About this Research Topic
Aquatic freshwater and marine ecosystem functioning are conditioned on photosynthesis. Photosynthesis also plays a crucial role in the complex formation of life on the Earth. It is considered that aquatic photoautotroph organisms are responsible for over half of the total CO2 fixation by photosynthesis and, for this reason, oceans, alongside tropical forests, are often called the "green lungs” of our planet. Moreover, aquatic ecosystems act as a giant sink for atmospheric CO2 and thus will play a key role in our efforts to reduce the effects of climate change. Some taxa of aquatic photoautotroph can produce cloud condensation nuclei and thus affect low-level cloud albedo over the oceans. In the North Atlantic, a remarkably high correlation between the distribution of phytoplankton chlorophyll and marine stratus cloud albedo is observed, suggesting that phytoplankton can potentially influence the Earth’s heat budget.
This Research Topic opens an opportunity to exchange and update the knowledge about the structure and functioning of aquatic photoautotroph photosynthetic apparatus and the effect of aquatic ecosystem photosynthesis on CO2 and oxygen concentration in the air, biomass production and climate change mitigation. In Original Research and Review articles, we will discuss the molecular aspects of the photosynthesis process in cyanobacteria, algae, and macrophytes of both fresh and marine water, considering genetics, structure and function of photosynthetic machinery, and ecological significance. The Research Topic is open to aquatic photosynthetic organisms regardless of the latitude (polar, temperate, tropical) and their habitats (layers of water column, sediments, sea-ice, etc.). Topic areas that are welcome include:
- Genes involved in photosynthesis and regulation of their expression
- Diversity of aquatic photosynthetic pigments and protein-pigment binding
- Structure of chloroplasts, arrangement of thylakoid membranes and distribution of photosystems within the thylakoid membranes
- Variety and activity of aquatic photosynthetic enzymes
- Molecular mechanisms of different photosynthetic apparatuses’ regulation and protection in aquatic photoautotrophs during exposure to various environmental factors, like light, temperature, salinity or metal and metalloid pollutants
- Discussion at the molecular level of aquatic photosynthesis as potential reducers of global climate change
Keywords: Photosynthesis, Cyanobacteria, Algae, Macrophytes, Climate change
Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.