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sea stars and sea urchins. DISCUSSION The marine environment is the largest.INTRODUCTION For many people. most important. Marine is an adjective for things relating to the sea or ocean. It contains more than 99% of the world's living space. Sea anemones and corals. and by anyone with an interest in marine life. snorkelers. Many other creatures are even less familiar. the term almost always refers exclusively to saltwater environments . OBJECTIVES The aim of this report is to introduce the diversity of life in the seas and to help newcomers to marine biology recognize the main kinds of marine organisms. produces half of its oxygen. and plankton to the largest existing animals. rock prolongers. the first experience of marine environments is amazement at the bewildering variety of life in the oceans. focus on Victoria and southern Australia. and yet most mysterious habitat on our planet. bacteria. The examples selected. from microscopic viruses. marine ecology and marine geology In scientific contexts. and supports a remarkably diverse and exquisitely adapted array of life forms. The emphasis is on animals and plants that are commonly seen by divers. and it is often difficult for those interested in marine life to learn more about them. plays a critical role in regulating its climate. beachcombers. octopuses and squids are just a few marine creatures that we never encounter on land or in freshwater. such as marine biology.

.000 kilometers Marine geology or geological oceanography is the study of the history and structure of the ocean floor. Marine geological studies were of extreme importance in providing the critical evidence for sea floor spreading and plate tectonics in the years following World War II. Oceanic crust is formed at an oceanic ridge. while the lithosphere is subducted back into the asthenosphere at trenches. It involves geophysical. while biology is the study of the organisms themselves. The rest is ocean. Marine geology has strong ties to physical oceanography.Marine Biology is the scientific study of organisms in the ocean or other marine or brackfish bodies of water. families and genera have some species that live in the sea and others that live on land. geochemical. home to marine life. Marine biology differs from marine ecology as marine ecology is focused on how organisms interact with each other and the environment. sedimentological and paleontological investigations of the ocean floor and coastal zone. Given that in biology Many phyla. The oceans average nearly four kilometers in depth and are fringed with coastlines that run for 360. Only 29 percent of the Earth's surface is land. marine biology classifies species based on the environment rather than on taxonomy.

intertidal zones. provide food and shelter to the highest levels of marine diversity in the world. mangrove forests) are among the most productive regions on the planet. Marine waters cover two-thirds of the surface of the Earth. Such places are considered ecosystems because the plant life supports the animal life and vice-versa.. salt marshes. Marine ecosystems are very important for the overall health of both marine and terrestrial environments. the deep sea. coral reefs. coastal habitats alone account for approximately 1/3 of all marine biological productivity. They can be contrasted with freshwater ecosystems.e. Here. Coral reefs form complex marine ecosystems with tremendous biodiversity.Marine ecosystems are among the largest of Earth's aquatic ecosystems. which have a lower salt content. They include oceans. and estuarine ecosystems (i. mangroves. In addition. coral reefs and fishes in the Great Barrier Reef. . we can see different types of starfish. other marine ecosystems such as coral reefs. salt marshes. According to the World Resource Center. and the sea floor. seagrasses. lagoons. estuaries.

scales. and Urochordata including sea squirts or tunicates. sea worms including the phyla Platyhelminthes. Ctenophora. Porifera. . Echiura.Echinodermata including starfish. species such as gulls can often be found thousands of miles inland. lips. A reported 32. Nemertea.Elasmobranchii and Teleostei. Examples include albatross.700 species of fish have been described more than the combined total of all other vertebrates. swim bladder. octopus. gannets. Many fish fall under two major categories . Chaetognat ha. fins. Although they spend most of their lives in the ocean. Sipuncula. Fins propel and stabilize the fish in the water. About 60% of fish species are saltwater fish. Fish Fish anatomy includes a two-chambered heart. andPhoronida. operculum. invertebrates make up a huge portion of all life in the sea. and auks. Invertebrate sea life includes Cnidaria such as jellyfish and sea anemones.Animals Birds Birds adapted to living in the marine environment are often called seabirds. Mollusca including shellfish. squid. Fish breathe by extracting oxygen from water through their gills. Annelida. eyes and secretory cells that produce mucous. Arthropoda including Chelicerata and Crustacea. Bryozoa. Invertebrates As on land. penguins.

Sirenians include manatees. dolphins. sea grasses. such as the Gray Whale. and can also be found in sea foam. . The Polar Bear (Family Ursidae) is sometimes considered a marine mammal because of its dependence on the sea. Reptiles Reptiles which inhabit or frequent the sea include sea turtles. the marine iguana.which also include the fur seals). such as ichthyosaurs. Spores of many species have special appendages which facilitate attachment to the substratum. evolved to be viviparous and had no requirement to return to land. except for some sea snakes. Cetaceans also include baleen whales (Suborder Mysticeti). Some extinct marine reptiles. which includes weasels and badgers. sea snakes. or are saprobes on algae. Seals (Family Phocidae). especially waters that are somewhat sheltered. These parasitize marine algae or animals. and the saltwater crocodile. Despite their marine adaptations. sea lions (Family Otariidae . Fungi Over 1500 species of fungi are known from marine environments. excepting sea turtles.      Cetaceans include toothed whales (Suborder Odontoceti). protozoan cysts. and Blue Whale. and the extinct Steller's Sea Cow. Humpback Whale. corals. as well as near estuaries. are oviparous and need to return to land to lay their eggs. The Sea Otter is a member of the Family Mustelidae. most sea snakes prefer shallow waters nearby land. terrapins. around islands.Mammals There are five main types of marine mammals. the Dugong. and the Walrus (Family Odobenidae) are all considered pinnipeds. Thus most species. A very diverse range of unusual secondary metabolites is produced by marine fungi. wood and other substrata. and porpoises such as the Dall's porpoise. such as the Sperm Whale. Mostextant marine reptiles. spend most of their lives on or near land rather than in the ocean.

The intertidal zone is also a good place to find plant life in the sea. Algal life is widespread and very diverse under the ocean. and not all are microscopic. Microscopic algae and plants provide important habitats for life. including dinoflagellates. the role of viruses in marine ecosystems is barely being explored even in the beginning of the 21st century. where mangroves or cordgrass or beach grassmight grow. Microscopic photosynthetic algae contribute a larger proportion of the world's photosynthetic output than all the terrestrial forests combined. Zooplankton tend to be somewhat larger. various types of algae (red. green. and turtle grass. cryptomonads. sometimes acting as hiding and foraging places for larval forms of larger fish and invertebrates. coccolithophorids. chlorophytes. For example. sometimes acting as hiding and foraging places for larval forms of larger fish and invertebrates. such as Sargassum and kelp. Phytoplankton are categorized into cyanobacteria (also called blue-green algae/bacteria). Some of these . Microscopic life Microscopic life undersea is incredibly diverse and still poorly understood. and radiolarians. Thalassia). The role of phytoplankton is better understood due to their critical position as the most numerous primary producers on Earth. prasinophytes. and yellowgreen). brown. diatoms. dinoflagellates. such as the seagrasses (examples of which are eelgrass. Plants that survive in the sea are often found in shallow waters. Most of the niche occupied by sub plants on land is actually occupied by macroscopic algae in the ocean. chrysophytes. Zostera.Plants and Algae Microscopic algae and plants provide important habitats for life. which are commonly known as seaweeds that creates kelp forests. foraminiferans. euglenoids.zooflagellates. Many Protozoa are zooplankton. These plants have adapted to the high salinity of the ocean environment. andsilicoflagellates.

like corals. Similarly. Intertidal and shore . urochorda tes. are ecosystem engineers which reshape the marine environment to the point where they create further habitat for other organisms. the distinction between plants and animals often breaks down in very small organisms. Open ocean habitats are found in the deep ocean beyond the edge of the continental shelf Alternatively. marine habitats can be divided into pelagic and demersal habitats.molluscs. An organism living in a pelagic habitat is said to be a pelagic organism. kelp and seagrasses. Many larger animals begin their life as zooplankton before they become large enough to take their familiar forms.(such as dinoflagellates) are also phytoplankton. Other zooplankton include cnidarians. away from the bottom of the ocean. depending on what ocean currents are doing. Pelagic habitats are intrinsically shifting and ephemeral. Demersal habitats are near or on the bottom of the ocean. Coastal habitats are found in the area that extends from the shoreline to the edge of the continental shelf. Marine habitats can be modified by their inhabitants. Marine habitats Marine habitats can be divided into coastal and open ocean habitats. Most marine life is found in coastal habitats. and annelids such as polychaetes. an organism living in a demersal habitat is said to be a demersal organism. ctenophores. as in demersal fish. as in pelagic fish. chaetognaths. Two examples are fish larvae and sea stars (also called starfish). Pelagic habitats are found near the surface or in the open water column. even though the shelf area occupies only seven percent of the total ocean area. Some marine organisms. arthropods.

Shore habitats span from the upper intertidal zones to the area where land vegetation takes prominence. Coral reefs also support a huge community of life. are constantly being exposed and covered by the ocean's tides. water pressure is extreme and there is no sunlight. Open Ocean The open ocean is relatively unproductive because of a lack of nutrients. Reefs are built up by corals and other calcium-depositing animals. however.[29] . At such depths. Many species here are scavengers. living off of sea life that is washed up on the shore. A subgroup of organisms in this habitat bores and grinds exposed rock through the process of bioerosion.924 m (35. In 1998. A huge array of life lives within this zone. Much attention in marine biology is focused on coral reefs and the El Niño weather phenomenon. in the Pacific Ocean at 10. in total it produces the most primary productivity. Much of the aphotic zone's energy is supplied by the open ocean in the form of detritus. Reefs can also grow on other surfaces. Reefs Reefs comprise some of the densest and most diverse habitats in the world.Intertidal zones. when vast expanses of reefs across the world died because sea surface temperatures rose well above normal. Deep sea and trenches The deepest recorded oceanic trench measured to date is the Mariana Trench. including the corals themselves. A white flatfish. near the Philippines. usually on top of a rocky outcrop on the ocean floor. those areas close to shore. Many land animals also make much use of the shore and intertidal habitats. reefs can also exist in cold water. but some life still exists.840 ft). their symbioticzooxanthellae. Some reefs are recovering. a shrimp and a jellyfish were seen by the American crew of the bathyscaphe Trieste when it dove to the bottom in 1960. It can be underwater anywhere from daily to very infrequently. yet because it is so vast. coral reefs experienced the most severe mass bleaching events on record. The best-known types of reefs are tropical coral reefswhich exist in most tropical waters. but scientists say that between 50% and 70% of the world's coral reefs are now endangered and predict that global warming could exacerbate this trend. tropical fish and many other organisms. which has made it possible to create artificial reefs.

440 ft). Such places support unique biomes and many new microbes and other lifeforms have been discovered at these locations. In general. Hydrothermal vents along the mid-ocean ridge spreading centers act as oases. cold seeps. the Java Trench at 7. the Romanche Trench at 7. For example. the Puerto Rico Trench at 8. including their growth. acoustic tags.882 m (35.460 ft). where fish and other sea life congregate to spawn and feed. Marine biologists study how the ocean currents. the Tonga Trench in the southwest at 10.Other notable oceanic trenches include Monterey Canyon.665 m (15. in the eastern Pacific. Scientists know little about where many species spend different parts of their life cycles especially in the infant and juvenile years. the Philippine Trench. the point where sunlight loses its power of transference through the water. Recent advances in underwater tracking devices are illuminating what we know about marine organisms that live at great Ocean depths.450 m (24. and a variety of other data loggers. distribution and well-being. Most ocean life breeds in specific places. and the South Sandwich Trench at 7. Technologies that aid in this discovery include pop-up satellite archival tags.235 m (23. spends time as juveniles in still others. Many life forms that live at these depths have the ability to create their own light known as bioluminescence. as do their opposites. Marine life also flourishes around seamounts that rise from the depths.[30] The information thatpop-up satellite archival tags give aids in certain time of the year fishing closures and development of a marine protected area. tides and many other oceanic factors affect ocean life forms.605 m (28. .702 ft). This has only recently become technically feasible with advances in GPS and newer underwater visual devices. Fram Basin in the Arctic Ocean at 4. This data is important to both scientists and fishermen because they are discovering that by restricting commercial fishing in one small area they can have a large impact in maintaining a healthy fish population in a much larger area. Distribution factors An active research topic in marine biology is to discover and map the life cycles of various species and where they spend their time. it is still largely unknown where juvenile sea turtles and some year-1sharks travel.737 ft).760 m (25.232 ft). and in maturity in yet others.305 ft). the deep sea is considered to start at the aphotic zone. nests or not in others.

the toxins are concentrated upward within ocean food chains. a form of water pollution. it is often the pollutants that cannot be seen that cause most harm. . wind-blown debris and dust. Many particles combine chemically in a manner highly depletive of oxygen. industrial. or the spread of invasive organisms.Marine pollution While marine pollution can be obvious. these pesticides can cause mutations. agricultural and residential waste. as well as diseases. The pollution often comes from nonpoint sources such as agricultural runoff. Many potentially toxic chemicals adhere to tiny particles which are then taken up by plankton and benthos animals. as with the marine debris shown above. most of which are either deposit or filter feeders. or potentially harmful. which can be harmful to humans as well as the entire food web. particles. effects result from the entry into the ocean of chemicals. causing estuaries to become anoxic. Nutrient pollution. When pesticides are incorporated into the marine ecosystem. refers to contamination by excessive inputs of nutrients. noise. they quickly become absorbed into marine food webs. Once in the food webs. Marine pollution occurs when harmful. In this way. Most sources of marine pollution are land based.

Marine pollution was a concern during several United Nations Conferences on the Law of the Sea beginning in the 1950s. and localized source of the pollution. sometimes called the London Convention. significant international laws to counter it were only enacted in the twentieth century. but it established black and gray lists for substances to be banned (black) or regulated by national authorities (gray).) notes that generally there are three main types of inputs of pollution into the ocean: direct discharge of waste into the oceans. Point source pollution occurs when there is a single. held in Stockholm. Jacques Cousteau became a worldwide figure in the campaign to stop marine pollution. and thus did nothing to regulate waste discharged as liquids from pipelines. for example. Marine pollution was a major area of discussion during the 1972 United Nations Conference on the Human Environment. An example is directly discharging sewage and industrial waste into the ocean. and thus render pollution harmless. Cyanide and high-level radioactive waste. into the Irish Sea from the British reprocessing facility at Windscale. for example. identifiable. In the late 1950s and early 1960s. Pollution is often classed as point source or nonpoint source pollution. . Patin (n. and pollutants that are released from the atmosphere.History Although marine pollution has a long history. and examine the inputs of pollution into our marine ecosystems. runoff into the waters due to rain. That year also saw the signing of the Convention on the Prevention of Marine Pollution by Dumping of Wastes and Other Matter. After the Mediterranean Sea controversy.[1] Pathways of pollution There are many different ways to categorize. Most scientists believed that the oceans were so vast that they had unlimited ability to dilute. there were several controversies about dumping radioactive waste off the coasts of the United States by companies licensed by the Atomic Energy Commission. were put on the black list. Marine pollution made further international headlines after the 1967 crash of the oil tanker Torrey Canyon.d. The London Convention applied only to waste dumped from ships. and after the 1969 Santa Barbara oil spill off the coast of California. and into the Mediterranean Sea by the French Commissariat à l'Energie Atomique. The London Convention did not ban marine pollution.

phosphorus. ports. Much of this pollution finishes up in the sea. such as copper. can carry soil and particles laden with carbon. which can interfere with the life history and development of coral polyps. etc. About 75% of the toxic chemicals that flow into Puget Sound are carried by stormwater that runs off paved roads and driveways. nitrogen. Most of the pollution is simply soil. known as algal blooms. rooftops. gold. which have the potential to create hypoxic conditions by using all available oxygen. and minerals. a common industrial pollutant. and harbours. mining has contaminated portions of the headwaters of over 40% of watersheds in the western continental US. yards and other developed land. according to the United States Environmental Protection Agency. Inland mining for copper. .. Polluted runoff from roads and highways can be a significant source of water pollution in coastal areas. is another source of marine pollution. some minerals discharged in the course of the mining can cause problems.Direct discharge Pollutants enter rivers and the sea directly from urban sewerage and industrial waste discharges. However. For example. This nutrientrich water can cause fleshy algae and phytoplankton to thrive in coastal areas. Land runoff Surface runoff from farming. channels.[3] Mining has a poor environmental track record. which ends up in rivers flowing to the sea. sometimes in the form of hazardous and toxic wastes. as well as urban runoff and runoff from the construction of roads. buildings.

and last for years in the sediment and marine environment. deep sea mining raises questions about environmental damages to the surrounding areas . Oil spills can have devastating effects. copper. found in crude oil. polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). Ships can pollute waterways and oceans in many ways. As with all mining operations.[6] Oil spills are probably the most emotive of marine pollution events. with impacts on the sustainability of fisheries and the livelihoods of the communities that depend on them. Ocean mining sites are usually around large areas of polymetallic nodules or active and extinct hydrothermal vents at about 1.Ship pollution A cargo ship pumps ballast water over the side. These rising levels of carbon dioxide are acidifying the oceans. Healthy ocean ecosystems are also important for the mitigation of climate change. cobalt. gold. which contain precious metals such as silver. much of the oil in the world’s seas comes from other smaller sources. in turn. such as tankers discharging ballast water from oil tanks used on return ships. Deep sea mining Deep sea mining is a relatively new mineral retrieval process that takes place on the ocean floor.400 – 3. is altering aquatic ecosystems and modifying fish distributions. However. This. While being toxic to marine life. and zinc. Atmospheric pollution Graph linking atmospheric dust to various coral deaths across theCaribbean Sea and Florida Climate change is raising ocean temperatures[17] and raising levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.700 meters below the ocean’s surface. are very difficult to clean up. manganese. The vents create sulfide deposits. leaking pipelines or engine oil disposed of down sewers. while a tanker wreck may result in extensive newspaper headlines. The deposits are mined using either hydraulic pumps or bucket systems that take ore to the surface to be processed.

[2] . fish. the oceans are becoming more acidic. The potential consequences of ocean acidification are not fully understood. Eutrophication Effect of eutrophication on marinebenthic life Eutrophication is an increase in chemical nutrients. The biggest culprit are rivers that empty into the ocean. but there are concerns that structures made of calcium carbonate may become vulnerable to dissolution. in an ecosystem.Types of pollution Acidification Island with fringing reef in the Maldives. The oceans are normally a natural carbon sink. and with it the many chemicals used as fertilizers in agriculture as well as waste from livestock and humans. Coral reefs are dying around the world. absorbing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. Because the levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide are increasing. It can result in an increase in the ecosystem's primary productivity (excessive plant growth and decay). and further effects including lack of oxygen and severe reductions in water quality. affecting corals and the ability of shellfish to form shells. and other animal populations. An excess of oxygen depleting chemicals in the water can lead to hypoxia and the creation of a dead zone. typically compounds containing nitrogen or phosphorus.

sharks. or is suspended in the ocean. TBT. lead. sea turtles. seabirds. usually made of plastic. Heavy metals are metallic chemical elements that have a relatively high density and are toxic or poisonous at low concentrations. Discarded plastic bags.Plastic debris Marine debris is mainly discarded human rubbish which floats on. Fishing nets. Such toxins can accumulate in the tissues of many species of aquatic life in a process calledbioaccumulation. dioxins. six pack rings and other forms of plastic waste which finish up in the ocean present dangers to wildlife and fisheries.pesticides. Eighty percent of marine debris is plastic– a component that has been rapidly accumulating since the end of World War II. Known as ghost nets. causing starvation. DDT. and ingestion. restricting movement. phenols and radioactive waste. can be left or lost in the ocean by fishermen. . Aquatic life can be threatened through entanglement. such as estuaries and bay muds: a geological record of human activities of the last century. there are particular problems with other toxins that do not disintegrate rapidly in the marine environment. furans. suffocation. The mass of plastic in the oceans may be as high as one hundred million metric tons. and other creatures. Examples of persistent toxins are PCBs. Toxins Apart from plastics. suffocation. Examples are mercury. arsenic and cadmium. dugongs. They are also known to accumulate in benthic environments. in those that need to return to the surface to breathe. and. laceration and infection. crocodiles. dolphins. crabs. nickel. these entangle fish.

Specific examples  Chinese and Russian industrial pollution such as phenols and heavy metals in the Amur River have devastated fish stocks and damaged its estuary soil. the United Kingdom. As a result. once the best whitefish lake in the area. For example.[74]  Some shellfish and crabs can survive polluted environments. now has unacceptable levels of heavy metals in its sediment and fish.  Acute and chronic pollution events have been shown to impact southern California kelp forests.[75] The farming and harvesting of such species needs careful management if they are to be used as a food. including the Soviet Union. in March 2004 the United States FDA issued guidelines recommending that pregnant women. various nations. including polluted waters.[78]  Heavy metals enter the environment through oil spills – such as the Prestige oil spill on the Galician coast – or from other natural or anthropogenic sources. nursing mothers and children limit their intake of tuna and other types of predatory fish. though the intensity of the impact seems to depend on both the nature of the contaminants and duration of exposure. have disposed of chemical weapons in theBaltic Sea.[69][70][71][72][73]  Due to their high position in the food chain and the subsequent accumulation of heavy metals from their diet. mitten crabs have a remarkable ability to survive in highly modified aquatic habitats. raising concerns of environmental contamination. the United States. accumulating heavy metals or toxins in their tissues.[80]  Since the end of World War II. transforming male into female fish.[68]  Wabamun Lake in Alberta.[79]  In 2005. . an Italian mafia syndicate. and Germany. was accused of sinking at least 30 ships loaded with toxic waste. much of it radioactive. the 'Ndrangheta.[76][77]  Surface runoff of pesticides can alter the gender of fish species genetically. mercury levels can be high in larger species such as bluefin andalbacore. This has led to widespread investigations into radioactive-waste disposal rackets. Canada.

That high level of noise is bound to have a hard. who live in a world of darkness. which is called the Lombard vocal response.Underwater noise Marine life can be susceptible to noise or the sound pollution from sources such as passing ships. and military activity is creating a totally different environment than existed even 50 years ago. Noise also makes species communicate louder. and naval low-frequency active sonar. Sound travels more rapidly and over larger distances in the sea than in the atmosphere.[89] Bjorn Jennssen (2003) notes in his article. ambient noise in the ocean increased by about ten decibels (that is a tenfold increase). "a valuable fertilizer needed to feed a growing global population". and live in a world largely defined by acoustic information. "Undersea noise pollution is like the death of a thousand cuts.[83] Between 1950 and 1975. resulting in reduction and depletion of human marine food resources”. often have weak eyesight. it will mask other species voices. This applies also to many deeper sea fish. but taken all together. Marine animals." Adaptation and mitigation Much anthropogenic pollution ends up in the ocean. finding of prey.[86] If creatures don't "speak" loud enough. According to the oceanographer Sylvia Earle. When one species begins speaking louder. the noise from shipping. These unheard voices might be warnings. . oil exploration seismic surveys. Each sound in itself may not be a matter of critical concern. Whale songs are longer when submarine-detectors are on. their voice can be masked by anthropogenic sounds. seismic surveys. and the impact billions of pieces of plastic waste are having globally on the health of marine environments. causing the whole ecosystem to eventually speak louder. The 2011 edition of the Program Year Book identifies as the main emerging environmental issues the loss to the oceans of massive amounts of phosphorus.[90] There are two ways the overall level of this pollution can be mitigated: either the human population is reduced. or preparations of net-bubbling. such as cetaceans. “Anthropogenic pollution may reduce biodiversity and productivity of marine ecosystems. sweeping impact on life in the sea. or a way is found to reduce the ecological footprint left behind by the average human.

so put yourself in their shoes. You all did a great job of presenting who you were. of Earth’s ocean. our knowledge about the ocean and its role in keeping Earth’s systems in balance remains constrained. providing resources. Given the importance of the global ocean in guaranteeing food security. It is not easy being something else. we all need to be careful to protect them. Yet even as our dependence on healthy. it is shocking that we still know so little about the ocean and the life it supports. let me know and we can work on it together.CONCLUSION The global ocean is teeming with undiscovered species and resources in vast under-explored areas. A well-organized. enabling worldwide commerce. now that we know how important each animal is. and better stewardship. If you would like more information about yourself or someone else in the class. adequately funded program in ocean exploration will allow us to plumb the depths of Earth’s last frontier and provide the foundation for better understanding. a new program of exploration will permit us to make quantum leaps in new discoveries. . Well. and gathering all the information to survive. and reminding us of our history. While steady progress in understanding of the ocean has been made possible by traditional hypothesis-driven research. functioning marine ecosystems grows.