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PLANKTON. HIGH SEAS DRIFTERS. PLANKTON SIZE. ULTRA PLANKTON : less than 0.005 mm across. NANNO PLANKTON : 0.005 - 0.07 mm. MICRO PLANKTON : 0.07 – 1 mm. Also called net plankton as they’re often collected in plankton net samples. But plankton can be extremely large….

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PLANKTON

HIGH SEAS DRIFTERS


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PLANKTON SIZE

ULTRA PLANKTON : less than 0.005 mm across

NANNO PLANKTON : 0.005 - 0.07 mm

MICRO PLANKTON : 0.07 – 1 mm

Also called net plankton as they’re often collected in plankton net samples

But plankton can be extremely large…



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PHYTOPLANKTON

Phytoplankton is self-feeding or AUTOTROPIC constructing sugars etc via photosynthesis

Phytoplankton can be found as single cells or long chains or FILAMENTS

The majority of phytoplankton is MICRO ALGAE

Although there are planktonic sea weeds

= MACRO ALGAE e.g. Sargassum spp.


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TYPES OF PHYTOPLANKTON

GOLDEN ALGAE (Phylum Chrysophyta)

Contain a yellow-golden pigment CAROTIN

Two main groups:

DIATOMS

COCCOLITHOPHORES


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DIATOMS

Algae that are contained in a cell wall or FRUSTULE made of PECTIN (a jelly like substance)

The frustule contains a a weblike structure (a microscopic shell)or TEST

The tests are made of silica (SiO2.nH2O)

When they die they form a SILICACEOUS OOZE or DIATOMACEUS EARTH

Diatoms are the most productive group of marine algae


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Diatoms can have radial

or bilateral (two sided) symmetry


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DIATOM REPRODUCTION

The two halves of a diatom’s frustule fit together -like a pill box

When the diatom grows to a certain size the halves of the frustule separate

Each daughter cell grows a new frustule half

In high sunlight & nutrient conditions diatoms can reproduce every 12 – 24 hours

When so many have reproduced the sea water becomes discolored

= ALGAL BLOOM


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Spines can reduce the rate at which diatoms sink (increasing friction - like parachutes)

Some also contain droplets of oil that make them less dense (& buoyant)


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COCCOLITHOPHORES

These are usually Nanno plankton or smaller (and don’t get caught in plankton nets)

They are covered in circular plates

These plates are made of calcium carbonate (CaCO3)

When they die they form a calcareous sediment – e.g. CALCAREOUS OOZE


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DINOFLAGELLATES

DINOFLAGELLATES (Phylum Pyrrophyta)

Have two whip-like FLAGELLA

These lash back and forth within grooves or the organisms’ surface - spinning the dinoflagellates

The tests or coatings of dinoflagellates are made of the carbohydrate CELLULOSE

These decompose quickly and easily so their remains do not form sediments


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DINOFLAGELLATES

They contain red or green pigments

RED TIDES = blooms of red dinoflagellates

They can be AUTOTROPHIC and HETEROTROPHIC (feed on other organisms)

This means that they can supplement and sustain themselves in lower light conditions that other algae

They are the second most productive group of phytoplankton


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OTHER PHYTOPLANKTON

Green algae

Silicoflagellates

Chrysomonads

Cryptomonads

Cyanobacteria

(or blue green algae)


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BACTERIA

There are an estimated 100,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 bacteria in the marine environment

One third occur in the upper ocean (planktonic) and two-thirds in deep water (mostly benthic)

CYANOBACTERIA (or blue green algae) photosynthesize and are a component of phytoplankton

They are an important food source for protozoan zooplankton

Also important in decomposing dead marine organisms



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ZOOPLANKTON

= planktonic animals

Either herbivores (feeding on phytoplankton)

Or carnivores (feeding on other zooplankton)

Although most zooplankton have the ability to swim, this motion is usually short-distance to avoid predators or vertical movement

Some species move daily from depth to surface waters– maintaining light levels or following prey

BUT they rely on currents for large scale movement (drifting) hence planktonic


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ZOOPLANKTON

The most common members of the zooplankton

= CRUSTACEANS (Phylum Arthropoda; Class Crustacea)

Especially COPEOPODS (e.g. Calanus or Oithona)

or the larger EUPHAUSIIDS (shrimp-like crustaceans)

Both are herbivores (1ary CONSUMERS) (although euphausiids can be carnivores as well- 2ary CONSUMERS)

The dominant euphausiids in the polar regions = KRILL (e.g. Euphausia superba)


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Euphausia superba = Antarctic krill



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FORMINIFERNS & RADIOLARIANS

Amoeba-like protozoans (Phylum Sarcodina)

Forminiferans are are covered with a calcareous (CaCO3) shell

Radiolarians are covered in a silicaceous test covered with spines

Both are live in warmer waters and feed on diatoms and small protozoa

Their shells and tests form oozes after death


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RADIOLARIANS

TINTINNID

A bell-shaped protozoan that is propelled by hair-like CILIA

FORMINIFERAN


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Undulations of their wing-like muscular foot help them to swim

(x 2)

PTEROPODS

Phylum Mollusca – related to snails

May or may not have a calcareous shell


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CTENOPHORES swim (comb-jellies)

Bands of cilia help to propel these translucent carnivores

TUNICATES (sea squirts)

Filter feeders

Usually tunicates are sessile benthic creatures

- but can be free swimming


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Phylum swimCOELENTERATA

or CNIDARIA

= jellyfish


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Some jellyfish spend their entire lives as carnivorous/herbivorous plankton

Others spend part of their lives as plankton before settling down to become sessile and benthic (like sea anemones)

Some exist as colonial organisms (a collection of individual organisms working together)

e.g. the Portugese man-o-war (Physalia)


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Plankton that spend their entire lives as plankton carnivorous/herbivorous plankton

= HOLOPLANKTON

Organisms that only spend part of their life cycle as plankton

= MEROPLANKTON



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WHEN PLANKTON GOES BAD ! marine species

In previous lectures the problems of nutrient pollution and algal blooms have been discussed

Algal blooms can use up dissolved oxygen when respiring making waters ANOXIC

In addition they can produce toxins that poison marine life

= HABs or HARMFUL ALGAL BLOOMS

One of the most infamous types of HABs = RED TIDES


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WHEN PLANKTON GOES BAD ! marine species

6% of phytoplankton species can cause HABs

The toxins are produced to protect the phytoplankton from predators

Humans can be effected by these toxins if eating seafood that has been contaminated

Especially shellfish (in which the toxins bio-accumulate)

The economic impacts of HABs in the US = $40 million a year


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