Project #84497 - 300-350 word discussion 100 word responce

Exploration Activity 3 Discussion - The Ecological Significance of Plankton?

Now that you've completed the individual part of the Exploration Activity, where you all were taken on a beautiful tour of the world of plankton, I want you to further explore some species on your own! To do this you will explore the database on the The Plankton Chronicles Project website and find members of the plankton that interest YOU!

Specifically, your task is to find and identify:

  • 1 species of phytoplankton
  • 1 species of zooplankton

For each of them you will use the resources on this website (and others if you wish) to summarize the ecological significance of the species.  Some of the questions you may want to consider are:

  • What role in the food-web do they occupy?
  • Are they producers or consumers?
  • What feeding strategies do they use?
  • Do they any other interesting structures that represent an adaptation to living in the plankton?
  • How do they defend themselves from predators (if they do)?
  • How do they obtain their prey?
  • Do they have any interesting relationships with other species?
  • If they were removed from the ocean what consequences would there be?

You do not need to answer all of these... I'm just providing these as "food for thought"


  • At the end of your post you should pose a NEW question to your classmates about the plankton world. This is wide open for interpretation - what did you wonder about as you worked through this activity & discussion?
  • As part of the discussion you are required to respond to at least one other classmates "new question"


Ready?! Navigate to the Plankton Chronicles homepage and have fun "Exploring the Plankton"! (Links to an external site.) 

Helpful hints: Your cursor turns into an "exploration tool" at the top of the Plankton Chronicles site - click to explore further OR you can browse the selection of videos at the bottom of the page


Respond to this

I chose Ceratium –because of their interesting shapes and that they grow fingers. They do this to catch more light mainly because their fingers are filled with chloroplasts so that they can capture more light. A unique personality in this plankton is the fingers. When the light disappears the fingers retract. Therefore, they can sink when dark and float when light. Ceratium are common in all both fresh and salt water, and in varied temperatures. They gather sun energy and make food through photosynthesis and they convert carbon dioxide into organic compounds. This plankton has both animal and plant traits. These guys are members of the dinoflagellates group (protists). Ceratium can also cause red tide during blooms. Ceratiums are both predator and prey. They are non toxic, and a nutrient for larger organisms and they eat the smaller organisms, thus keeping the food web in line.

I also chose Pelagia, because of the cool looking and range in sizes and have no brains, just sensors and a nerve ring and I find jellyfish very unique. These creatures are gelatinous purple colored, glow at night. These jellyfish come to the beaches and scare swimmers by causing great discomfort with their long tentacles. They have spiny filaments that are like springs and then they inject poison in to the skin, causing pain and burning sensation. They move around in huge groups and jellyfish eat crustaceans, fish larvae, and shrimp and about anything else. Humans like to eat jellyfish, more than 900 million pounds are caught by fisheries in 15 countries and consumed in Southeast Asia. I think they would impact the food web dramatically because even the ephirules (baby pelagia) eat huge amounts of small shrimp when they are a week old. Some species of jellyfish can be invasive not only to swimmers but power plants, fisheries. The jellyfish have explosions of numbers when the seawater temperature rises and their predators are smaller in numbers.
Considering how important it is to keep the food web at a constant, with the occasional red tide that occurs, how much of an impact do you really think red tide has on our ecological and economic growth?

Subject Science
Due By (Pacific Time) 09/30/2015 11:30 pm
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