Analysis of Phytoplankton and Zooplankton: Qualitative and Quantitative

  • Anju Agrawal
  • Krishna Gopal


Plankton means wonderers. There are two types of planktons, phytoplankton and zooplankton. Phytoplankton are plant plankton and zooplankton are animal plankton. Phytoplankton are autotrophic, prokaryotic or eukaryotic algae that live near the water surface where there is sufficient light to support photosynthesis. Among the more important groups are the diatoms, cyanobacteria, dinoflagellates and coccolithophores. Zooplankton are small protozoans or metazoans (e.g. crustaceans and other animals) that feed on other plankton and telonemia. Some of the eggs and larvae of larger animals, such as fish, crustaceans and annelids, are included here. Bacterioplankton, bacteria and archaea, which play an important role in remineralising organic material down the water column. Individual zooplankton are usually too small to be seen with the naked eye, but some, such as jellyfish, are large. Zooplanktons are of various sizes of organism including small protozoans and large metazoans. It includes holoplanktonic organisms whose complete life cycle lies within the plankton as well as meroplanktonic organisms that spend part of their lives in the plankton before graduating to either the nekton or a sessile, benthic existence. Although zooplankton are primarily transported by ambient water currents, many have locomotion, used to avoid predators or to increase prey encounter rate. Important protozoan zooplankton groups ecologically include the foraminiferans, radiolarians and dinoflagellates. Metazoan zooplankton which are important include cnidarians such as jellyfish and the Portuguese man-of-war, crustaceans such as copepods and krill, chaetognaths (arrow worms), molluscs such as pteropods and chordates such as salps and juvenile fish. The counting of planktons and zooplankton is necessary to know about the flora and fauna of that particular area.


Species Diversity Index Complete Life Cycle Biological Pump Plankton Ecosystem Plankton Counting 


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Copyright information

© Springer India 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Anju Agrawal
    • 1
  • Krishna Gopal
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of ZoologyS N Sen B V P G College CSJM UniversityKanpurIndia
  2. 2.Aquatic Toxicology DivisionCSIR-Indian Institute of Toxicology ResearchLucknowIndia

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