However, the impact of changes in the dynamics of sea ice specifically on phytoplankton spring blooms, a major contributor of the annual primary production in the Arctic Ocean, remains poorly known. Phytoplankton are highly dependent on a diversity of nutrients and influenced by physical and chemical properties in the ocean. As diverse as these effects can be, changes to phytoplankton communities will occur as well. 2009) (Nicholls, et al. Phytoplankton produce about 50% of the global biomass and take up an equal amount of CO2 from the atmosphere as all terrestrial ecosystems taken together. These changes in phytoplankton affect the zooplankton composition promoting shifts . Phytoplankton are the base of the Antarctic food web, sustain the wealth and diversity of life for which Antarctica is renowned, and play a critical role in biogeochemical cycles that mediate global climate. The name comes from Greek terms, phyton or “plant” (“planktos”), meaning “wanderer” or “drifter”. Anthropogenic influences on the climate will change these conditions. That includes humans. Productivity of phytoplankton depends on a number of environmental factors many of which are altering with climate change. Because phytoplankton migration would cause marine life to move with it (or die, should organisms fail to adapt quickly enough to the change in their environment), that has the potential to affect fisheries and other economies in the coastal areas. • Higher phytoplankton biomass was observed during spring. 1999). For example, oysters utilize phytoplankton as a food source. Ecology of Shellfish. Biodiversity of the ocean will change as the health of phytoplankton change (Rogelj, et al. “Because with climate change you have less mixing of the water column, we thought that the phytoplankton would have more access to light and they would simply expand, but instead we saw these bands of high and low abundance,” Cabré says. Phytoplankton are very sensitive to mineral availability, including nitrate and iron, and also to light. Moreover, the dominant species of phytoplankton may also change between different seasons within a year . Phytoplankton; small cells that use photosynthesis to turn sunlight into food that live near the surface of the ocean. • Spring diatoms were replaced by haptophytes and dinoflagellates in summer. Seasonal phytoplankton variability in the southern Patagonian shelf was assessed. Phytoplankton are microscopic plants that live in the ocean. • Phytoplankton variability driven by changes in water column structure and nutrient. These changes are mainly influenced by physical-chemical (bottom-up effects) and predation (top-down effects) through the aquatic food web [10,11]. This pair of images shows changes in sea surface temperature (top) and phytoplankton productivity (bottom) between 2000 and 2004, after the last strong El Niño event, which occurred between 1997-1998. 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