Marine phytoplankton are unicellular photosynthetic microbes that are responsible for roughly fifty per cent of global primary production and form the base of most of the pelagic food chains. Phytoplankton production is controlled by so-called ‘bottom-up’ factors, i.e. physicochemical variables like light, temperature, CO2 and nutrient availability. However, phytoplankton abundances are also regulated by ‘top-down’ mortality factors, such as zooplankton grazing and viral lysis. Douwe Maat investigates how abiotic factors affect virus-phytoplankton interaction, alone and in combination with other relevant environmental variables. His main focus is on phosphorus (P) limitation.
D.S. Maat, Ecophysiological Aspects of Algal Host - Virus Interactions in a Changing Ocean.
Prof. C.P.D. Brussaard
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