Biochemical composition of phytoplankton is a key indicator of the physiological and nutritional status of phytoplankton. A balanced biochemical pattern represents a healthy and productive metabolism in the autotrophic levels which can facilitate proper functioning of higher level organisms. The estimation of biochemical compositions was initiated in the early 1970’s. However, there has been a significant set of modifications in the extraction method and improvements in the sampling and analysis techniques since then. Similarly, the extent of biochemical measurements from various aquatic ecosystems around the globe has also increased. Recently, biochemical patterns are being used as a tool to track the changes in the physiological status of phytoplankton as a response to climate change. Such investigations are also forming part of research works on marine food webs and the nutritional status of ecosystems. This article is a brief review of research works carried out so far in an attempt to understand the biochemical compositions of phytoplankton in the global oceans and the implications with regard to changing environmental conditions.
Financed by the National Centre for Research and Development under grant No. SP/I/1/77065/10 by the strategic scientific research and experimental development program:
SYNAT - “Interdisciplinary System for Interactive Scientific and Scientific-Technical Information”.