Sir David Attenborough – Speaking about phytoplankton at University College London in 2018…
“If you said that plankton, the phytoplankton, the oxygen-producing plankton in the oceans is more important to our atmosphere than the whole of the rainforest, which I think is true, people would be astonished!”
Incredible Phytoplankton Facts
Microscopic marine phytoplankton plants live in the surface layer of lakes, oceans or other water because they get energy through photosynthesis and need the light available in that area. They have excellent photosynthetic efficiency and are about three times more effective than other plants in using light. They convert water and light energy into powerful nutrients and produce about 90 percent of the earth’s supply of oxygen and absorbs most of the carbon dioxide in the earth’s atmosphere, which helps to keep the ecosystem balanced and the planet healthy.
Marine phytoplankton contain 400 times more energy than any other known plant. According to an article in the Yale University Journal of Marine Research, the earth’s phytoplankton store 63 billion kilowatts of power. Therefore, are a significant bio-energy resource as well as an important source of nutrition.
Base of the Food Chain
The earth’s longest living and largest fish and animals eat plankton, and there are about 300 known species of the plant. Phytoplankton is at the base of the marine food chain, so nearly every living creature in the ocean relies directly or indirectly on this remarkable source of nutrition for its survival.