Given below are the substantial key differences between the phytoplankton and zooplankton: Phytoplankton is the aquatic plants, Zooplankton is the small aquatic animals. Zooplankton are found within large bodies of water, including oceans and freshwater systems. This chain continues up to apex predators, including sharks, polar bears and humans. Zooplankton are ideal for carnivores such as soft and stony coral, zoanthids, mushroom corals, anemones, shrimp and crabs. Your email address will not be published. The most significant difference between zooplankton and phytoplankton is that zooplankton are protozoans and animals, whereas phytoplankton are photosynthetic organisms, including algae (protists), blue-green algae or cyanobacteria (bacteria), and organisms such as dinoflagellates, which do not fit neatly into a single group. Both forms of plankton can be found in oceans around the world and in many bodies of fresh water such as lakes and ponds. The two main categories of plankton are zooplankton and phytoplankton. Phytoplankton prepare their own food by the process of photosynthesis (autotrophs). IV.G.3.i. Phytoplankton is a group of free-floating microalgae that drifts with the water current and forms an important part of the ocean, sea, and freshwater ecosystems. She specializes in natural health, nutrition, herbalism, environment, religion and spirituality, traditional medicine, culture, folklore and myth, and alternative news. As phytoplankton are plants, they obtain their energy through the conversion of sunlight in photosynthesis and pull nutrients from the water around them. Niki Fears has been a writer and editor for more than four years and has written for a number of major sites. Zooplankton. Both zooplankton and phytoplankton not only play a vital role in the stability of the marine ecosystem, but they also serve as an indicator of water health, since they are affected by slight changes in the environment. Copyright 2020 Leaf Group Ltd. / Leaf Group Media, All Rights Reserved. phytoplankton biovolume, density and taxonomic classifications between FlowCam and microscopy for 113 samples from Lake Champlain, USA - a large freshwater system with diverse phytoplankton.” FlowCam METHOD The researchers preserved samples in 1% acid Lugol’s solution or more, and first enumerated and measured phytoplankton using a microscope. However, phytoplankton structure also influences the taxonomic composition and dominance of the zooplankton. . Zooplankton, on the other hand, often remain in the deeper parts of the water where there is little sunlight and travel to the surface during the night to feed. Zooplankton are minute animal life, including larval stages of crustaceans and other invertebrates, and tend to be larger than phytoplankton. Zooplankton, on the other hand, often remain in the deeper parts of the water where there is little sunlight and travel to the surface during the night to feed. The key difference between zooplankton and phytoplankton is that the zooplankton is heterotrophic non-photosynthesizing plankton that is either protozoan or an animal while the phytoplankton is autotrophic photosynthetic plankton that is either a diatom, cyanobacteria or algae. Plankton is composed of the phytoplankton (the plants of the sea) and zooplankton (zoh-plankton) which are typically the tiny animals found near the surface in aquatic environments. Terms. As the base of the oceanic food web, phytoplankton use chlorophyll to convert energy (from sunlight), inorganic chemicals (like nitrogen), and dissolved carbon dioxide gas into carbohydrates. Like phytoplankton, zooplankton are usually weak swimmers and usually just drift along with the currents. Phytoplankton serves as a primary producer in the aquatic food chains. Size. It produces food either by photosynthesis or chemosynthesis. The main difference between Phytoplanktons and Zooplankton is that Phytoplanktons are a photosynthetic, microscopic organisms live in rivers, lakes, freshwater, and streams whereas Zooplanktons are small aquatic animals that also live in water bodies, but they cannot make their own food, and they are dependent on phytoplankton. --- Amazon Rainforests vs Phytoplankton --- I'm getting tired of the Amazon rainforests getting all the oxygen producing glory, when in reality the phytoplankton produces anywhere from 50% - 85% of the world's oxygen. A: Reef Phytoplankton™ is a blend of algae based plankton sources and is recommended for feeding soft coral species especially. Tiny fish or crustaceans like krill are examples of zooplankton. The different types ofzooplankton can be grouped on the basis of size and how they develop. Zooplanktons depend on phytoplanktons for their food and other matter found in sea (heterotrophs). Phytoplankton: Phytoplankton are primary producers (also called autotrophs). These animal components are mainly filtrators, sedimentators or raptorial predators (Karabin, 1985). Examples of phytoplankton are diatoms, dinoflagellates, blue-green algae, and cyanobacteria while zooplankton is crustaceans-like krill, holoplankton, meroplankton, protozoans, and worms. The tiny organisms that travel along the ocean currents and drift along in bodies of fresh water are known as plankton, which comes from a Greek word meaning "drifter" or "wanderer." They have no depth limits. Zooplankton are a variety of minuscule animals withlimited swimming abilities. Smithsonian Environmental Research Center: Phytoplankton Guide. Krill may be the most well-known type of zooplankton; they are a major component of the diet of humpback, right, and blue whales. On a natural coral reef, phytoplankton are an abundant food source for many clams (and other bivalves), soft corals, sponges and zooplankton like copepods. During the daylight hours, zooplankton generally drift in deeper waters to avoid predators. Size ranges from 1-20 μm to feed a broad range of tropical marine aquarium filter feeders and invertebrates. 3. Zooplankton are the drifting animals that feed on the phytoplankton. Definition. The main difference between phytoplankton and zooplankton is that phytoplankton is a plant-like organism whereas zooplankton is an animal-like organism. zooplankton depends on the Phytoplankton and other particulate mattet that is found in thr water for food. 1. Being in the category of plants, Phytoplankton releases oxygen in the atmosphere. And stony coral, zoanthids, mushroom corals, anemones, shrimp crabs! Are primary producers – the first step in a marine aquarium filter and... 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