Methods of Collection, Preservation and Taxonomic Identification of Marine Phytoplankton

  • P. Santhanam
  • P. Pachiappan
  • A. Begum


The term plankton was coined by Victor Hensen in 1887. And the word “plankton” was derived from the Greek word for drifting. They are often defined as organisms that float at or near the surface of the water and are unable to swim strong enough to go against tides, winds or currents. The phytoplankton is considered as basis of food chain in aquatic environment. Phytoplanktonic organisms are found in virtually all-aquatic ecosystems and play a very important role in aquatic food webs. The food chain originates with phytoplankton, and they serve a vital role as food for tiny zooplankton that exist in different aquatic systems. Phytoplankton are extremely important from the standpoint of monitoring water quality since they are the first group to respond to changes in nutrient conditions in an ecosystem. Being the base of the food chain, all higher trophic groups ultimately depend on them. The phytoplankton represents one of the world’s simplest and basic organisms. Furthermore, the phytoplankton is one of the forefront basal organisms in the food chain. This means that they are the source of food for most of the tiny organisms that start the web. The phytoplankton is considered to be a rich source of biofuel, feed, food and biofertilizers. It is evident that the phytoplankton removes the carbon very efficiently than terrestrial plants and thereby helps in controlling the global warming. It is just unbelievable how this small microorganism can contribute in so many different fields and improve the lives of people that need new medical treatments. In the course of time, phytoplankton will be recognized as one of the most important and yet subtle organisms that exist in this planet. But unfortunately the systematics and taxonomic identification of phytoplankton are still in critical phase. The number of people working on the taxonomy of phytoplankton is so meagre. In this context, this paper considered being an important one provides information on various techniques involving collection, preservation and morphological identification of some common phytoplankton.



Authors thank the authorities of Bharathidasan University for providing the necessary facilities. Authors thank the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Govt. of India, New Delhi, for providing financial assistance on taxonomy of plankton through extramural project (F.No.22018/06/2015-RE (Tax)).


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • P. Santhanam
    • 1
  • P. Pachiappan
    • 2
  • A. Begum
    • 3
  1. 1.Marine Planktonology & Aquaculture Laboratory, Department of Marine Science, School of Marine SciencesBharathidasan UniversityTiruchirappalliIndia
  2. 2.Department of Biotechnology, School of BiosciencesPeriyar UniversitySalemIndia
  3. 3.Department of BotanyTihu CollegeNalbariIndia

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