Marine Ecosystems

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Marine Ecosystems

Marine Ecosystems are communities of organisms that interact with each other in the sea. For example: crayfish consume algae while otters consume sea urchins. A couple of underwater ecosystems are: Fresh-water and Saltwater ecosystems. Many marine ecosystems are full of life in the near-shore regions, including estuaries, salt marshes, and mangrove forests. Though there are ecosystems with rather unfortunate conditions. They may lack the valuable light all organisms need, like in the deep seas, or they may have extreme surrounding changes, like on rocky shores.

Marine EcosystemsBy: Lindsay Z. Patricia H. Nancy H.

Certain species are not able to live in such conditions but that doesn’t mean nothing can live in the deep depths of the dark seas or hazardous weather changes of the rocky shores. These organisms have adapted over time to unstable places like the rocky shores and total darkness. Animals living in complete darkness have learnt to create their own light source using photophores which are cells on their bodies that light up to attract prey or potential mates. Some plants have even learnt to take in dead material for a living!

This includes: - dead fish - sea shells and - plankton - anything else that falls on the seafloor

It is important to know about marine ecosystems since humans can leave large negative impacts on these ecosystems. If marine ecosystems are no longer able to sustain itself then there will be a biodiversity crisis. Predators on land would starve or move out, leaving their roles/niches unoccupied. This would of course turn back and affect us humans as well. (As the wise man once said: “What goes around, comes back around”)

Though, the oceans are very vast that 95% remains unexplored but scientists estimate that 90% of the planet’s biomass is found in the oceans. There are still a lot more to learn about the oceans and marine ecosystems, we have only skimmed the surface. But from what we know now, the oceans and it’s communities is very important on planet Earth that if we were to disturb it, everything would collapse.

Scientists have also discovered that marine ecosystems could be an important source to treat human diseases like cancer. It is also the largest source of protein for us as humans and the key provider of economic and social services.Without the oceans and the marine ecosystems to fill in these needs, not only humans but all organisms won’t be where they are now.

Estuary - The part of the mouth, or lower course of a river in which the river’s current meets the sea’s tide.Salt Marsh - A marshy area that is wet with salt water or flooded by the sea.Mangrove Forest - A forest of mangrove trees, which include any tropical evergreen tree or shrub having stilt-like intertwining roots and growing below the highest tide levels in estuaries and along coasts.Photosynthesis - The process of converting solar energy into chemical energy, done by plants.Photophores - A luminous organ found in certain fishes and crustaceans.Eutrophication - When an aquatic ecosystem accumulates excess nutrients that support a dense growth of algae and other organisms, which later depletes the shallow waters or oxygen.Biomass - The amount of living matter in a given habitat.Phytoplankton - The total amount of plants and plant-like organisms in plankton.

Watch where you toss out your garbage: The trash we “throw away” doesn’t completely vanish. The moving water from beaches and other sources of water carry plastic to the ocean which is a major hazard to sea organisms as it can strangle them and they will not be able to survive.

Use less fertilizer: Fertilizers add nutrients to the soil and water that can be carried downstream when it rains. Extra nutrients can cause eutrophication or harmful algae blooms that disrupt the ocean's natural balance.

Cut down on fossil fuel use: When we burn fossil fuels such as oil, gas, or coal to power cars and homes, we are adding the gas carbon dioxide to the air. This layer of carbon dioxide we've been building for over a hundred years is becoming thicker, trapping more of the sun's heat and affecting marine life. It also causes the ocean to become more acidic, which makes it hard for organisms like corals and clams to build their skeletons and shells.

This topic may impact our personal lives as it teaches us the importance of the marine ecosystem to organisms of all shapes and sizes and how without it, there will be an unbalance in the ecosystem, affecting many.



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