The microscopic plants of the seas may be divided into three main groups, each of which has distinctive characters and a somewhat different role. These are: 1) the diatoms (see below) which were believed to constitute the main element of the phytoplankton; 2) the flagellates (see p.55) which were formerly regarded as of much lesser importance, and which are regarded as plants by zoologists, and as animals by botanists; and 3) the blue-green algae, (see p.48) which may or may not have a blue-green colour, but have some strange and little-known functions, such as fixing dissolved nitrogen and turning it into organic nitrogen and ammonia, a process with a high energy requirement.
KeywordsWarm Water Centric Diatom Diatom Cell Valve Surface East Australian Current
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