Encyclopedia of Petroleum Geoscience

Living Edition
| Editors: Rasoul Sorkhabi


  • Richard A. Denne
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-02330-4_55-1


Plankton are aquatic organisms incapable of swimming against a current and therefore float with the current. They are of interest in petroleum geoscience due to their importance as a kerogen source, as the dominant particle in some biogenic sediments, and their use in biostratigraphy.


Aquatic (both marine and freshwater) organisms can be grouped based upon their life habitat: plankton (floating), nekton (swimming), and benthos (bottom-dwelling). Holoplankton, or permanent plankton, remain planktonic for their entire lives, whereas meroplankton, or temporary plankton, occupy different habitats during their lifecycle. Examples of meroplankton include benthic (e.g., clams) or nektonic (e.g., squids) organisms with planktonic larvae. Euplankton are organisms adapted for a planktonic habitat, whereas tychoplankton are organisms (typically benthic) that have inadvertently become part of the plankton community by physical processes such as turbidity currents....

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© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Geology, Energy, & the EnvironmentTexas Christian UniversityFort WorthUSA