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The photosynthesizing plankton, consisting chiefly of microscopic algae, such as diatoms, and dinoflagellates. Near the surface of the sea there may be many millions of such organisms per cubic metre. Members of the phytoplankton are of great importance as they form the basis of food for all other forms of aquatic life, being the primary producers. Compare zooplankton.

Subjects: Biological Sciences.

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