What does a phytoplankton bloom do?

What does a phytoplankton bloom do?

Long-term blooms can change the kinds and availability of plants at the base of the aquatic food web. Phytoplankton species serve as a food sources for zooplankton—tiny animals that drift in the water column and serve as a food source for larger species.

Why are phytoplankton blooms bad?

These blooms can be problematic because the excess algae can block out sunlight, which is bad for plants like seagrasses that need sunlight to make food. Excess algae can also smother other critters living on the ocean floor. When blooms eventually exhaust their nutrients, the phytoplankton die, sink and decompose.

What is bloom of phytoplankton in water bodies called?

Blooms of phytoplankton or algae can cause major environmental problems. Harmful algal blooms (HABs) occur when phytoplankton (algae and cyanobacteria) rapidly increase or accumulate, producing harmful conditions that negatively impact people, freshwater and marine ecosystems, and economies.

Is phytoplankton bad for the ocean?

When too many nutrients are available, phytoplankton may grow out of control and form harmful algal blooms (HABs). These blooms can produce extremely toxic compounds that have harmful effects on fish, shellfish, mammals, birds, and even people.

What causes phytoplankton to bloom in the ocean?

Because their concentrations fluctuate, nitrogen and phosphate influence the rates of phytoplankton production in the ocean. Concentrations of nutrients in the water column vary depending on the time of year, density of water, how they entered the ocean, and how much mixing has taken place during that season.

Where does the carbon go when phytoplankton die?

Through photosynthesis, phytoplankton consume carbon dioxide on a scale equivalent to forests and other land plants. Some of this carbon is carried to the deep ocean floor when phytoplankton die. The carbon in the phytoplankton is soon covered by other material sinking to the ocean bottom.

Where are phytoplankton found in the Gulf of Farallones?

Gregg W. Langlois and Patricia Smith. Summary and Introduction. Phytoplankton play a key role in the marine ecology of the Gulf of the Farallones. These microscopic, single-celled plants are found in greatest abundance in nearshore coastal areas, typically within the upper 50 m (160 ft) of the water column.

How did the plankton get its name phytoplankton?

The name “phytoplankton” consists of two Greek words meaning “plant” (phyto) and “wanderer” (plankton). There are two major groups of phytoplankton—(1) fast-growing diatoms, which have no means to propel themselves through the water, and (2) flagellates and dinoflagellates, which can migrate vertically in the water column in response to light.

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