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Copy of Oceanic Pelagic Zone
Transcript of Copy of Oceanic Pelagic Zone
The Oceanic Pelagic Zones, also known as the 'Open Ocean' is known to have the widest vertical range and volume of any other zone with life. This biome is composed of many abiotic factors and biotic factors. The abiotic factors include water, light, salinity, a very wide range of temperature, dissolved gases, pressure, tides, waves, currents, and exposure to air. The biotic factors, the marine life, plants, bacteria, etc., are all very diverse and have adapted to their constantly changing environment. The greenhouse effect has the potential of killing of a variety of these organisms in the way that it raises temperatures and changes environments.
This biome is divided into five different subzones, each of which have different abiotic factors.
•Light only penetrates the top two subzones, and does take an effect on the temperature and what lives there.
•The salinity of the open ocean is in the range of 3.5%-3.9% salt.
•The temperature is very different throughout each subzone, especially due to the sunlight, and ranges from 15 degrees fahrenheit to 97 degrees fahrenheit. The subzones closer to the ocean floor have a colder temperature.
•It is difficult to assign the Pelagic Zones one specific climate because of how wide the range of abiotic and biotic factors are. It is generally cold, and changes throughout the year.
•The elevation of the ocean is measured by each subzone.
Abiotic Factors (Continued)
Rainfall and ice melt effect the Open Ocean by decreasing the salinity of the areas where it is most common.
Oceanic Pelagic Zone covers a large percentage of the earth, and is extremely diverse, making it difficult to determine latitude.
The Greenhouse Effect has gradually caused the ocean levels to rise, which could result in flooding and suffering.
The biotic factors are most common in the epipelagic subzone, the top layer, because it has the most sunlight, and the most plant, algae, and bacteria life (producers.)
•The primary producers in the open ocean are cyanobacteria & phytoplankton. They absorb enough sunlight for the process of photosynthesis.
•In the lower zones, the first level consumers maintain life by surviving off of algae and bacteria that has fallen to the bottom.
Level One Consumers
•Some primary level one consumers are zooplankton, crustaceans, larvae, and chordataes.
•If a level one consumer were to consume a producer with 1000 units of energy, it would only use 100 of those units.
•Small crustaceans are part of an herbivore niche in the open ocean.
major carnivorous organisms in the open ocean are fish (ex. salmon, mackerel, tuna), diving birds (ex. puffins), mammals (ex. sea lions, seals, whales) crustaceans (ex. carnivorous krill), etc.
•Because carnivorous consumers are not consuming direct energy from producers, they only receive about 10, 1, or 0.1 energy units from what was originally 1000.
•Sea turtles consume algae (producer) as well as jellyfish (consumer).
•Crab and lobster consume seaweed (producer) as well as minnow and shrimp. (consumers)
•Sea otters consume seaweed (producer) as well as urchin (consumer)
•The detritivores are dominantly located in the lower subzones, especially the benthic zone.
•Bacteria, fungi, and marine animals on the ocean floor remove the waste of other sea life.
•Mutualism: where both species benefit from the relationship.
~Sharks & Remora: The Remora fish feeds off of the debris of the shark, and the shark gets clean.
•Commensalism: one species benefits from the relationship and the other is neither helped nor harmed.
~Whales & Barnacles: The barnacle is provided a place to live and nutrients; the whale is not effected.
•Parasitism: One species benefits from the relationship and the other is harmed.
~Mola Mola Fish & Parasites: The parasites live on and feed off of the Molas, and often end up killing them.
The open ocean has a huge effect on the water cycle because it is a significant source of water to evaporate, rise into the atmosphere, and condense to form clouds.
Nitrogen is created in a process called denitrification, which occurs underwater, in the open ocean.
CO2 dissolves into sea water, & phytoplankton converts CO2 into carbohydrates.
•Commercial Vessel Traffic: oil spills can be a threat to marine life.
•Ocean Pollution: marine debris can disturb or harm the behavior and niches of marine life.
•Fishing: depletes fish, reduces biodiversity, too much fishing, just like hunting, can kill off an entire species if caught too often.
These are not the only effects that humans have on the open ocean ecosystem. Entire species could be wiped out, undetected, because so much of the deep ocean is unexplored. A decrease in biodiversity could be the chain reaction that causes the entire ecosystem to collapse.
Conservation of the Open Ocean
Not much is being done in order to protect, conserve, and preserve the oceanic pelagic zone. Because the latitude of the open ocean is so vast and uncharted, it is nearly impossible to eliminate all pollution. However, some places are making and effort to rid of littering and make pollution less of a threat to marine life. Some scientists who devote their life to preserving ecosystems have demanded that parts of the biome be preserved due to how important they are. Species that have been over-fished and are near extinction are put on an endangered species list, and are not legal to catch. Despite this, people will always ignore the law and some endangered species are either undiscovered or ignored.
If it were to be my responsibility to preserve the open ocean and all of its beautiful marine life, I would start by arising global awareness. I would use social media to an advantage, and open people's eyes to how truly important the pelagic zone is to our survival. The majority of all organisms live under water, and it is a source of plenty of natural resources. In a society that is dominantly concerned about protecting natural ecosystems, plans to preserve could take effect immediately. After I removed the ignorance, I would develop plans such as decreasing the amount of pollution. I would make the littering laws more prominent and the consequences more harsh. It would be beneficial to the environment to also remove the risk of oil spills, beginning with boats. I'm not saying we should rid of boats altogether, but we should adapt and advance them to never be a harm to aquatic life. In order to truly understand how much we need to conserve, more studies would need to be conducted. It would be a start to continue studying and searching the deep ocean, discover new species, and figure out what is endangered. The first step to fixing a problem is realizing a problem exists. Laws would be developed that made any known endangered species illegal to hunt or kill. These are things that could be done almost directly, but there is always other things within other ecosystems that could be done to preserve all life, seeing as everything coexists. Although this is not much, it would be a start to what would be very long-term beneficial.