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Ecological and Evolutionary Responses of Phytoplankton to Global Change and Their Potential for Climate Change Mitigation

Elena Litchman

Phytoplankton are key primary producers performing half of Earth’s carbon fixation, forming the base of aquatic food webs, and driving major biogeochemical cycles. The global analysis of phytoplankton thermal traits shows that warming may change phytoplankton biodiversity, with tropical regions being especially vulnerable, and that the interactions of temperature with nutrient limitation may exacerbate the negative effects of rising temperatures. I will also show that, although phytoplankton can evolve greater tolerance of high temperatures, widespread nutrient limitation in the ocean may diminish phytoplankton adaptive capacity. I will conclude my talk by discussing the potential of phytoplankton for climate mitigation, focusing on ocean fertilization for CO2 removal.

Speaker: Elena Litchman, Carnegie Institution

Thursday, 12/01/22


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Polya Hall

Stanford University
Turing Auditorium
Stanford, CA 94305

Website: Click to Visit