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pelagic, nektonic, planktonic The pelagic environment includes the open ocean, inhabited by free-floating planktonic organisms and free-swimming nektonic organisms. Sediments that are deposited in an open ocean environment are said to be pelagic and largely consist of the remains of free-floating plankton that sink to the seafloor upon death.
Plankton, the bodies of aquatic organisms that float, drift freely, or swim weakly, includes a large variety of species in the marine realm: bacteria, phy-toplankton (one-celled plantlike organisms), and zooplankton that are tiny animals such as jellyfish and invertebrates, as well as numerous nonmarine aquatic species. Planktonic species are contrasted with nek-tonic organisms, which are strong swimmers, and benthic organisms, which are bottom dwellers.
Planktonic species tend to be small and without strong skeletons, and they utilize the density of surrounding water to support their dominantly water-filled bodies. Many types sink or float to specific depths, where light and salinity characteristics meet their needs. They move vertically by changing the
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