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Saltwater Ecosystems

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Miko Ellison

on 19 February 2013

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Transcript of Saltwater Ecosystems

Miko Ellison
AP Biology Saltwater Ecosystems! The ocean provides a habitat for a wide variety of animals. These include flying fish, sharks, narwhals, sting-rays, whales, tarpon, tuna, sardines, and jellyfish. Animals! Marine plants support all higher saltwater life-forms. No marine animals would be able to survive if these plants did not exist. The two main types of plants are the sea grasses and the algae and seaweeds. Plants! The ocean itself doesn't generally have it's own climate. And if it did it would be along the lines of cold and wet. However, the ocean plays a major role in regulating the weather and climate of the planet and any land near by. A Saltwater Ecosystem's Climate Through extensive research i have found four main factors that limit life in saltwater ecosystems. Just a Few Limiting Factors We have only explored less than 5 percent of the Earth’s oceans. In fact, we have better maps of Mars than we do of the ocean floor. Interesting Facts! A salt water ecosystem is an ecosystem in water with more than 50 parts per thousand of dissolved salts. What is a saltwater ecosystem you ask? Primary Consumers Secondary Consumers Tertiary
Consumers Marine plants range from
tiny single-celled organisms
to large, intricate forms Primary consumers are herbivores. Herbivores eat plants, algae, and other producers. In an ocean ecosystem, many types of small crustaceans and turtles are herbivores that eat algae and sea grass. Also, sea urchins are powerful primary consumers in kelp
forests. Secondary consumers EAT herbivores or primary consumers. They in turn get eaten by tertiary consumers. Some examples of secondary consumers include lobsters, crabs, sea stars, and humpback whales and other small fish. TERTIARY CONSUMERS EAT SECONDARY CONSUMERS! Carnivorous fish like Cod, Haddock, and Halibut are the chief tertiary consumers. However, even they get eaten by animals such as sharks and dolphins! Producers! Producers, also know as autotrophs, make their on food and do not depend on any other organism for nutrition. Plants are the most familiar type of autotroph, but there are others such as algae, phytoplankton, and some types of bacteria. These factors are temperature, an organisms access to sunlight, dissolved oxygen concentrations, and availability of nutrients. Beneath the surface, often not far from popular vacation beaches, are underwater lakes, waterfalls and even upside-down lakes! If you've ever swallowed a milliliter of ocean water, know that you also gulped 1 million bacteria and 10 million viruses - give or take a few. The immense pressure of the water on a human diving to greater depths is one of the biggest hurdles to exploring the deepest parts of the oceans — yet, at depths that would crush the Titanic like a Coke can, crabs, octopuses and tube worms go about their business. Fifty percent of the United States (in terms of our complete legal jurisdiction, which includes ocean territory) lies below the ocean. They make up the largest aquatic system on the planet, covering over 70 percent of the Earth's surface! Generally there are four types of saltwater ecosystems, and those are:
Wetlands
Estuaries
Coral Reefs
The Open Ocean Wetlands Marine wetlands are “transitional areas” between the ocean and coastal lands. Saltwater wetland ecosystems include mangroves and marshes. Saltwater marshes occur in protected areas along the coastline and provide many of the same benefits of mangrove habitats. Instead of mangrove trees, herbaceous plants and grasses dominate saltwater marshes. Estuaries Estuaries are another important marine ecosystem where saltwater and freshwater meet to make a brackish mix. According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), estuaries “provide habitat for over 75 percent of the U.S. commercial sea catch,” including crabs, clams, oysters, shrimp and other fish species. Coral Reefs Coral reefs are among the world's richest ecosystems, second only to tropical rain forests in plant and animal diversity They are fragile ecosystems that are sensitive to imbalances in water quality and habitat species. Tropical coral reefs occur in shallow, warm waters, typically off the coast of a land mass or in areas where islands once existed. The Open Ocean! The open ocean, referred to as the “pelagic zone,” is the largest marine ecosystem. Deep, open ocean ecosystems receive fewer nutrients, less light and are colder than near-shore habitats. The open ocean is home to microscopic floating plankton and also supports large sea mammals and bony fish. The climate of a saltwater ecosystem depends on which type of ecosystem it is and where it is located. They range from really warm temperatures to extremely cold temperatures.
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