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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


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    1. Deep Sea Habitats Marine Biology Dr. Ouida Meier

    2. 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)

    3. 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

    4. 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

    5. 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

    6. 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

    7. Bioluminescence • http://www.lifesci.ucsb.edu/~biolum/chem/ Luciferin + Luciferase + O2 -> Oxyluciferin + light or Photoprotein + Ca2+ -> light

    8. 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.

    9. Aphyonous

    10. Basketwork eel

    11. Black dragonfish

    12. Blind lobster

    13. Blob fish

    14. Carrier shell

    15. Chimaera fish

    16. Chimaera pup

    17. Coffinfish

    18. Crab

    19. Fangtooth

    20. Firefly squid

    21. Gunard

    22. Hatchetfish

    23. Lizard fish

    24. Oreo dory

    25. Prickly shark

    26. Sea spider

    27. Shovel nosed lobster

    28. Stargazer

    29. Stone crab

    30. Swimmer crab

    31. Tongue sole

    32. Umbrella mouth gulper eel

    33. Viperfish