Does phytoplankton add oxygen to seawater?
Last Updated on September 7, 2019 by Ephraim Iyodo
Phytoplankton does add oxygen to seawater. This is because phytoplankton is capable of carrying out photosynthesis. Photosynthesis is a process by which plants synthesize sugars from carbon dioxide and water and it produces oxygen as a by product.
Phytoplankton are the autotrophic (self-feeding) components of the plankton community and a key part of oceans, seas and freshwater basin ecosystems. The name comes from the Greek words φυτόν (phyton), meaning “plant”, and πλανκτός (planktos), meaning “wanderer” or “drifter”.Most phytoplankton are too small to be individually seen with the unaided eye. However, when present in high enough numbers, some varieties may be noticeable as colored patches on the water surface due to the presence of chlorophyll within their cells and accessory pigments (such as phycobiliproteins or xanthophylls) in some species. About 1% of the global biomass is due to phytoplankton.