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Deep Sea Habitats. Marine Biology Dr. Ouida Meier. Factors Driving Deep Sea Systems. High pressure (1 atm/33 ft) Low temperature (4 ◦ C) Depth Lack of sunlight Lack of photosynthesis Scarcity of food resources Enormous volume of water further reduces encounter probability (mates, prey).

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Deep sea habitats l.jpg

Deep Sea Habitats

Marine Biology

Dr. Ouida Meier


Factors driving deep sea systems l.jpg
Factors Driving Deep Sea Systems

  • High pressure (1 atm/33 ft)

  • Low temperature (4◦C)

  • Depth

  • Lack of sunlight

  • Lack of photosynthesis

  • Scarcity of food resources

  • Enormous volume of water further reduces encounter probability (mates, prey)


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Deep Sea biota

  • 75% of sea floor is below 3000 m depth

  • Imported nutrients from photic zone

  • Seasonal pulses of organic matter

  • Seafloor communities low biomass but surprisingly high biodiversity

  • Most benthic organisms in the deep sea (polychaetes, arthropods, molluscs, echinoderms) survive on detritus in sediment

  • Low biomass but high diversity of fish species (why?): scavengers and predators


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Factors Driving Hydrothermal Vent Systems

  • High pressure

  • Low temperature

  • Depth

  • Lack of sunlight

  • Lack of photosynthesis

  • Scarcity of food resources

  • Enormous volume of water further reduces encounter probability

    Counteracted by:

  • Chemosynthetic bacteria (primary producers)

  • Hot, mineral-rich water

  • Location – advantages and disadvantages


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Succession in Hydrothermal Vents

  • New vent forms at diverging plates

  • Chemosynthetic bacteria

  • Amphipods, copepods

  • Grazers/filter feeders: limpets, clams, mussels

  • Scavengers: vent crabs, worms, fish

  • Predators: vent crabs, octopi

  • Symbiotic with primary producers (bacteria): vestimentiferan worms, giant clams

    • 1. Tevnia jerichonana

    • 2. Riftia pachyptilia

      Longevity of vent itself estimated at years to decades


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Factors Driving Methane Vent (Cold Seep) Systems

  • High pressure

  • Low temperature

  • Depth

  • Lack of sunlight

  • Lack of photosynthesis

  • Scarcity of food resources

  • Enormous volume of water further reduces encounter probability

    Counteracted by:

  • Chemosynthetic bacteria (primary producers)

  • Cold, mineral-rich water

  • Location – advantages and disadvantages


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Bioluminescence

  • http://www.lifesci.ucsb.edu/~biolum/chem/

    Luciferin + Luciferase + O2 ->

    Oxyluciferin + light

    or

    Photoprotein + Ca2+ -> light


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Deep Sea and Midwater Creatures

Reportedly brought to surface or washed ashore in Phuket following the earthquake and tsunami of 26 Dec. 2004.

Origin and authorship of photos unknown: these were circulated via email with no references given. Captions are taken from titles of images.



























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