Understanding their spatial and temporal dynamics in relation to fish . head to the tip of the abdomen, excluding spines and other projections. Plankton have evolved many different ways to keep afloat. they can produce a variety of toxic effects, including fish mortality and paralytic shellfish poisoning. Plankton are the diverse collection of organisms that live in large bodies of water and are This is in contrast to nekton organisms, such as fish, squid and marine mammals, which can swim against the .. Plankton*Net – Taxonomic database of images of plankton species; Guide to the marine zooplankton of south eastern .
While plankton are most abundant in surface waters, they live throughout the water column. At depths where no primary production occurs, zooplankton and bacterioplankton instead consume organic material sinking from more productive surface waters above. This flux of sinking material, so-called marine snowcan be especially high following the termination of spring blooms.
Food chain[ edit ] Aside from representing the bottom few levels of a food chain that supports commercially important fisheriesplankton ecosystems play a role in the biogeochemical cycles of many important chemical elementsincluding the ocean's carbon cycle. Organic material tends to be denser than seawaterso it sinks into open ocean ecosystems away from the coastlines, transporting carbon along with it.
This process, called the biological pumpis one reason that oceans constitute the largest carbon sink on Earth. However, it has been shown to be influenced by increments of temperature.
Plankton - Wikipedia
However, this technique may not be practical at a large scale. Ocean oxygen depletion and resultant methane production caused by the excess production remineralising at depth is one potential drawback. In the process of photosynthesisphytoplankton release molecular oxygen O 2 into the water as a waste biproduct.
Phytoplankton produce their own food by lassoing the energy of the sun in a process called photosynthesis. So for sunlight to reach them, they need to be near the top layer of the ocean. So must zooplankton, which feed on the phytoplankton.
Plankton have evolved many different ways to keep afloat.
Spikes, like those on a radiolarian, help to distribute its weight over a large surface area and slowing its sinking. Many organisms, such as copepods and diatoms, produce oil to keep them afloat. The Portuguese man-o-war uses an air-filled sac to stay afloat. Phytoplankton Phytoplankton is made of very tiny--usually one-celled--plants. Since plants make their own food and release oxygen as a byproduct, all the other living things in the ocean depend on them directly or indirectly for food or oxygen.
Diatoms are the most common type of phytoplankton. They are single-celled yellow algae whose cell walls contain a lot of silica, glass-like substance.
The actual diatom fits inside this cell wall, with one half of the wall fitting over the second half, like a lid. The name diatom actually means "cut in two" in Greek.
There are many different kinds of diatoms, and they come in a variety of shapes--disk shaped, needle shaped, or linked together in chains. Dinoflagellates are like both plants and animals: Two species of dinoflagellates, Gonyaulax and Gymnodinium, are the cause of the dangerous red tide.
When their populations get large, the reddish-colored dinoflagellates not only make the surrounding water appear to be tinted red, they can produce a variety of toxic effects, including fish mortality and paralytic shellfish poisoning. Zooplankton Zooplankton, or animal plankton, may spend their entire lives as plankton at the mercy of the currents holoplankton ; or as meroplankton, existing as plankton for a short time during their development.