Dwelling on the issue of size and shape, we will find, as already hinted above, that a good deal of plankton physiology is correlated to the ratio of the surface area of a unit (s) to its volume (v). 'Unit' in this context refers to the live habit of the plankter: where the vegetative form is unicellular (exemplified by the species listed in Table 1.2A), it is only the single cell that interacts with its environment and is, plainly, synonymous with the 'unit'. If cells are joined together to comprise a larger single structure, for whatever advantage, then the individual cells are no longer
Table 1.2 Nominal mean maximum linear dimensions (MLD), approximate volumes (v) and surface areas (s) of some freshwater phytoplankton
Was this article helpful?