# Coccolithophores: Ancient Marine Algae

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In a study carried out by the National Centre for Polar and Ocean Research (NCPOR) on Coccolithophores (microscopic ancient marine algae) , it has been revealed that there is a decrease in the concentration of oceanic calcium carbonate (${\mathrm{CaCO}}_{3}$) in southern Indian ocean.

• Coccolithophores are single-celled algae.
• They live in the upper layers of the world՚s oceans.
• They calcify marine phytoplankton that produce:
• 40 % of open ocean calcium carbonate.
• 20 % of the global net marine primary productivity.
• They also build exoskeletons from individual ${\mathrm{CaCO}}_{3}$ plates consisting of chalk and seashells.
• Coccolithophores help in removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and ocean during photosynthesis.
• They absorb more carbondioxide than they produce at equilibrium, beneficial for the ocean ecosystem.
• Abundance and diversity enrichment of coccolithophores is influenced by various environmental factors:
• Silicate concentrations
• Calcium carbonate concentration
• Diatom abundance
• Light intensity
• Availability of macro and possibly micronutrient concentrations

## Study

• It points to climate change as a major reason for the altered coccolithophore calcification rate.
• Important for bringing positive changes in the marine ecosystem as well as global carbon cycle.

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