The use of coagulation theory to describe particles in planktonic ecosystems is in a transition phase. Simple models have provided simple, useable formulae to describe marine systems. As the underlying models have been modified to improve the mechanistic descriptions, the simplicity is necessarily being left behind. Unfortunately, there is no consensus on how the newer models should be formulated. Furthermore, field observations tend to omit the collection of data that can be used to test the models. Progress in the field will depend on the ability of modeling and field programs to interact.

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