimental data, we demonstrate that mixotrophic protists – single celled organisms performing both phototrophy and heterotrophy within a single cell – play a dominant role in our oceans. I conducted the modelling, was the primary and communicating author.
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