Biology Question #975

Jason Ting, a 12 year old male from Beijing asks on October 16, 2002,

Can phytoplankton live with only nutrients not sunlight?

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The answer

Barry Shell answered on October 22, 2002

According to Caren Braby at the Hopkins Marine Station, Stanford University, "Phytoplankton can only live with both nutrients and sunlight, unless you count a resting cyst stage (which occur in some phytoplankton groups) which are thought to be able to produce living cells from sand or mud-embedded resting cysts. If you count cysts, then yes they can live without sunlight. If you don't count them, no they can't."

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