The calcifying alga Emiliania huxleyi produces a considerable amount of biomass and calcium carbonate, supports the ocean’s function as a carbon dioxide sink and releases a climate-cooling gas.
It is almost impossible to imagine the marine elemental cycle without the tiny all-rounder. But this is exactly what scientists expect. In a laboratory experiment, Emiliania huxleyi showed its ability to adapt to ocean acidification through evolution. But the adaptation has its limits – and in the long run, the alga cannot maintain its growth rates. Also the calcification is affected.
What if we have to manage without the benefits that Emiliania huxleyi has for the marine ecosystem?
Photo editing: Solvin Zankl