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Planktonic Biota (Biotic Setting)

Component: Biotic

Unique Identifier: 384

Biotic Setting Planktonic Biota
Biotic Group Zooplankton
Floating/Suspended Plants and Macroalgae
Floating/Suspended Microbes

Definition Planktonic Biota includes biota that drift, float, or remain suspended in the water column in aggregations that are big enough to be (a) detected by the human eye (or with mild magnification) or (b) sampled with a fine-plankton net. Planktonic biota are not regularly associated with the seafloor. Water parcels may be examined for plankton using a dipnet, a water sampler, a towed plankton net, imagery (including "Plankton Cameras" that are moved through the water), or other means. In all cases, plankton are assigned classifications based on perceived dominance by the observer (either based on mass or numbers, as specified by the user/observer). Because most plankton communities are mixes of many types of zooplankton and phytoplankton, practitioners should consider the widespread use of the Co-occurring Elements modifier (when non-dominant taxa are covered in other parts of the CMECS classification) or the Associated Taxa modifier (when non-dominant taxa do not constitute a CMECS classification unit).