Definition of plankton in English:

plankton

Syllabification: plank·ton
Pronunciation: /ˈplaNGktən
 
/

noun

The small and microscopic organisms drifting or floating in the sea or fresh water, consisting chiefly of diatoms, protozoans, small crustaceans, and the eggs and larval stages of larger animals. Many animals are adapted to feed on plankton, especially by filtering the water. Compare with nekton.
More example sentences
  • The dung feeds microscopic plankton, which are consumed by worms and larvae.
  • The significance of this is that other species such as shellfish and crustaceans feeding in plankton could be affected.
  • The young remain in the water column feeding on plankton until they are around 50 mm in length.

Origin

late 19th century: from German, from Greek planktos 'wandering', from the base of plazein 'wander'.

Derivatives

planktic

adjective
More example sentences
  • The younger planktic faunas are typical of the temperate conditions and depths from which the samples were collected.
  • Stable isotopic analyses were conducted on monospecific planktic and benthic foraminifera.
  • Questions arose as to whether cyclocystoids were benthic or planktic, sessile or free living.

planktonic

Pronunciation: /-ˈtänik/
adjective
More example sentences
  • The marine life benefits from planktonic nutrients, which means the area is teeming with both Mediterranean and Atlantic species.
  • This bacterial strategy is reasonable, since the above-mentioned advantage would be lost if the planktonic cell had peritrichous flagella.
  • The depth is recognized as that of the lower photic zone, the reproductive depth for planktonic foraminifera.

More definitions of plankton

Definition of plankton in:

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove adverts and access premium resources

Word of the day grammarian
Pronunciation: grəˈmɛːrɪən
noun
a person who studies and writes about grammar