Competition between multiple phytoplankton species in the ocean under various light conditions.
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Phytoplankton, organic cells in bodies of water, can grow rapidly when sufficient light (largest near the surface) and nutrients (largest near the bottom) are available. A numerical model is used to gain insight into the competition of three phytoplankton species in the seasonal and daily light variations of different latitudes. The focus of this study lies on the effects of day-night varying light conditions on top of a seasonal light variability, compared to solely seasonal light conditions. Results show that three species can all survive in an environment without day-night variation, no matter the latitude. But when daily variation is taken into account on top of the already existing seasonal variation, only one species will prevail.