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Phytoplankton stress

Stressed-out Phytoplankton

They may be microscopic and single-celled, but marine phytoplankton like these Melosira sp. are not immune to the stresses of everyday life. Like us, they require essential nutrients such as iron and Vitamin B12, and when nutrient supplies diminish in the ocean, phytoplankton populations show signs of stress. Phytoplankton produce half of Earth's oxygen supply and are the base of the ocean food chain, so it's important to learn more about how they respond to such to changes as ocean acidification and pollution. Former MIT-WHOI Joint Program graduate student Erin Bertrand wrote a playful Oceanus article on this research called "Psychotherapy for Phytoplankton." (Photo by Dawn Moran, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution)


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