Can phytoplankton live in the Aphotic zone?

Can phytoplankton live in the Aphotic zone?

All photosynthetic species, including the phytoplankton, live in this zone, as do many of the species that feed on phytoplankton. Species in the aphotic zone often depend on food drifting down from above. Consequently, there are many detritivores (species that feed on dead or decaying organic matter) in these habitats.

Why are phytoplankton not found in the deep ocean?

Like land plants, phytoplankton have chlorophyll to capture sunlight, and they use photosynthesis to turn it into chemical energy. They also require trace amounts of iron which limits phytoplankton growth in large areas of the ocean because iron concentrations are very low.

Why can phytoplankton survive in the open ocean?

These tiny plants live near the surface because, like all plants, they need sunlight for photosynthesis. The density of water helps phytoplankton float, but phytoplankton still must fight against the force of gravity. Phytoplankton have special adaptations to stop them from sinking to the bottom to die.

Which ocean zone would have the least phytoplankton?

Photosynthesis in photic zone In fact, ninety five percent of photosynthesis in the ocean occurs in the photic zone. Therefore, if we go deeper, beyond the photic zone, such as into the compensation point, there is little to no phytoplankton, because of insufficient sunlight.

Are you likely to find zooplankton in the aphotic benthic zone of an ocean?

Are you likely to find zooplankton in the aphotic, benthic zone of an ocean? Yes. Zooplankton are chemosynthetic autotrophs. Zooplankton feed on phytoplankton and phytoplankton cannot photo-synthesize in the dark.

What is the aphotic zone in the ocean?

The aphotic zone exists in depths below 1,000 meters (3,280 feet). Sunlight does not penetrate to these depths and the zone is bathed in darkness.

What does phytoplankton do for the ocean?

Phytoplankton provide organic matter for the organisms that comprise the vast majority of marine life. They do this by consuming carbon dioxide that would otherwise dissolve in the sea water and make it more acidic. The organisms provide organic matter for the vast majority of the marine food chain.

Why are phytoplankton so important to the marine ecosystem?

Phytoplankton are some of Earth’s most critical organisms and so it is vital study and understand them. They generate about half the atmosphere’s oxygen, as much per year as all land plants. Phytoplankton also form the base of virtually every ocean food web. In short, they make most other ocean life possible.

How does phytoplankton tiny plants obtain energy from the ocean ecosystem?

Phytoplankton obtain their energy through photosynthesis, as do trees and other plants on land. This means phytoplankton must have light from the sun, so they live in the well-lit surface layers (euphotic zone) of oceans and lakes.

Why is plankton so important to the marine ecosystem?

Phytoplankton are vital to marine ecosystems. They are producers, or autotrophs, that form the foundation of most marine food webs. As photosynthetic organisms, they are able to convert solar energy into chemical energy and store it as sugars. Consumers can either eat autotrophs directly, or eat other consumers.

How an organism survive in the aphotic zone of the ocean?

In the aphotic zone, sunlight is virtually absent, but there can be light production from organisms (bioluminescence). Sunlight is the primary source of energy for photosynthesis. Algae and vascular plants that live in the water must live close enough to the surface to receive sunlight.

Are you likely to find zooplankton in the Aphotic benthic zone of an ocean?

Why are phytoplankton found in the aphotic zone?

Though photosynthesis cannot occur in the aphotic zone, it is not unusual to find an abundance of phytoplankton there. Convective mixing due to cooling surface water sinking can increase the concentration of phytoplankton in the aphotic zone and lead to under-estimations of primary production in the euphotic zone during convective mixing events.

Why is the aphotic zone shallower in tropical water?

In clear, tropical water sunlight can penetrate deeper and so the aphotic zone starts at greater depths. Around the poles, the angle of the sunlight means it does not penetrate as deeply so the aphotic zone is shallower. If the water is turbid, suspended material can block light from penetrating resulting in a shallower aphotic zone.

What do phytoplankton look like when they bloom?

Individual phytoplankton are tiny, but when they bloom by the billions, the high concentrations of chlorophyll and other light-catching pigments change the way the surface reflects light. In natural-color satellite images (top), phytoplankton appear as colorful swirls.

Why are phytoplankton important to the marine ecosystem?

Phytoplankton can also be the harbingers of death or disease. Certain species of phytoplankton produce powerful biotoxins, making them responsible for so-called “red tides,” or harmful algal blooms. These toxic blooms can kill marine life and people who eat contaminated seafood.