Definition of Phytoplankton

Phytoplankton is those organisms which contain chlorophyll and hence can carry out the process of photosynthesis. They need solar energy to live and grow. The phytoplankton usually floats on the upper surface of the ocean. They are capable of converting inorganic nutrients i.e. nitrites, nitrates, sulfurs, phosphates into organic nutrients like carbohydrates, proteins, fats, etc.


There are two classes of phytoplankton namely diatoms and dinoflagellates. In the excess of nutrients, they can grow out of control and can give rise to harmful algal blooms which produce toxicity for marine life as well as for land organisms.

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