Related topics: ocean

Glacier depth affects plankton blooms off Greenland

The unusual timing of highly productive summer plankton blooms off Greenland indicates a connection between increasing amounts of meltwater and nutrients in these coastal waters. In a new study published today in the international ...

Symbiotic plankton: providers or parasites?

Out at sea, a scientist holds a plankton sample up to the light and observes the shimmering contents. This sparkling spectacle is caused by thousands of microscopic organisms living at the sea surface, their intricate, crystalline ...

Fossil record reveals changes in Earth's movement and rotation

Professor James Crampton from Victoria University's School of Geography, Environment, and Earth Sciences worked with a research team from GNS Science and the Universities of Wisconsin, California Riverside, and Chicago to ...

New ocean plankton species named after BBC Blue Planet

A newly discovered species of ocean plankton, Syracosphaera azureaplaneta, has been named by UCL researchers in honour of the critically acclaimed BBC Blue Planet series and its presenter Sir David Attenborough.

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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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