Depending on the trophic level they belong to, plankton can be producers, consumers, or recyclers. Phytoplankton, zooplankton, and bacterioplankton are the three forms of plankton that exist.
Phytoplankton, such as algae and cyanobacteria, dwell near the water’s surface and use photosynthesis to generate energy. Zooplankton are small, drifting protozoans or creatures that consume other plankton. Bacteria and archaea are bacterioplankton, which are saprotrophic organisms that operate as recyclers, breaking down or recycling organic resources into nonorganic forms. The first and most crucial layer of the oceanic food chain is plankton. All plankton combined weights more than all other sea critters combined.