PLANKTON IN THE RESERVE
Phytoplankton, or plant plankton, are one of the major bases of the food web in the estuary. It is also responsible for producing more than 80% of Earth’s oxygen!
Phytoplankton range in size from a single cell to larger individuals like diatoms which have a silica shell and come in a range of shapes. Our nets are specifically designed to catch larger organisms, usally zooplankton, or drifting animals.
Zooplankton consist of a wide variety of animals. Some remain in their planktonic state for their entire lives, like copepods or sea jellies (jellyfish), while others grow and change form to things we are much more familiar with like barnacles, crabs and many species of fish.