Coccolithophores

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  • Coccolithophores are single-celled algae living in the upper layers of the world’s oceans.
  • It calcifies marine phytoplankton that produces up to 40 % of open ocean calcium carbonate and responsible for 20 % of the global net marine primary productivity. 
  • At equilibrium, it absorbs more carbon dioxide than they produce, which is beneficial for the ocean ecosystem.
  • A study led by the National Centre for Polar and Ocean Research (NCPOR) has found that there is a decrease in the concentration of oceanic calcium carbonate (CaCO3) in the southern Indian ocean.
  • This decrease in CaCO3 is attributed to the increase in the concentration of another single-celled algae known as diatoms.
  • This, in turn, will affect the growth and skeleton structure of coccolithophores, with potential significance for the world ocean ecosystem.

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