Encyclopedia > Plankton

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Plankton is the name given to all the microorganisms that drift and hover in the ocean and freshwater. The name comes from the Greek language <math>\pi\lambda\alpha\gamma\kappa\tau o\nu</math> - term for "wanderer" or "drifter". If the organism has a method of propulsion, it is instead called nekton.

Plankton are divided into two classes:

Plankton concentration and distribution is very sensitive to chemical and physical changes in the sea water.

See also larger images (http://www.ecoscope.com/ocean/index.htm); (photomontage by Uwe Kils)

Hyperiid amphipod, Hyperia macrocephala (http://www.ecoscope.com/hyperia/index.htm) (Uwe Kils)

Copepod (Calanoida) (Uwe Kils)

See also: algal bloom, domoic acid

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