plankton


Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.

plank·ton

(plangk'tŏn),
A general term for many floating marine forms, mostly of microscopic or minute size, which are moved passively by winds, waves, tides, or currents; it includes diatoms, algae, copepods, and many protozoans, crustacea, mollusks, and worms.
[G. planktos, wandering]

plank·ton

(plangk'tŏn)
A general term for many floating marine forms, mostly of microscopic or minute size, which are moved passively by winds, waves, tides, or currents.
[G. planktos, wandering]

plankton

the organisms inhabiting the surface layer of a sea or lake, drifting with the current. Many planktonic organisms are capable of locomotion but are not sufficiently strong swimmers to move against the currents. Members of the plankton vary in size from unicellular organisms to large jellyfish, 1m or more in diameter. Compare NEKTON.
References in periodicals archive ?
To be under the stars and the Milky Way with the bioluminescent plankton in the waves is nothing short of magic."
They believe the rise of this plankton stabilised the chemical composition of the ocean and provided the conditions for one of the most prominent diversifications of marine life in Earth's history.
Northrop Grumman may expand its studies to other organisms, but shrimp and plankton will be its initial focus.
The primary purpose of CPRs has been to record plankton communities in the vast ocean scale.
Zooplankton are the animal-like plankton (the krill, fish, jellyfish, etc.--any non-photosynthetic plankton), and are often grouped into three size classes (from smallest to largest): microzooplankton (20-200pm, smaller than a grain of salt), mesozooplankton (200pm-20mm size, between sesame seed and coffee bean size), and macrozooplankton (2-20cm, larger than a thumbnail).
If we want to predict where and when productive plankton-rich areas will form, we need to learn more about the turbulent three-dimensional environment in which plankton live--the forces that govern where different species move and aggregate.
Another photographer, Alyn Wallace, has also written a blog on his experience of swimming with the bioluminescent plankton at Three Cliffs Bay in Gower last year.
The authorities had then said continuous tourism activities would harm the islands' main attraction - the rare plankton.
"If I'd known the plankton were going to be there I'd have set a camera up with time-lapse.
Then, where plankton assume an important role of nutrients regeneration, a pollutant-caused reduction in plankton biomass could have a significant effect on natural ecosystem.
Phytoplankton are the self-feeding components for the plankton and a key part of oceans, seas and freshwater basin ecosystem.
'Imagine there's a little animal that wants to eat this plankton and suddenly it flashes at you,' he told ABC News.