Thomas' Plant-Related Blog

On plant science. Mostly.

50 Botany blogs (and plant plankton?)

with 3 comments

If you ever feel that you just can’t get your daily botany fix, a website about online learning has helpfully compiled a list of the 50 best botany blogs (including this one). Thanks, guys—not least for the reminder that I should keep on blogging.

As a scientist and pedant, I have to point out that plankton aren’t a plant species, though. Plankton is a general term for all sorts of small organisms that float in the water, including tiny animals and single celled algae. Are there any plants which could be called plankton? Perhaps the coconut, floating along until it finds a suitable place to grow, is roughly equivalent to the planktonic larvae of barnacles and the like. But I’m not sure that it counts if it’s dormant. Leave a comment if you’ve got a better idea!



Written by Thomas Kluyver

17 February, 2011 at 10:30 am

Posted in Uncategorized

3 Responses

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  1. Totally agree; plankton is ecological, basically referring to organisms adapted to open oceanic environments, not taxonomic. Another really tricky term like that is “algae”; phytoplankton at one extreme and giant kelps at the other.

    The Phytophactor

    19 February, 2011 at 3:42 pm

    • According to Wikipedia (fount of all knowledge, etc.), plankton can include freshwater environments. So perhaps floating plants like duckweed count as plankton. Algae’s another interesting one, though. And it’s often casually used for things like cyanobacteria, as well.

      Thomas Kluyver

      26 February, 2011 at 12:37 pm

  2. Phytoplankton, algae, even plants themselves are tricky terms to define. Formal definition of “plants” these days do not include algae or cyanobacteria. See my recent blog post.


    Frederick Essig

    19 October, 2011 at 10:09 pm

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