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This text reference examines how photosynthesis evolved on Earth and how phytoplankton evolved through time ultimately to permit the evolution of complex life, including human beings. The first of its kind, this book provides thorough coverage of key topics, with contributions by leading experts in biophysics, evolutionary biology, micropaleontology, marine ecology, and biogeochemistry. This exciting new book is of interest not only to students and researchers in marine science, but also to evolutionary biologists and ecologists interested in understanding the origins and diversification of life. "Primary Producers of the Sea" offers these students and researchers an understanding of the molecular evolution, phylogeny, fossil record, and environmental processes that collectively permits us to comprehend the rise of phytoplankton and their impact on Earth's ecology and biogeochemistry. It is certain to become the first and best word on this exhilarating topic.This book: discusses the evolution of phytoplankton in the world's oceans as the first living organisms and the first and basic producers in the earths food chain; includes the latest developments in the evolution and ecology of marine phytoplankton specifically with additional information on marine ecosystems and biogeochemical cycles. This is the only book to consider of the evolution of phytoplankton and its role in molecular evolution, biogeochemistry, paleontology, and oceanographic aspects. It is written at a level suitable for related reading use in courses on the Evolution of the Biosphere, Ecological and Biological oceanography and marine biology, and Biodiversity.