The word plankton means the microscopic organisms (animals and plants). The plankton live in almost any type of water. These plankton move from one place to another place under the influence of wind, currents etc.

Why phytoplankton are called as PRIMARY PRODUCERS: The phytoplankton are called as AUTOTROPHS, because they prepare their own food by using sunlight, water, co2 and minerals. Because these plankton prepare the food first time these are called as primary producers. The plankton make their own food by the process PHOTOSYNTHESIS. The phytoplankton contain chlorophyll.   

Types of plankton:

The plankton are classified into different types

Classification 1: phytoplankton


Classification 2: Nanoscopic plankton

                                 Microscopic plankton

                                 Macroscopic plankton.

Classification 3: Permanent plankton

                                 Temporary plankton

The phytoplankton are microscopic plants, they have chlorophyll so they look in green colour. The zooplankton are microscopic animals, these plankton donot have chlorophyll, so they have any colour but green colour.

The plankton which we should see in microscope to observe them perfectly are called as microscopic plankton. Some plankton can be seen in powerful microscopes such as ELECTRONIC MICROSCOPE are called as nanoscopic plankton. The plankton which can be seen with out any microscope are called as macroscopic plankton.

The plankton which spend total life as plankton are called as permanent plankton. The plankton which spend only a short time in their life as plankton are called as temporary plankton.

Vertical migration:  the zooplankton migrate vertically during the day to mesopelagic and comes back to surface during night. This is to avoid heat and UV light. Some scientists believe that they are going to mesopelagic to get easy food; this is because the food tends to move slowly in mesopelagic. Some zooplankton go to mesopelagic in-order to escape from predators, because the light is not available in mesopelagic.



Uses of plankton

Health of the Ocean

  • Phytoplankton form the base of the marine food chain. Phytoplankton are the primary producers and Zooplankton are the secondary producers. Small fish and some larger species of fish and whales depend on plankton directly for their main food source. The smaller fish eventually become prey for larger fish and marine mammals so the food chain continues. Dead phytoplankton and zooplankton finally reach the bottom of the ocean and nourish shellfish and other bottom dwellers. Sudden raise of plankton population is called as population crash or population bloom. Population crashes in the ocean can have serious consequences for the marine ecosystem in given area.
  • Phytoplankton produce oxygen which not only maintains the alkalinity of the ocean but also the health of the other organisms which share the ocean environment.
  • With out doubt we can say that the plankton play a major role for the Health of ocean, which finally maintain the climate health.   

Climate health

  • Global climate health directly affected by the phytoplankton’s population health. Phytoplankton is responsible for more than 50 percent of all photosynthesis on earth. This means they function as a major carbon dioxide absorbers, by taking this gas from the atmosphere phytoplankton produce organic matter and release oxygen.
  • Sudden death of large amount of phtoplnkton population during El-nino phenomenon have negative effects on climate health.
  • In general the healthy plankton directly maintains the health of the climate.

Human health

  • The health of the human population is directly related to the health of the plankton population. Some species of fish that consume plankton, such as sardines, serve as a food source both for humans and other organisms which share marine environment.
  • Many plankton are used in the preparation of Medicines, which increase the health of humans.
  • Some plankton are directly used as food, some should be processed to accept as food.

Economic Health

  • Many countries worldwide depend on commercial fishing both for food and employment. Without healthy and prosperous plankton the fish population and commercial fishing would disappear.
  • The amount of healthy plankton population directly related with strong economy.

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