Because they depend on sunlight for photosynthesis, diatoms generally live in the upper 200 meters of oceans and bodies of fresh water. Some species simply float in the water currents near the surface; others attach themselves to larger floating objects or to the sea floor.
When diatoms die, they slowly sink to the seabed. The buildup of trillions of these shells forms a crumbly white sediment known as diatomaceous earth or diatomite, which is used in manufacturing pool filters and abrasives, including toothpaste.
Related category• MICROBIOLOGY
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