The planktonic algae known as the Haptophyta occur in all the world's oceans, sometimes occurring in 'blooms' so dense that they can be detected by satellites. Some species produce sulphur compounds that may contribute to the problem of acid rain. Others strongly affect the carbon dioxidebalance between the ocean and the atmosphere, thus becoming linked to the proposed 'greenhouse effect', and others produce powerful poisons responsible for killing fish and other marine life. This is the first book to deal comprehensively with this important group of unicellular organisms, and each chapter has been contributed by an expert in the field. The topics covered include all major aspects of haptophyte biology, including structure, biochemistry, ecology, climatological andeconomic importance, fossil record, evolution, and systematics.