What is phytoplankton

What is phytoplankton

Phytoplankton is the group of autotrophic microorganisms present in the different bodies of water on the planet. These organisms, like plants, are autotrophs , that is, they have the ability to produce the energy necessary for their respective vital processes, from the light energy coming from the sun and the nutrients they find in their habitat. The phytoplankton community is distributed in the most superficial layers of the body of water , since to perform their photosynthetic role they must receive sunlight.

Currently, marine phytoplankton is studied as an indicator of water in aquatic ecosystems because it is highly perceptible to changes in its environment. In this way, if the body of water presents any physicochemical transformation, then the phytoplankton community would be affected in number, which would cause serious effects on other organisms immersed in the food chain, in which phytoplankton is the producer .

Within the phytoplankton group there are mainly diatoms, dinoflagellates, blue-green algae, brown algae and coccolithophorids, which we will explain better below.

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