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Fish Biology Ecology Theory

Fish Biology Ecology Theory

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Published by: Jose Augusto Solis Benites on Nov 15, 2011
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01/17/2015

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The deep water beyond the continental edge constitute the oceanic
province. This region is relatively stable with less fluctuations, water
movement is very slow and conditions change with depth. The oceanic
province is subdivided into three zones which are:

Epipelagic zone extends vertically downwards from the surface to a
depth of 200 metres. In this zone, sharp gradients of illumination and
temperature occur between the surface and deeper levels. Temperature
gradients and thermocline is common, and marked diurnal and seasonal
changes in light intensity and temperature occur. The effect of water movement
(in the form of waves) is prominent, especially in the upper layers, and
determines the conditions in the layers beneath.

Fig. 13.13. Ecology of sea

Ecosystem

240

Fish Biology and Ecology

Mesopelagic zone extends from 200 metres to about 1000 metres.
Wave action does not reach here, and very little light is available. The
temperature gradient is more even and gradual, and there is very little seasonal
variation. An oxygen-minimum layer is found here, along with maximum
concentrations of nitrates and phosphates.

Bathypelagic zoneextends from about 100 metres to the sea floor
which is typically 3000 to 4000 metres in depth. Here darkness is virtually
complete, except for bioluminescence. Temperatures are low and constant,
and water pressure are enormous.

The vertical border separating the neritic from the oceanic province
is set at the edge of the continental shelf, hence all waters of depths shallower
than 200 metres fall within the neritic province. This boundary is arbitrarily
set at 200 metres since this would correspond with the set depth for the edge
of the continental shelf and at the same time, place the littoral system and the
neritic province and areas definitely within the lighted portion.

13.6.2.2.1. Benthic division

The benthic division includes all the bottom terrain from the wave-
washed shoreline at flood tide to the ocean abyss. The benthic division is
further classified into the littoral and the deep-sea zones which are:

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