Technically, I would say the most important marine organism is phytoplankton. Biologists refer to organisms such as phytoplankton as “keystone species.” This refers to the organisms impact on biodiversity, or the multitude of interrelated species within a given ecosystem.
Phytoplankton is a perfect example of a keystone species. There are basically two types of plankton in the ocean. Plankton are microscopic organisms which form the bottom rung of the aquatic food chain. Phytoplankton use sunlight to create energy, similar to the way plants do. Phytoplankton are eaten by zooplankton, which are then eaten by larger creatures. If something were to affect phytoplankton populations, it could have potentially disastrous effects on marine ecosystems. So while it is not a fish, I feel phytoplankton is definitely the most important organism in the ocean, in terms of biodiversity.
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