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Transcript of Marine Ecosystems
The temperature of ocean water decreases as the depth of water increases.
Depth and sunlight
Ocean life is affected by water depth and sunlight that passes into the water.
3 temperature zones
warm, and extends to 300 meters below sea level. Sunlight heats the top 100 meters. Currents mix the heated water with the cool water below.
extends from 300 meters below sea level to 700 meters below sea level. Water temperature drops with increased depth faster than other 2 zones.
extends from the bottom of thermocline to the bottom of the ocean. The temperature in this zone averages a chilling 2 degrees Celsius.
Temperature affects the animals that live in marine ecosystems.
a. Fishes that live in the poles have adapted to cold waters.
b. animals that live in coral reefs have adapted to warm areas in order to reproduce.
c. If water temperature drops some animals may not be able to eat and can die.
There are 4 major ocean zones.
Neritic Zone: In this zone the water becomes deeper and the ocean floor starts to slope downward. The water is warm and it receives a lot of sunlight.
Intertidal Zone: Ocean meets land in this zone. The area is exposed to air for part of the day. The animals in this zone have adapted to survive the exposure to air and to keep from being washed away by waves.
Oceanic Zone: The sea floor drops sharply and contains the deep water of the open ocean. Plankton can be found near the water surface.
Benthic Zone: this zone is the ocean floor. The deepest parts of this zone do not get any sunlight and are very cold. Many of the organisms in this zone get their food from material that sinks from above. Some organisms get energy from chemicals that escape from thermal vents on the ocean floor.
5 Marine Ecosystems
found near the shores. These areas include mudflats, sandy beaches, and rocky shores. Shorebirds feed on the organisms that live in this area.
found in warm and shallow areas of the neritic zone. The reefs are made up of small animals called corals. When corals die they leave their skeletons behind and new coral grow on the remains. When layers of skeletons have built up they form a reef.
The area where fresh water from streams and rivers spills into the ocean. Fresh water and salt water are constantly mixing and the amount of salt in the water is always changing. Plants and animals who live in estuaries must be able to survive the changing concentrations of salt. These areas support large numbers of plankton.
The Sargasso Sea
is found in the middle of the Atlantic ocean. It contains floating rafts of algae called sargassums. Animals such as sargassum shrimp, eels, flying fish, and zooplankton jellyfish.
The arctic ocean and the ocean around Antarctica make up this marine ecosystem. This ecosystem is rich in nutrients and support large numbers of plankton. Polar bears, penguins, and many type of fishes and birds live in this ecosystem.
Check on Learning
What are the 3 abiotic factors that shape the marine ecosystem?
What are the four major ocean zones?
True or False. Animals have adapted to their ocean zone in order to survive. In the intertidal Zone organisms attach themselves to rocks so they are not washed away by waves.
What are the 5 marine ecosystems?
What forms the base of the ocean’s food chain?
Allen, K., Ruth, L., (2008) Georgia Life Science.
Austin, TX. Holt, Rinehart and Winston.