Toward Understanding the Roles of Phytoplankton in Biogeochemical Cycles: Personal Notes

  • Richard W. Eppley
Part of the Environmental Science Research book series (ESRH, volume 43)


This is a collection of remembrances of those who whetted my interest in biogeochemical cycles in my formative years of the 1960s and 1970s. I used to ask myself “How can anyone justify earning a living by studying phytoplankton?” Colleagues kept pointing out that phytoplankton production for fish food was not a suitable justification. The links between phytoplankton production and fish harvest, at least for local fisheries, were not obvious. In search of more compelling reasons I began to lean on the role of phytoplankton in C and N cycling as justification and to learn, especially from geochemists and micropaleontologists, of the great importance of phytoplankton for all of us for all time.


Fecal Pellet Sediment Trap Nitrate Reductase Activity Euphotic Zone Phytoplankton Production 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1992

Authors and Affiliations

  • Richard W. Eppley
    • 1
  1. 1.San DiegoUSA

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