Marine zooplankton serve as key links in the food web between primary producers and higher trophic levels (e.g., fish, micronekton), and also are important mediators of biogeochemical fluxes in the ocean.
What is the significance of zooplankton?
The zooplankton community is an important element of the aquatic food chain. These organisms serve as an intermediary species in the food chain, transferring energy from planktonic algae (primary producers) to the larger invertebrate predators and fish who in turn feed on them.
What does zooplankton do for the environment?
Zooplankton support all marine ecosystems by supplying the energy from primary production (where phytoplankton use sunlight to grow and reproduce) to fish, marine birds and mammals.
What is the ecological relationship that zooplankton has with phytoplankton?
Strong relationships exist between phytoplankton and zooplankton. For instance, the main systematic groups of zooplankton include many taxa, which feed on phytoplankton. Selective grazing by zooplankton is an important factor affecting the structure of phytoplankton communities.
What is the most important zooplankton?
The most important types of zooplankton include the radiolarians, foraminiferans, and dinoflagellates, cnidarians, crustaceans, chordates, and molluscs.
What is the role of phytoplankton and zooplankton in marine ecosystems?
With 71% of the Earth covered by the ocean, phytoplankton are responsible for producing up to 50% of the oxygen we breathe. These microscopic organisms also cycle most of the Earth’s carbon dioxide between the ocean and atmosphere. Zooplankton are the animal-like primary consumers of plankton communities.
What is the significant role of zooplankton in the trophic dynamics of the pelagic environment?
Zooplankton play a key role in the pelagic realm as a major link between primary producers and higher trophic levels, either directly or indirectly via protozooplankton, so are subject to either bottom–up or top–down control.
Why is phytoplankton so important?
Phytoplankton are microscopic marine organisms that sit at the bottom of the food chain. … Phytoplankton get their energy from carbon dioxide through photosynthesis (like plants) and so are very important in carbon cycling. Each year, they transfer around 10 billion tonnes of carbon from the atmosphere to the ocean.
What is the difference between phytoplankton and zooplankton?
Difference Between Phytoplankton and Zooplankton
Phytoplanktons are plants while zooplanktons are animals, this is the main difference between them. Other Crustaceans, krills are examples of zooplanktons; algae and diatoms are examples of phytoplanktons. These two types of planktons float on water surfaces.
How are zooplankton one of the smallest forms of sea life essential to healthy ocean ecosystems?
Part 1: Selected Response
Zooplankton eat masses of phytoplankton. Zooplankton are food for several ocean species such as the herring and the humpback whale. Zooplankton become larva that turn into coral.
What happens to zooplankton growth in response to phytoplankton growth?
Zooplankton abundance increased with increasing phytoplankton biovolume, but at biovolumes exceeding | 3 mm3/L, only minimal increases in zooplankton abundance were observed (Figure 5). Mean individual zooplankton biomass decreased weakly with increasing phytoplankton biovolume.
What is the relationship between algal blooms and zooplankton diversity abundance?
Abstract. The relationship between algae and their zooplanktonic predators typically involves consumption of nutrients by algae, grazing of the algae by zooplankton which in turn enhances predator biomass, controls algal growth and regenerates nutrients.
Why are phytoplankton and zooplankton both plankton?
Most of the plankton in the ocean are plants. Phytoplankton produce their own food by lassoing the energy of the sun in a process called photosynthesis. So for sunlight to reach them, they need to be near the top layer of the ocean. So must zooplankton, which feed on the phytoplankton.