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The small or microscopic organisms that drift or swim weakly in a body of water, including bacteria, diatoms, jellyfish, and various larvae. Plankton is an important food source for fish and other larger organisms.

[German, from Greek, neuter of planktos, wandering, from plazein, to turn aside; see plāk- in Indo-European roots.]

plank·ton′ic (-tŏn′ĭk) adj.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Adj.1.planktonic - of or relating to plankton
References in periodicals archive ?
The traditional culture is suited to treat acute infections caused by single cell or planktonic bacteria.
Objective: Robust stratigraphic correlations are essential in deciphering Earth History, yet there are crucial gaps and limitations in the current status of Cenozoic planktonic foraminiferal biochronology.
And, the same hydraulic effects that form these weedlines also gather planktonic organisms.
Cells 5-7 [micro]m wide, homogeneous or granular, blue-green; Sheath broad, homogeneous; colonies up to 16celled, planktonic.
willowi may also be susceptible to inbreeding, especially early in colonization events, due to local recruitment of short-lived planktonic larvae.
ABSTRACT Examination of the larval shell (prodissoconch) of molluscs with planktotrophic development can provide valuable information on their planktonic and early benthic life.
Approximately 70% of all microbial infections are associated with biofilms, which develop when planktonic microorganisms aggregate together forming a thin layer.
Najaf / NINA / A PhD thesis for researcher Shaima Jabbar from the Department of Life Sciences, Faculty of Science at the University of Kufa, revealed on Monday ten kinds of planktonic algae are recorded for the first time in Iraq.
One suspect in the disappearance of cod and other groundfish is the food source for their young--a planktonic copepod crustacean no larger than a grain of rice.
He explained that studies of how long bacteria survive on inanimate objects have used cultures grown in laboratory media, called broth-grown planktonic bacteria, and invariably show that bacteria die rapidly.
It also enables bacterial species to maintain an inflammatory state, which improves supply of nutrients, and also permits multiple species to co-exist, share genetic information, as well as to disseminate and colonise new surfaces by seeding off planktonic bacteria.
The students can now look forward to supporting the building of their experimental idea which is based around an investigation into the influence of weightlessness on the physiology of small planktonic crustaceans called daphnia.