Michael J Behrenfeld

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We assembled a dataset of 14C-based productivity measurements to understand the critical variables required for accurate assessment of daily depth-integrated phytoplankton carbon fixation (PP,,) from measurements of sea surface pigment concentrations (C,,,). From this dataset, we developed a light-dependent, depth-resolved model for carbon fixation (VGPM)(More)
Contributing roughly half of the biosphere's net primary production (NPP), photosynthesis by oceanic phytoplankton is a vital link in the cycling of carbon between living and inorganic stocks. Each day, more than a hundred million tons of carbon in the form of CO2 are fixed into organic material by these ubiquitous, microscopic plants of the upper ocean,(More)
We describe a classification system for daily phytoplankton primary productivity models based on four implicit levels of mathematical integration. Depth-integrated productivity models have appeared in the literature on average once every 2 years over the past four decades. All of these models can be related to a single formulation equating depth-integrated(More)
The Critical Depth Hypothesis formalized by Sverdrup in 1953 posits that vernal phytoplankton blooms occur when surface mixing shoals to a depth shallower than a critical depth horizon defining the point where phytoplankton growth exceeds losses. This hypothesis has since served as a cornerstone in plankton ecology and reflects the very common assumption(More)
Exposure of algae or higher plants to bright light can result in a photoinhibitory reduction in the number of functional PS II reaction centers (n) and a consequential decrease in the maximum quantum yield of photosynthesis. However, we found that light-saturated photosynthetic rates (Pmax) in natural phytoplankton assemblages sampled from the south Pacific(More)
Iron is essential for all life, but it is particularly important to photoautotrophs because of the many iron-dependent electron transport components in photosynthetic membranes. Since the proliferation of oxygenic photosynthesis in the Archean ocean, iron has been a scarce commodity, and it is now recognized as a limiting resource for phytoplankton over(More)
The Sea-viewing Wide Field-of-view Sensor (SeaWiFS) provides global monthly measurements of both oceanic phytoplankton chlorophyll biomass and light harvesting by land plants. These measurements allowed the comparison of simultaneous ocean and land net primary production (NPP) responses to a major El Niño to La Niña transition. Between September 1997 and(More)
In situ enrichment experiments have shown that the growth of bloom-forming diatoms in the major high-nitrate low-chlorophyll (HNLC) regions of the world's oceans is limited by the availability of iron. Yet even the largest of these manipulative experiments represents only a small fraction of an ocean basin, and the responses observed are strongly influenced(More)
Phytoplankton growth and productivity relies on light, multiple nutrients and temperature. These combined factors constitute the 'integrated growth environment'. Since their emergence in the Archaean ocean, phytoplankton have experienced dramatic shifts in their integrated growth environment and, in response, evolved diverse mechanisms to maximize growth by(More)
Characterization of physiological variability in phytoplankton photosynthetic efficiencies is one of the greatest challenges in assessing ocean net primary production (NPP) from remote sensing of surface chlorophyll (Chl). Nutrient limitation strongly influences phytoplankton intracellular pigmentation, but its impact on Chl-specific NPP (NPP *) is debated.(More)