Ratio of silicon to phosphorus in diatom phytoplankton

Value 15 unitless
Organism Diatoms
Reference Mark A. Brzezinski The Si:C:N Ratio of marine diatoms: interspecific variability and the effect of some environmental variables,1985 Journal of Phycology 21: 3 pp 347-357
Method The variability of marine diatom Si:C and Si:N composition ratios was examined to assess their utility as ecological conversion factors. 27 diatom species that were grown under an 18:6 h LD and sampled at the end of the light period gave mean ratios, by atoms of 0.13±0.04 and 1.12±0.33 for Si:C and Si:N ratios, respectively (95% C.I. reported). From the redfield molar ratio in phytoplankton 106:16:1 for C:N:P the ratio of Si:P can be calculated to be 15:1 (by multiplying 0.13 by 15 and dividing by 1.06).
Comments Diatom Si:C compositional ratios have been used to estimate silica production in both global and local silicon budgets. The utility of the ratio comes from the lack of silica production estimates over most of the world ocean compared to the much greater coverage of the 14C primary productivity dataset. Diatoms are one of the commonest phytoplankton and require silica in order to build their frustules (encasing cell wall).
Entered by Ron Milo - Admin
ID 100591