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Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Plankton and Producers

Plankton are microscopic organisms that may be plants, may be animals or may be a combination of the two. Many are single celled organisms. Others are very simple organisms of several cells. Most need a microscope to be seen.

In studying pond water, river water, and ocean water, you would expect to find many of these organisms. However, they are the start of the food chain and they have been consumed. They multiply rapidly and fuel the beginning of many a food chain.

Sometimes when these organisms overreproduce, they cause the food chain to come to a halt. Their overabundance clog the gills of fish which die from a lack of oxygen and a huge fish kill occurs. You can have too much of a good thing.

Which leads back to balance. There is always a balance in nature. That balance is naturally good. We tend to have the opinion that nature has the capacity to bounce back. And it does. It is just that there is a new normal which may or may not include native species to that environment.

Many think well so what. The new normal functions. That is true. But it is something that is lost as a result. Could that plant have a medicine that could produce a pharmaceutical? Will the new normal produce a drier climate or will sea levels rise and there is less land for people to live much less farm for food. We don't really know the answer. But we can make predictions on what has happened in the past.

My father was a veteran of World War II. He talked about how much oil and gas they dumped in the ocean and the ocean was able to handle it. The world's population of humans has 7.4 billion people compared to having 2.2 billion people in 1945. A three fold increase means there is a greater demand on the Earth's productivity which are dependent on diversity and healthy ecosystems.

Meanwhile innocuous plankton are busy providing food the way they should in a balanced ecosystem.


  1. ooo, I remember studying this at school. Thanks for the refresher. I don't feel so dumb today :)

  2. I always loved looking down the microscope at these things when I was at school! Thanks for the reminder.
    Amanda (popping over from

  3. What a great blog! I'm a children's poet and go round schools showing images of amazing animals, reading a poem about them, talking about where they live and interesting facts about them, whether they are endangered and why, and helping children write their own poems I talk about how children can help in small ways by not dropping litter etc. Hope you'll be able to visit me! ~Liz

  4. The start of the food chain is the most important ingredient in nature's bid to survive. The start of everything. It sets things going. Thanks for sharing Ann!



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