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Life on the Ocean. Chapter 13. We can define each part of the ocean on the basis of the following characteristics: temperature amount of light currents salinity nutrient supply water depth nature of the sediment on the bottom. Biomes. Assemblage of organism,

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Life on the Ocean

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Life on the ocean l.jpg

Life on the Ocean

Chapter 13


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  • We can define each part of the ocean on the basis of the following characteristics:

    • temperature

    • amount of light

    • currents

    • salinity

    • nutrient supply

    • water depth

    • nature of the sediment on the bottom


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Biomes

  • Assemblage of organism,

  • Divided into Provinces or biomes

  • Two major zones

    • Pelagic – entire water column

      • Neritic – over the continental shelve

      • Oceanic – off the continental shelve

    • Benthic – entire sea floor


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  • Different names depending on whether we are considering benthonic (bottom dwellers); nektonic (can swim against the current), or planktonic (drifters) organisms.


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  • Epipelagic Provinces – coincides with the Eu/photic zone (100-150m)

    • (nekton, plankton)

  • Benthic Provinces

    • Supralittoral

    • littoralintertidal (foreshore)


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  • sublittoral 0-200 m (continental shelf)

  • bathypelagic 1000 m

  • bathyal 4000 m (continental slope and rise; mid-ocean ridges)

  • abyssopelagic 4000-6000 m

  • abyssal 4000-6000 m (abyssal plains)

  • hadalpelagic >6,000 m

  • hadal >6,000 m (trenches)


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  • Most plankton live in the epipelagic, photic zone.

  • Most light penetrates into the epipelagic and littoral to sublittoral zones.

  • Some whales and giant squid live in the mesopelagic and even into the top of the bathypelagic province.

  • We still have so much to learn about life in the meso-, bathy- and abyssopelagic realms!


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  • Dissolved oxygen levels will go down, but plant growth will speed up which can raise oxygen levels back up during the day, but drive them down again at night.


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  • All the physical factors together make up a province.

  • Each province of the ocean then has a unique set of plants and animals that are adapted to that province.

  • The set of plants and animals is a community.

  • A community is all of the organisms living in the same environment (province) and interacting with one another.


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  • In the ocean, we see that animals and plants fit into one of four basic lifestyles:

    • planktonic - mero – early part of their development, holo – through their life

    • nektonic

    • nekto-benthonic

    • benthonic - epifauna – attached to sea floor, infauna – within the sea floor


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  • Each community has its share of plankton, nekton, and benthos.

  • The really defining members of most communities would be the BENTHOS because some nektonic organisms can swim into an area and swim out of it again.


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