The Scientists from UC Irvine have found that the ratio of carbon, nitrogen and phosphorous ingested by plankton isn’t constant, but varies widely. As of late, researchers have been using the Redfield ration to understand the biogeochemistry of the ocean. The ratio found by Alfred C. Redfield was 106:16:1. The variation of the levels was shown to be dependent of the geographic latitude. Plankton in ocean areas near the equator which have relatively low nutrient levels contained a greater amount of carbon which was, 195:28:1. The plankton in oceans near the polar regions ingested higher amounts of nitrogen but less carbon. The carbon they ingested was 78:13:1. The scientists researching this phenomena took many different trips in order to collect water samples. They collected samples from the Bering Sea, the North Atlantic near Denmark and the mild Caribbean waters.A sophisticated cell sorter was used to analyze the samples, then the data was compared to data from 18 other trips. Resarch is still ongoing.
– Farida Amer