Free-floating minute organisms that are photosynthetic. The term is non-taxonomic and refers to a lifestyle (energy utilization and motility), rather than a particular type of organism. Most, but not all, are unicellular algae. Important groups include DIATOMS; DINOFLAGELLATES; CYANOBACTERIA; CHLOROPHYTA; HAPTOPHYTA; CRYPTOMONADS; and silicoflagellates.
Oceans and Seas
A huge subclass of mostly marine CRUSTACEA, containing over 14,000 species. The 10 orders comprise both planktonic and benthic organisms, and include both free-living and parasitic forms. Planktonic copepods form the principle link between PHYTOPLANKTON and the higher trophic levels of the marine food chains.
The salinated water of OCEANS AND SEAS that provides habitat for marine organisms.
The sequence of transfers of matter and energy from organism to organism in the form of FOOD. Food chains intertwine locally into a food web because most organisms consume more than one type of animal or plant. PLANTS, which convert SOLAR ENERGY to food by PHOTOSYNTHESIS, are the primary food source. In a predator chain, a plant-eating animal is eaten by a larger animal. In a parasite chain, a smaller organism consumes part of a larger host and may itself be parasitized by smaller organisms. In a saprophytic chain, microorganisms live on dead organic matter.
Water containing no significant amounts of salts, such as water from RIVERS and LAKES.
The enrichment of a terrestrial or aquatic ECOSYSTEM by the addition of nutrients, especially nitrogen and phosphorus, that results in a superabundant growth of plants, ALGAE, or other primary producers. It can be a natural process or result from human activity such as agriculture runoff or sewage pollution. In aquatic ecosystems, an increase in the algae population is termed an algal bloom.
A functional system which includes the organisms of a natural community together with their environment. (McGraw Hill Dictionary of Scientific and Technical Terms, 4th ed)
The study of the origin, structure, development, growth, function, genetics, and reproduction of organisms which inhabit the OCEANS AND SEAS.
One of the three domains of life (the others being BACTERIA and ARCHAEA), also called Eukarya. These are organisms whose cells are enclosed in membranes and possess a nucleus. They comprise almost all multicellular and many unicellular organisms, and are traditionally divided into groups (sometimes called kingdoms) including ANIMALS; PLANTS; FUNGI; and various algae and other taxa that were previously part of the old kingdom Protista.
Inland bodies of still or slowly moving FRESH WATER or salt water, larger than a pond, and supplied by RIVERS and streams.
A diverse genus of minute freshwater CRUSTACEA, of the suborder CLADOCERA. They are a major food source for both young and adult freshwater fish.
RNA, Ribosomal, 18S
A suborder of CRUSTACEA, order Diplostraca, comprising the water fleas. They are benthic filter feeders that consume PHYTOPLANKTON. The body is laterally compressed and enclosed in a bivalved carapace, from which the head extends.
Flagellate EUKARYOTES, found mainly in the oceans. They are characterized by the presence of transverse and longitudinal flagella which propel the organisms in a rotating manner through the water. Dinoflagellida were formerly members of the class Phytomastigophorea under the old five kingdom paradigm.
A phylum of the most familiar marine invertebrates. Its class Stelleroidea contains two subclasses, the Asteroidea (the STARFISH or sea stars) and the Ophiuroidea (the brittle stars, also called basket stars and serpent stars). There are 1500 described species of STARFISH found throughout the world. The second class, Echinoidea, contains about 950 species of SEA URCHINS, heart urchins, and sand dollars. A third class, Holothuroidea, comprises about 900 echinoderms known as SEA CUCUMBERS. Echinoderms are used extensively in biological research. (From Barnes, Invertebrate Zoology, 5th ed, pp773-826)
A mass of organic or inorganic solid fragmented material, or the solid fragment itself, that comes from the weathering of rock and is carried by, suspended in, or dropped by air, water, or ice. It refers also to a mass that is accumulated by any other natural agent and that forms in layers on the earth's surface, such as sand, gravel, silt, mud, fill, or loess. (McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific and Technical Terms, 4th ed, p1689)
Degree of saltiness, which is largely the OSMOLAR CONCENTRATION of SODIUM CHLORIDE plus any other SALTS present. It is an ecological factor of considerable importance, influencing the types of organisms that live in an ENVIRONMENT.
The geographic area of New England in general and when the specific state or states are not indicated. States usually included in this region are Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Rhode Island.
The branch of science concerned with the interrelationship of organisms and their ENVIRONMENT, especially as manifested by natural cycles and rhythms, community development and structure, interactions between different kinds of organisms, geographic distributions, and population alterations. (Webster's, 3d ed)