The fate of photons absorbed by phytoplankton in the global ocean
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- The fate of photons absorbed by phytoplankton in the global ocean
- Hanzhi Lin
Maxim Y. Gorbunov
Paul G. Falkowski
Lee, Sang H.
Fedor I. Kuzminov
- chlorophyll fluorescence; phytoplankton; quantum yield of photochemistry
- Issue Date
- Hanzhi Lin, et al. 2016. "The fate of photons absorbed by phytoplankton in the global ocean". SCIENCE, 351(6270): 264-267.
- Solar radiation absorbed by marine phytoplankton can follow three possible paths. By simultaneously measuring the quantum yields of photochemistry and chlorophyll fluorescence in situ, we calculate that, on average, ~60% of absorbed photons are converted to heat, only 35% are directed toward photochemical water splitting, and the rest are reemitted as fluorescence. The spatial pattern of fluorescence yields and lifetimes strongly suggests that photochemical energy conversion is physiologically limited by nutrients. Comparison of in situ fluorescence lifetimes with satellite retrievals of solar-induced fluorescence yields suggests that the mean values of the latter are generally representative of the photophysiological state of phytoplankton;however, the signal-to-noise ratio is unacceptably low in extremely oligotrophic regions, which constitute 30% of the open ocean.
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