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Marine Ecology
• We will spend the next several lectures
looking at connections between
• You’ll hear words like habitat and ecology
• Marine ecology puts all the stuff we’ve
discussed until now into larger perspective.
• Communities are often looked at as being
biotic (living) or abiotic (not-living). Notice
I didn’t say dead. Why is this significant?
• Organisms interact with each component in
unique ways.
• Adaptation, is one of the most significant
interactions an organism can undertake to
ultimately succeed in it’s environment.
Adaptation to differing light regimes.
Turbinaria spp. change growth patterns according to available
The animals on the left live in a higher photic zone than the ones
on the right.
Which one likely contains more chlorophyll??
What happens when adaptive ability is good?
Or lack of predation??
With sufficient resources (nutrients, shelter) sea urchins
can take over!
Over time they may exceed the carrying capacity of their habitat.
Carrying Capacity = max population.
Sometimes limiting resources cause intense
competition between (inter), or within (intra)
species groups.
These Hermit Crabs are
engaged in intraspecific
If one “bests” the other and
establishes a territory
then competitive exclusion
has taken place.
What happens in an extreme
case of comp. exclusion?
Resource partitioning may play a role.
At one time, whale sharks may have contained huge teeth!
To avoid competition for food, they became specialists on plankton?
Has this solved their dilemma entirely??
Other animals take the opposite extreme.
Purple cone snails (Conus purpurascens) may have been effective
algae eaters.
Sometimes behavior is modified in different
ways to avoid competition.
Predator vs. Prey
• If you eat someone else, you’re a predator.
• If you are eaten, prey.
• Most predators or prey fall into simple categories
of carnivores (meat) or herbivores (plant).
• Omnivors are out there too, but given the choice
they will usually choose to be either a carn. or
• Detritivores aren’t considered predatory. (Imagine
having a piece of decaying material suddenly defend itself!!)
What if you just take up space??
Barnacles, just sit around. As long as they don’t harm the host,
they aren’t a nuisance, but how do we classify them??
Living together in a chaotic world.
• Symbiosis: living together for a common
benefit. (Symbiont smaller, host larger).
• Commensalism: one animal lives on
another, but doesn’t harm it.
• Parasitism: one does benefit (host doesn’t).
Ecosystem Organization
Marine environment is divided by distance
from land, depth and the type of organisms
living there.
Figure 10.14
Trophic Pyramids
Figure 10.17
Figure 10.18
Figure 10.19
Figure 10.20
Figure 10.21
Figure 10.22
Text Art 10.01
Text Art 10.02
Table 10.01