Oceanography The Official Magazine of
The Oceanography Society
Volume 28 Issue 02

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Volume 28, No. 2
Pages 264 - 265


BOOK REVIEW • Photosynthesis in the Marine Environment

By Arthur Grossman  
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Photosynthesis in the Marine Environment was written by three experienced marine biologists, Sven Beer, Mats Björk, and John Beardall, who have all worked for many years on photosynthesis and the utilization of inorganic carbon in the marine environment. They have published numerous papers dealing with photosynthesis and the fixation of inorganic carbon by various marine organisms, including seagrasses, macroalgae, and microalgae, and how the environment impacts their photosynthetic activity. This book emphasizes how marine photosynthetic processes differ from those of terrestrial plants, and while it has sections that might be valuable for specialists, its strength is that it serves as an excellent introduction to photosynthesis in the ocean for graduate students and undergraduates, and even for advanced high school students. When describing photosynthesis in the ocean, the authors place it into the context of the evolutionary history of the planet/​atmosphere and the massive changes in O2, CO2, and UV light that have occurred over the last three billion years. The book also provides a glimpse into the various types of photosynthetic organisms, from the macrophytic algae such as Porphyra and Ulva, to the coccolithophore-​​producing algae responsible for creating the calcium carbonate deposits of the white cliffs of Dover, to diatoms and their silica frustules, model green algae such as Chlamydomonas, and prokaryotic cyanobacteria with their ability to fix nitrogen and synthesize photoprotective UV absorbing compounds.


Grossman, A. 2015. Review of Photosynthesis in the Marine Environment, by S. Beer, M. Björk, and J. Beardall. Oceanography 28(2):264–265, https://doi.org/10.5670/oceanog.2015.52.

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