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Picoplankton is the fraction of plankton composed by cells between 0.2 and 2 μm that can be either :

Some species can also be mixotrophic. Picoplankton are responsible for the most primary productivity in oligotrophic gyres, and are distinguished from nanoplankton and microplankton.[1] Because they are small, they have a greater surface to volume ratio, enabling them to obtain the scarce nutrients in these ecosystems.

It should be noted that even the smallest of cells (200nm) are on the order of nanometers, not picometers. The SI prefix pico- is used quite loosely here, as nanoplankton and microplankton are only 10 and 100 times larger, respectively, although it is somewhat more accurate when considering the volume rather than the length.

See also[edit]



  1. ^ Alexander Vershinin. "Phytoplankton in the Black Sea". Russian Federal Children Center Orlyonok.