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It is a complex of living organisms in the ocean environment. It is the largest of
Earth's aquatic ecosystems. It covers approximately 71% of the Earth's surface
andcontains approximately 97% of the planet's water.

Marine ecosystems are home to a host of different species ranging from tiny
planktonic organisms that comprise the base of the marine food web (i.e.,
phytoplankton and zooplankton) to large marine mammals like the whales,
manatees, and seals. In addition, many fish species reside in marine ecosystems
including flounder, scup, sea bass, monkfish, squid, mackerel, butterfish, and spiny
dogfish. Birds are also plentiful including shorebirds, gulls, wading birds, and
terns. Some marine animals are also endangered including whales, turtles, etc. In
summary, many animal species rely on marine ecosystems for both food and
shelter from predators

Marine organisms are not distributed evenly throughout the oceans. Variations in
characteristics of the marine environment create different habitats and influence
what types of organisms will inhabit them. The availability of light, water depth,
proximity to land, and topographic complexity all affect marine habitats. The
availability of light affects which organisms can inhabit a certain area of a marine
ecosystem. The greater the depth of the water, the less light can penetrate until
below a certain depth there is no light whatsoever. This area of inky darkness,
which occupies the great bulk of the ocean, is called the aphotic zone. The
illuminated region above it is called the photic zone, within which are
distinguished the euphotic and disphotic zones. The euphotic zone is the layer
closer to the surface that receives enough light for photosynthesis to occur.
Beneath lies the disphotic zone, which is illuminated but so poorly that rates of
respiration exceed those of photosynthesis. The actual depth of these zones

Approximately 3. especially the euphotic portion. which constitute the food base of all marine animals. many organisms inhabit the aphotic zone and migrate vertically to the photic zone every night. are microscopic organisms that inhabit only the sunlit uppermost oceanic layer. LIFE ZONE OF THE OCEAN PELAGIC ZONE (water environment) Plants are found only in the epipelagic zone. Other organisms. and input of fresh water. using . depth. but their numbers are greater near the surface where food is plentiful. In general. while the other 96. remain in darkness all their lives. The phytoplankton. where there is enough sunlight for photosynthesis. nearness to land.5 percent is pure water. however. the euphotic zone can extend to depths of 80 to 100 metres and the disphotic zone to depths of 80 to 700 metres. water turbidity. Physical and chemical properties of seawater The physical and chemical properties of seawater vary according to latitude. Pelagic life consists of three categories. animals are found at all depths. No light penetrates below mesopelagic zone .depends on local conditions of cloud cover.5 percent of seawater is composed of dissolved compounds. and ocean surface. Marine organisms are particularly abundant in the photic zone. such as the tripod fish and some species of sea cucumbers and brittle stars.

The best-known types of reefs are tropical coral reefs which exist in most tropical waters. although some forms such as jellyfish are feeble swimmers. the free swimmers. BENTHIC ZONE (seafloor environment) Plants and animal life is most abundant in the coastal waters on the continental shelf. are dominated by the bony and cartilaginous fishes. Reefs . molluscans. OCEAN HABITAT REEFS Corals and reef fish in Papua New Guinea. Reefs are built up by corals and other calcium-depositing animals. usually on top of a rocky outcrop on the ocean floor. and decapods.sunlight to photosynthetically combine carbon dioxide and dissolved nutrient salts. Zooplankton are the marine animals that rely mainly upon water motion for transport. reefs can also exist in cold water. Reefs comprise some of the densest and most diverse habitats in the world. Nekton. with rarer mammals and reptiles. however. Zooplankton subsist on phytoplankton and smaller zooplankton and are dominated in their numbers by small crustacean copepods and euphasiids.

Some reefs are recovering.can also grow on other surfaces. Other notable oceanic trenches include Monterey Canyon. DEEP SEA AND TRENCHES The deepest recorded oceanic trenches measure to date is the Mariana Trench.924 m (35.882 m . in which vast expanses of reefs across the Earth died because sea surface temperatures rose well above normal. tropical fish and many other organisms. At such depths. which has made it possible to create artificial reefs. in the Pacific Ocean at 10. their symbiotic zooxanthellae. in the eastern Pacific. including the corals themselves. water pressure is extreme and there is no sunlight. the Tonga Trench in the southwest at 10. but some life still exists. Much attention in marine biology is focused on coral reefs and the El Niño weather phenomenon. but scientists say that 58% of the world's coral reefs are now endangered and predict that global warming could exacerbate this trend.838 ft). Coral reefs also support a huge community of life. In 1998. near the Philippines. Small flounder (family Soleidae) fish and shrimp were seen by the American crew of the bathyscaphe Trieste when it dove to the bottom in 1960. coral reefs experienced a "once in a thousand years" bleaching event.

Much of the aphotic zone's energy is supplied by the open ocean in the form of detritus.760 m (24.232 ft).702 ft). Such places support unique biomes and many new microbes and other lifeforms have been discovered at these locations. Marine life also flourishes around seamounts that rise from the depths. .(35. the Puerto Rico Trench at 8. and the South Sandwich Trench at 7. in total it produces the most primary productivity. Many life forms that live at these depths have the ability to create their own light.605 m (28.665 m (15.450 ft). the Java Trench at 7450 m (24.737 ft). as do their opposites. The open ocean consists mostly of jellyfish and its predators such as the mola mola. the deep sea is considered to start at the aphotic zone. the Romanche Trench at 7.305 ft). Fram Basin in the Arctic Ocean at 4. cold seeps. the point where sunlight loses its power of transference through the water.235 m (23. Hydrothermal vents along the mid-ocean ridge spreading centers act as oases.442 ft). where fish and other sea life congregate to spawn and feed. OPEN OCEAN The open ocean is relatively unproductive because of a lack of nutrients. the Philippine Trench. yet because it is so vast. In general.

Phytoplankton are categorized into cyanobacteria (also called blue- green algae/bacteria). those areas close to shore. The role of phytoplankton is better understood due to their critical position as the most numerous primary producers on Earth. brown. Many species here are scavengers. Many land animals also make much use of the shore and intertidal habitats. various types of algae (red. MARINE LIFE MICROSCOPIC LIFE Microscopic life undersea is incredibly diverse and still poorly understood. green. A subgroup of organisms in this habitat bores and grinds exposed rock through the process of bioerosion. For example. Shore habitats span from the upper intertidal zones to the area where land vegetation takes prominence. are constantly being exposed and covered by the ocean's tides. A huge array of life lives within this zone. It can be underwater anywhere from daily to very infrequently. and . the role of viruses in marine ecosystems is barely being explored even in the beginning of the 21st century.INTERTIDAL AND SHORE Intertidal zones. living off of sea life that is washed up on the shore.

Zooplankton tend to be somewhat larger. which are commonly known as seaweeds that create kelp forests. coccolithophorids. and not all are microscopic. and silicoflagellates. PLANTS AND ALGAE Plant life is widespread and very diverse under the sea. and annelids such as polychaetes. such as the seagrasses (examples of which are eelgrass. including dinoflagellates. chaetognaths. Other zooplankton include cnidarians. Some of these (such as dinoflagellates) are also phytoplankton. such as Sargassum and kelp. Many larger animals begin their life as zooplankton before they become large enough to take their familiar forms. chrysophytes. the distinction between plants and animals often breaks down in very small organisms. Many Protozoa are zooplankton. arthropods. . foraminiferans. The non algae plants that survive in the sea are often found in shallow waters. urochordates. diatoms. Most of the niche occupied by sub plants on land is actually occupied by macroscopic algae in the ocean. prasinophytes. chlorophytes. molluscs.yellow-green). Zostera. dinoflagellates. Two examples are fish larvae and sea stars (also called starfish). and radiolarians. Microscopic photosynthetic algae contribute a larger proportion of the worlds photosynthetic output than all the terrestrial forests combined. cryptomonads. euglenoids. zooflagellates. ctenophores.

Echinodermata including starfish. Invertebrate sea life includes Cnidaria such as jellyfish and sea anemones. The intertidal zone is also a good place to find plant life in the sea. and Urochordata including sea squirts or tunicates. These plants have adapted to the high salinity of the ocean environment. Bryozoa. squid. octopus. sometimes acting as hiding and foraging places for larval forms of larger fish and invertebrates. Mollusca including shellfish. Sipuncula. Microscopic algae and plants provide important habitats for life.and turtle grass. Ctenophora. MARINE INVERTEBRATES As on land. where mangroves or cordgrass or beach grass might grow. and Phoronida. Chaetognatha. Echiura. Nemertea. sea worms including the phyla Platyhelminthes. Porifera. Annelida. invertebrates make up a huge portion of all life in the sea. Thalassia). FISH . Arthropoda including Chelicerata and Crustacea.

Despite their marine adaptations. Predators include sharks and barracuda. fins. most sea snakes prefer shallow waters not far from land. such as ichthyosaurs. the marine iguana. Fins propel and stabilize the fish in the water. ling cod. anchovy.Fish have evolved very different biological functions from other large organisms. especially waters that are somewhat sheltered. Thus most species. evolved to be viviparous and had no requirement to return to land. Well known fish include: sardines. are oviparous and need to return to land to lay their eggs. secretory cells that produce mucous. clownfish (also known as anemonefish). excepting sea turtles. spend most of their lives on or near land rather than in the ocean. as well as near estuaries. lips and eyes. sea snakes. Fish anatomy includes a two-chambered heart. terrapins. Most extant marine reptiles. and bottom fish which include halibut or ling cod. and the saltwater crocodile. SEABIRDS . operculum. REPTILES Reptiles which inhabit or frequent the sea include sea turtles. around islands. Some extinct marine reptiles. swim bladder. except for some sea snakes. Fish breathe by extracting oxygen from water through their gills. scales.

Seabirds are species of birds adapted to living in the marine environment. Although they spend most of their lives in the ocean. • Seals (Family Phocidae). Humpback Whale. and auks. sea lions (Family Otariidae . • The Polar Bear (Family Ursidae) is sometimes considered a marine mammal because of its dependence on the sea. and Blue Whale. the Dugong. . dolphins.which also include the fur seals). MARINE MAMMALS There are five main types of marine mammals. species such as gulls can often be found thousands of miles inland. • Sirenians include manatees. and the extinct Steller's Sea Cow. and the Walrus (Family Odobenidae) are all considered pinnipeds. penguins. • Cetaceans include toothed whales (Suborder Odontoceti). examples including albatross. • The Sea Otter is a member of the Family Mustelidae. such as the Gray Whale. gannets. and porpoises such as the Dall's porpoise. such as the Sperm Whale. which includes weasels and badgers. Cetaceans also include baleen whales (Suborder Mysticeti).

Far Eastern University Institute of Architecture and Fine Arts .