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Title: Nekton  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Benthos, Microbial loop, Neuston, Limnology, Plankton
Collection: Aquatic Ecology, Oceanographical Terminology
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia


Nekton or necton refers to the aggregate of actively swimming aquatic organisms in a body of water.

The term was first proposed and used by the German biologist protozoa and other minute consumers. Today it is considered an obsolete term because it does not allow for the meaningful quantifiable distinction between these two groups. Modern biologists no longer use it.[1]

As a guideline, nekton were larger and tend to swim largely at biologically high jellyfish and others were considered plankton when they are very small and swim at low Reynolds numbers, and considered nekton as they grew large enough to swim at high Reynolds numbers. Many animals considered classic examples of nekton (e.g., Mola mola, squid, marlin) start out life as tiny members of the plankton and then, it was argued, gradually transitioned to nekton as they grew.


  • Oceanic nekton 1
  • See also 2
  • References 3
  • External links 4

Oceanic nekton

Oceanic nekton comprised animals largely from three clades

There are organisms whose initial part of their lives were identified as being planktonic but when they grew and increased in body size they become nektonic. A typical example was the medusa of the jellyfish.

See also

  • neuston (the organisms, typically microscopic, that float near the surface of the water)
  • pleuston (all organisms that float near the surface of the water)
  • plankton (the organisms that float and drift within the water)
  • benthos (the organisms at the bottom of a body of water)


  1. ^ Aleyev, Yu. G. (1977). Nekton.  

External links

  • Stefan Nehring and Ute Albrecht (1997): „hell und das redundante Benthon: Neologismen in der deutschsprachigen Limnologie“. In: Lauterbornia H. 31: 17-30, Dinkelscherben, December 1997 E-Text (PDF-Datei)

The dictionary definition of nekton at Wiktionary

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