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Marine Ecosystem: The Oceans
Did you Know?
The OCEAN covers almost ¾ of the
Earth’s surface and holds both the largest
animals and the smallest organisms on
Marine Ecosystem Characteristics
Abiotic factors determine life in the ocean
Temperature: As you get deeper, the
temperature decreases
Depth: Affects what organisms can live there
Sunlight: How far the sun reaches affects life
in ocean
Temperature Zones
Surface Zone- warm top layer extending to
300 meters below sea level. Sun warms
water & surface currents heat warm/cool
Thermocline- 300 meters to 700 meters
below sea level; here water temperature
drops fastest with increasing depth
Deep Zone- from base of thermocline to
bottom of ocean
Average Temperature= 2 Celsius
Intertidal Zone- “between tides” Ocean meets
land; animals adapt the exposure of air and waves;
snails, herons live here
Neritic Zone- downward slope; warm water from
sun; corals, sea turtles, fish, dolphins live here
Oceanic Zone- sea floor drops sharply! Deep water
of open ocean; plankton near surface, whales,
shark, fish live here
Benthic Zone- deepest, dark ocean; Very cold
water/no sunlight reaches; Get food that is
dropped or from thermal vents; crabs, worms, and
animals adapted to darkness
Ocean Zones: p. 536 in textbook
Intertidal Zone: