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Abstract

In reviewing this subject, it became clear to me that plankton ecologists fall out into two groups: Those who delight in finding the patterns in nature that can be explained by size, and those who delight in finding exceptions to the established size-dependent rules. I came to appreciate the degree to which the satisfaction of both groups is equally justified. The mechanisms underlying the size-dependent patterns have undoubtedly steered the general course of phytoplankton evolution, but the organisms that do not abide by the rules reveal the wonderful diversity of ways in which cells have managed to disobey the “laws” scripted for them. The simplicity of the general relationships serves as a stable backdrop against which the exceptions can shine. By understanding the forces that have driven the design of these exceptions, we can begin to understand the ecology that has shaped past and present planktonic ecosystems.

Keywords

Phytoplankton Community Marine Phytoplankton Pelagic Ecosystem Florida Lake Phytoplankton Size 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1992

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sallie W. Chisholm
    • 1
  1. 1.48-425 Ralph M. Parsons LaboratoryMassachusetts Institute of TechnologyCambridgeUSA

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