Strong far-field coherent scattering of ultraviolet radiation by holococcolithophores

Phys Rev E Stat Nonlin Soft Matter Phys. 2006 Sep;74(3 Pt 1):032901. doi: 10.1103/PhysRevE.74.032901. Epub 2006 Sep 12.


By considering the structure of holococcoliths (calcite plates that cover holococcolithophores, a haploid phase of the coccolithophore life cycle) as a photonic structure, we apply a discrete dipolar approximation to study the light backscattering properties of these algae. We show that some holococcolith structures have the ability to scatter the ultraviolet radiation. This property may represent an advantage for holococcolithophores possessing it, by allowing them to live higher in the water column than other coccolithophores.