plankto-, plankt-, -plankton

(Greek: passively drifting, wandering, or roaming)

A reference to picoplankton.

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.

plankter (s) (noun), plankters (pl)
An individual or single member of all the tiny free-floating organisms that wander in fresh or salt water; such as, the seas and oceans: "As a student of planktology, Josh spent a great deal of time in the Pacific ocean near California trying to identify the varieties of plankters that randomly move from place to place in the water."
Organisms feeding on plankton; such as, most fish larvae and many pelagic fishes.
1. Organisms that accumulate near the surface of water at night but live at lower levels during the day.
2. Aquatic organisms which gather near the surface at night but spend their days in the main water mass.
planktology, planktonology
The branch of biology that studies plankton, especially as the sustenance of planktivorous fish and whales.
plankton (noun) (singular and plural)
1. Those organisms that are unable to maintain their position or distribution independent of the movement of water or air masses.
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.
Plankton are demonstrating against planktivorous whales.

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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.

—"Patagonian dust clouds settle on the Antarctic" by Catherine Brahic; news service, March, 2007.
planktonic (adjective), more planktonic, most planktonic
Relating to, being, or characteristic of very small organisms that float: "Most whales and many fishes live entirely upon planktonic creatures which are small and not self movable or that are feebly swimming organisms near the surface of the water, straining them off from the water they take in as they swim along with open mouths."
—Compiled from The Principles of General Biology
by Mary S. Gardiner and Sarah C. Flemister; The MacMillan Co.;
New York; 1967; page 408.
An individual planktonic organism.
In biology, living or thriving in plankton.
A planktonic plant; a member of the phytoplankton.
Feeding on plankton;

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).