plankto-, plankt-, -plankton

(Greek: passively drifting, wandering, or roaming)

Small (tiny) planktonic organisms.
Planktonic organisms rendered buoyant by anatomical specializations such as oil droplets or gas vesicles, or in which the rate of sinking is reduced by structural features or diminutive body size.
1. Minute (very tiny) planktonic organisms that formerly passed through a 0.03-0.04 mm mesh silk bolting cloth; very small forms of plankton.
2. Plankton of minute size, especially plankton composed of orgnisms measuring from two to twenty micrometers.
Planktonic organisms possessing some form of swimming locomation.
Plankton of shallow continental shelf waters.
Plankton that is derived from coastal waters.
Plankton found only at certain seasons of the year.
Consisting of autotrophic algae or algae that is capable of securing its own food as opposed to being parasitic.
Plankton that occurs only in depths to which enough light penetrates to permit photosynthesis.
The part of the plankton that floats by means of cysts or bladders.
Planktonic plant life; typically comprising suspended microscopic algai cells such as diatoms (unicellular organisms) and desmids.

The phytoplankton consist of small plants having very limited powers of locomotion or no movement at all. They are mostly subject to distribution by water movements and they photosynthesize, producing the first level in the oceans' food chain.

Certain planktonic algae move by means of flagella, or possess various mechanisms that alter their buoyancy. Most algae are slightly denser than water, and sink into the sediment of the water.

Phytoplankton are largely restricted to lentic ("standing") waters and large rivers with relatively low current velocities.

Tiny planktonic organisms ranging in size from 0.2 to 2.0 micrometers.
Great fleas have little fleas upon their backs to bite ’em,
And little fleas have lesser fleas, and ad infinitum.
And the great fleas themselves, in turn, have greater fleas to go on;
While these again have greater still, and greater still, and so on.
— Augustus de Morgan, noting the expanding scales of life and their connections.

For more details about planktonic life, see Plankton Varieties.

Inter-related cross references, directly or indirectly, involving the "sea" and the "ocean" bodies of water: abysso- (bottomless); Atlantic; batho-, bathy- (depth); bentho- (deep, depth); halio-, halo- (salt or "the sea"); mare, mari- (sea); necto-, nekto- (swimming); oceano-; pelago- (sea, ocean); thalasso- (sea, ocean).