Definition of phytoplankton
: planktonic plant life
phytoplanktonicplay \ˌfī-tō-plaŋ(k)-ˈtä-nik\ adjective
Recent Examples of phytoplankton from the Web
Other offshore parts of the Great Lakes have deficient levels of the nutrients, starving phytoplankton species that form the base of its food chain.
These types of phytoplankton blooms are common in the Black Sea, but scientists can’t say for certain why this year’s bloom burst so brilliantly.
But don't be fooled; phytoplankton bloom means the waters of the Bosphorous, Golden Horn, and Black Sea are actually filled with microscopic organisms.
But a huge bloom of phytoplankton has illuminated it — and the connected Bosporus and the Golden Horn of Istanbul — with beautiful swirls of milky blue-green.
If the phytoplankton blooms are too large, this can lead to eutrophication, when oxygen is lost from the water and kills marine life.
Diatoms, on the other hand — another type of phytoplankton found in the Black Sea — can make the water look somewhat darker.
Ocean Broth draws its flavors from dill oil, salt, apple cider vinegar, and phytoplankton.
Half of the coral reefs, mangrove forests, and seagrass meadows and much of the phytoplankton have disappeared or are in serious decline.
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'phytoplankton'. Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
Origin and Etymology of phytoplankton
International Scientific Vocabulary
First Known Use: 1897See Words from the same year
Learn More about phytoplankton
Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about phytoplankton
Seen and Heard
What made you want to look up phytoplankton? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).