Related topics: ocean

Researchers develop new way to study ocean life

Like spirits passing between worlds, billions of invisible beings rise to meet the starlight, then descend into darkness at sunrise. Microscopic plankton's daily journey between the ocean's depths and surface holds the key ...

Understanding sea larvae is key to managing marine systems

An international study led by Monash University scientists has found that the distance traveled by marine larvae is dictated by both biological and physical constraints—contradicting previous hypotheses based on biology ...

Study shows six decades of change in plankton communities

The UK's plankton population—microscopic algae and animals which support the entire marine food web—has undergone sweeping changes in the past six decades, according to new research published in Global Change Biology.

Observing phytoplankton via satellite

Thanks to a new algorithm, researchers at the AWI can now use satellite data to determine in which parts of the ocean certain types of phytoplankton are dominant. In addition, they can identify toxic algal blooms and assess ...

Oceanographers predict increase in phytoplankton by 2100

A neural network-driven Earth system model has led University of California, Irvine oceanographers to a surprising conclusion: phytoplankton populations will grow in low-latitude waters by the end of the 21st century.

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Plankton

Plankton (singular plankter) are any drifting organisms (animals, plants, archaea, or bacteria) that inhabit the pelagic zone of oceans, seas, or bodies of fresh water. That is, plankton are defined by their ecological niche rather than phylogenetic or taxonomic classification. They provide a crucial source of food to larger, more familiar aquatic organisms such as fish and whales.

Though many planktic (or planktonic—see section on Terminology) species are microscopic in size, plankton includes organisms covering a wide range of sizes, including large organisms such as jellyfish.

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