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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

Deep Sea Habitats

Marine Biology

Dr. Ouida Meier

factors driving deep sea systems
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)
deep sea biota
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
factors driving hydrothermal vent systems
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
succession in hydrothermal vents
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

factors driving methane vent cold seep systems
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
bioluminescence
Bioluminescence
  • http://www.lifesci.ucsb.edu/~biolum/chem/

Luciferin + Luciferase + O2 ->

Oxyluciferin + light

or

Photoprotein + Ca2+ -> light

deep sea and midwater creatures
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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