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The Earth’s Ecosystems
Marine Ecosystems
Marine Ecosystems
Marine = salt water
 Hold 97% of Earth’s water supply
 Cover ¾ of the Earth’s surface
 Abiotic factors
 Temperature
 Amount of sunlight
 Distance to land
 Depth of water
Sunny Waters
Sunlight penetrates to about 200 meters
 Important Biotic Factors
 Phytoplankton- microscopic producers
that float on or near surface of water
 Zooplankton- microscopic consumer that
feeds on phytoplankton
 At the base of all marine food chains
Zones of the Ocean
Intertidal- where ocean meets land
 Waves and tides affect this zone
 Above water part of the day
 Mud flats, rocky shores, and sandy beaches are
found here
Neritic- above the continental shelf
 Less than 200m deep
 Lots of sunlight
 Diverse and colorful coral reefs can exist here
Zones Continued
Oceanic- deep water of the open ocean
 Not much sunlight
Benthic- the sea floor
 Chemosynthetic- animals that use chemicals
from thermal vents to make food
Types of marine environments
Coral reefs- symbiosis of algae and coral
 Sargasso Sea- middle of Atlantic ocean
where seaweed creates floating rafts
 Polar Ice- in the Arctic and Antarctic, rich
in nutrients and plankton
 Estuary- where freshwater and ocean mix
 Intertidal area- mudflats, sandy beaches,
rocky shores
Types of Marine environments:
Coral Reef
Coral reefs are underwater structures made from calcium carbonate secreted by
corals. Coral reefs are colonies of tiny living animals found in marine waters that
contain few nutrients.
Sargasso Sea
The ocean water in the Sargasso Sea is distinctive for
its deep blue color and exceptional clarity, with
underwater visibility of up to 200 feet (61 m).
Polar Ice
One of the most unique biomes is found in the Arctic Ocean
and the water around Antarctica. The Polar Ice biome is a
marine biome that is rich in nutrients from the land around
them, and contain ice. This makes the perfect environment
for plankton, and plankton fuel the surrounding ecosystem.
Marine Estuary
Estuaries and the lands surrounding them are places of transition from land to sea, and
from fresh to salt water. Although influenced by the tides, estuaries are protected from
the full force of ocean waves, winds, and storms by the reefs, barrier islands, or fingers
of land, mud, or sand that define an estuary's seaward boundary.
Intertidal Area
The intertidal zone, also known as the littoral zone, in marine
aquatic environments is the area of the foreshore and seabed
that is exposed to the air at low tide and submerged at high
tide, this means the area between tide marks.
Read section 2 and complete Page 59
questions in full sentences.