Mixed Plankton

click here to go to the microplankton catalogue pages

© 2000 by Image Quest 3-D
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click here to go to the microplankton catalogue pages

© 2000 by Image Quest 3-D
Read our copyright notice
Mixed Plankton showing radiolaria, fish eggs, diatoms, auricularian larva and others
Mixed plankton showing stomatopod larva, crab zoea, medusae, veligers, fish eggs and others

 

'Plankton', meaning 'that which drifts', is almost as general a term as 'plant' or 'animal'. It covers a multitude of pelagic aquatic life forms and can refer to either saline or freshwaters. Depending entirely upon time of day, latitude, lunar phase, weather conditions and collecting systems used, a caught sample can consist of almost anything from pure phytoplankton to half a ton of jellyfish! These samples, both taken from the same place, a week apart, inside the Great Barrier Reef of Australia are wildly different. In one, the dominant life form is starlike single celled radiolaria, while the other is dominated by ciliated larval forms, hydromedusae and a predatious larval stomatopod. The more we learn about planktonic populations the more we realise that relatively discreet communities and concentrations of particular species and groups drift around, mixing only within theri own 'cell' of water - often a cylinder, which has a finite life of weeks or months.

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2001 by Image Quest 3-D
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