plankto-, plankt-, -plankton
(Greek: passively drifting, wandering, or roaming)
At the smallest scale, life on Earth is made possible by humble photosynthetic organisms called phytoplankton, which lie at the base of the ocean food chain and produce most of Earth’s oxygen.
The smallest among them, called picoplankton, make up in number what they lack in size: picoplankton, including bacteria, photosynthetic, and nonphotosynthetic cells, are the most abundant organisms on Earth. Studying them is a challenge, however, since they are too small to see, like dark matter making up most of the ocean universe.
2. Aquatic organisms which gather near the surface at night but spend their days in the main water mass.
2. 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.
There is no doubt that the plankton are supporters of the Japanese endeavors to kill more whales and hope that they succeed in eliminating more for their "research"! Some whales eat fish and some species of whales are equipped to eat plankton in great quantities.
Plant Plankton Also Exist in the Oceans
Plant plankton in the Southern Ocean suck carbon dioxide out of the air during photosynthesis, and when they die or are consumed by other organisms, some of that carbon ends up on the ocean bed.
It is well known that the amount of iron available to the plankton is what limits their growth; and the iron is carried across the ocean in the same clouds of dust that carry aluminium.
So more dust may mean more plankton, and therefore a bigger conveyor belt sinking carbon dioxide to the bottom of the ocean; one of the Earth's biggest carbon sinks.