What is Plankton?
Plankton is the name given to the set of tiny organisms that live scattered by fresh or marine water, integrating the aquatic ecosystem. Plankton may belong to both the animal and plant kingdom (photosynthesizing).
These beings do not have locomotion capacities, for this reason their transport is done predominantly through the water currents, for example.
These tiny living things play an important role in the food chain, as they are a source of food for various fish and other aquatic animals.
Etymologically, the word plankton originated from the Greek plagktós, which can be translated as “errant” or “unstable”.
Phytoplankton and Zooplankton
Groups of planktons made up of planktonic algae and cyanobacteria are called phytoplankton, and, like other plants, produce photosynthesis.
Phytoplankton still has another important role for the maintenance of life on Earth: the production of oxygen. Much of this gas, essential for living things, is produced by planktons living in oceans, rivers and lakes, for example.
Small animals, such as tiny crustaceans and insect larvae, for example, are classified as zooplankton.
Zooplankton are still classified according to the time they live as plankton. For example, beings who always live in this condition are called a holloplankton or permanent zooplankton. Those that only pass a phase like plankton (insect larvae, for example), are known as meropláncton or temporary zooplankton.