Free-floating minute organisms that are photosynthetic. The term is non-taxonomic and refers to a lifestyle (energy utilization and motility), rather than a particular type of organism. Most, but not all, are unicellular ALGAE. Important groups include DIATOMS; DINOFLAGELLATES; CYANOBACTERIA; CHLOROPHYTA; coccolithophorids; CRYPTOMONADS; and silicoflagellates.
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