Story: Plankton

Plankton bloom off Waiheke Island

Plankton bloom off Waiheke Island

The common, non-toxic dinoflagellate Noctiluca scintellans often forms bright pink blooms around the coast in spring and summer, when there is an abundance of microscopic food. When disturbed, Noctiluca and many other dinoflagellates emit a burst of light. This accounts for the phosphorescent glow that often accompanies boats or swimmers as they move through coastal waters at night.

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New Zealand Herald
Reference: 5 February 2005
Photograph by Kenny Rodger

Permission of the New Zealand Herald must be obtained before any re-use of this image.

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How to cite this page:

Maggy Wassilieff, 'Plankton - Plant plankton', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 7 December 2023)

Story by Maggy Wassilieff, published 12 Jun 2006