plankton_report

plankton_report - Syfrig 1 Spencer Syfrig MSCI 210 Lab...

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Syfrig 1 Spencer Syfrig MSCI 210 Lab April 12, 2007 Plankton Report The term Plankton is used to describe any plant or animal that is carried by the ocean currents passively (Beyond the Reef 2002). They can range in size from Ultraplankton such as microbes, which are under 5 micrometers, to Macroplankton such as jellyfish, which are larger than 1 millimeter (Boney 3). There are two kinds of plankton, Phytoplankton and Zooplankton. One of the distinguishing points between the two is that phytoplankton are able to photosynthesis and therefore produce their own energy (Beyond the Reef 2002). Phytoplankton therefore require sunlight as well as nutrients in the water such as nitrogen and phosphorous (Boney 17). Phytoplankton are the worlds leading producers of oxygen, and therefore are vital for environmental stability (Beyond the Reef 2002). They are considered at the bottom of the food chain because they are producers. Zooplankton generally eat phytoplankton and therefore are usually larger. Zooplankton are also the preferred food source of many ocean creatures. Because of this, most have developed clear or blue bodies to be able to camouflage themselves from predators (Beyond the Reef 2002). Within the Zooplankton are two more divisions of Holoplankton and Meroplankton. The difference between the two is holoplankton will remain zooplankton for their entire life cycle while meroplankton will eventually grow into a larger form. The largest and most well known of the holoplankton are the sea jellies. They can range in size from miniscule all the way up
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plankton_report - Syfrig 1 Spencer Syfrig MSCI 210 Lab...

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