Related topics: ocean

Mapping eukaryotic plankton globally in all their diversity

Eukaryotic plankton are an essential and highly diverse component of marine ecosystems. A research team from École Normale Supérieure (ENS) Paris, University of Turku and Anton Dohrn Zoological Station in Naples established ...

Plankton may head poleward as a result of global warming

Ocean warming caused by anthropogenic greenhouse-gas emissions will prompt many species of marine plankton to seek out new habitats, in some cases as a matter of survival. ETH Zurich researchers expect many organisms to head ...

Freshwater ecosystems at risk due to glyphosate use

A series of recent research papers from a McGill-led team has found that the herbicide glyphosate—commonly sold under the label Roundup—can alter the structure of natural freshwater bacterial and zooplankton communities. ...

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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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