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Habitats in Marine Biology

Marine biology studies the different species, both plant and animal that thrives in the ocean. It is also important to focus on the different available habitats to know how each interact with the environment and deal with the different dangers, benefits and threats that lurk in every corner. Knowing more about the environment will help you categorize species better and find the definite animal or plant that you are looking for. Here are some guidelines.

About Reefs

Reefs are made of some of the most diverse and densest habitats in the planet. The most popular kinds are tropical coral reefs that are present in many tropical waters. Reefs can also be available in cold water. These are created by calcium-depositing animals and corals, in most cases, over a rocky outcrop on the bottom of the ocean. Reefs can also grow on other types of surface, making it highly possible to build man-made reefs. Coral reefs can support a vast life community, including corals, tropical fishes, zooxanthellae and other organisms.

During 1998, coral reefs went through a very rare bleaching event, wherein several reefs all over the world died due to sea surface temperatures rising very high above the average. A number of reefs are still recovering from El Nino, but scientists indicate that more than half of the coral reefs on Earth are currently endangered, with global warming increasing the effects.

The Shore and Ocean

The open ocean is not very productive due to inadequate nutrients. Since it is so vast, it only produces the most primary productivity. Majority of the energy in the aphotic zone is provided by the open ocean in detritus form. The open ocean is usually made up of jellyfish, with some predators like the Mola mola.

Intertidal zones are described as areas found very near the shore. These are exposed nonstop and covered by the tides of the ocean. A wide array of life forms exists within the zone. Shore habitats also range from the upper zones to the place where land vegetation is abundant. It can also be found underwater anywhere from daily to very infrequently. A lot of species are scavengers, getting their meals from sea life washed up on shores. Bioerosion is also used by a group of organisms living in intertidal and shore habitats.

The Deep Sea

Very deep oceanic trenches are found in the Pacific Ocean. In waters this deep, the water pressure tends to be very high and sunlight is not readily available. Life still does exist in these parts. Some of the examples include small flounder fish and shrimp. The deep sea is known to begin at the aphotic zone, wherein the sunlight lacks the power of transference in the water. Many of the organisms found in this location have the capacity to produce their own light. A lot of life is also present in seamounts. Unique biomes and several microbes were found in these locations.

On Distribution

Majority of ocean life reproduces in particular areas, spends some time as juveniles in other locations and spend more time as mature species in other places. It is not yet fully known where and when exactly different organisms spend the different phases of their lives. Tracking devices can work but only up to a very limited extent.


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