|WikiProject Algae||(Rated C-class, High-importance)|
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I think the statement that Prochlorococcus is responsible for at least 50% of atmospheric oxygen is dubious. What does that mean? That it created half of the oxygen in the atmosphere back when the atmosphere got its oxygen? It may be true that it produces half of the oxygen that is presently being produced by plants and algae, but that's not the same thing. (By the way, if all the Prochlorococcus died, we'd still have our oxygen, and it wouldn't go down much at all. When Prochlorococcus dies or gets eaten, this consumes the oxygen that it produced during its life.) Eric Kvaalen (talk) 12:53, 12 December 2014 (UTC)
I agree with Eric Kvaalen. According to <Field et al (1998)></http://www.sciencemag.org/content/281/5374/237> approximately 50% of global net primary production (and therefore oxygen production) is attributed to oceanic production and phytoplankton, which is in turn divided among all phytoplankton groups, not just Prochlorococcus. I've heard estimates that Prochlorococcus is responsible for about 50% of marine primary production, but I don't have a legitimate source for that right now, and it would probably be disputed anyways. In any case, the statement that Prochlorococcus is responsible for 50% of global oxygen production is incorrect and should be deleted. Alimardo (talk) 19:32, 18 March 2015 (UTC)