Coccolithophorid biodiversity: evidence from the cosmopolitan species Calcidiscus leptoporus

  • Patrick S. Quinn
  • Alberto G. Sáez
  • Karl-Heinz Baumann
  • Blair A. Steel
  • Claudia Sprengel
  • Linda K. Medlin


Multidisciplinary research on the cosmopolitan coccolithophore species Calcidiscus leptoporus within the CODENET research project has revealed that it is composed of at least two separate species (Calcidiscus leptoporus and Calcidiscus quadriperforatus), characterized by differences in their coccolith morphology, life cycle, distribution, ecology and molecular genetics. This situation, which may be common in the coccolithophores, challenges our view of biodiversity and spe-ciation in this important marine phytoplankton group, at the present day and in the past. Here we present an in-depth review of all available evidence for the existence of hidden evolutionary biodiversity in extant C. leptoporus, including new and previously published data from CODENET research.


Sediment Trap Molecular Genetic Analysis Calcareous Nannofossil Emiliania Huxleyi Planktic Foraminifera 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  • Patrick S. Quinn
    • 1
  • Alberto G. Sáez
    • 2
  • Karl-Heinz Baumann
    • 3
  • Blair A. Steel
    • 4
  • Claudia Sprengel
    • 2
  • Linda K. Medlin
    • 2
  1. 1.Geological Institute, Swiss Federal Institute of TechnologyZurichSwitzerland
  2. 2.Department of Plankton BiologyAlfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine ResearchBremerhavenGermany
  3. 3.Department of GeosciencesUniversity of BremenBremenGermany
  4. 4.Department of PalaeontologyNatural History MuseumLondonEngland

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