Flash Cards

Marine Ecosystems

Term Definition
Marine ecology The branch of ecology dealing with the interdependence of all organisms living in the ocean, in shallow coastal waters, and on the seashore
Abiotic Factors in the ocean Water, salinity, light, pressure, temperature, dissolved gases, pH, tides, currents, waves, stratum, nutrient supply, exposure to air
Precipitation water from the clouds fall to earth rain, snow, hail or sleet
Surface Runoff water on the surface of the land that flows downhill into bodies of water such as streams, rivers, ponds, and lakes
Infiltration rain water soaks into the ground through soil and rock layers under the soil with some remaining underground as groundwater
Evaporation liquid water changes to a gaseous state as water vapor
Transpiration water that has been absorbed by plants will evaporate through the leaves as water vapor
Condensation water vapor is changed into a liquid. Water vapors join dust particles to form clouds
Osmoregulation the ability of organisms to control the concentration of salts or water in their internal fluids
Coriolis Effect anything that moves over the surface tends to turn a little rather than moving in a straight line and it deflects large-scale motions like winds and currents to the right in Northern Hemisphere and to the left in Southern Hemisphere
Pelagic zone includes the neritic zone and the oceanic zone

neritic zone the productive coastal waters
oceanic zone- deep waters of the open ocean-
benthic zone extends from the seashore to the deepest parts of the sea
substratum The material that makes up the bottom of the benthic zone
benthos the organisms living the substratum–bottom dwellers
Epipelagic (top) euphotic (good-light = enough for photosynthesis)
Mesopelagic (middle) disphotic (low-light= too weak for photosynthesis )
Bathypelagic (deep) aphotic (without-light)
Nekton Active swimmers capable of counteracting currents eg. Fish, Squids, Reptiles, Birds, and Mammals
Epiflora or epifauna live on the sea bottom
infauna live in the sea bottom
Saprophytes decompose detritus completing the food chain
detritus dead and partially decayed plant and animal tissue and organic wastes from the food chain
Numbers pyramid compares the number of individuals in each trophic level
Biomass pyramid compares the total dry weight of the organisms in each trophic level
Energy pyramid compares the total amount of energy available in each trophic level. This energy is usually measured in kilocalories.
Scavengers feed on dead plants and animals that they have NOT killed
point source pollution pollution from a clearly identifiable location
nonpoint source pollution pollution that comes from many different places
organic pollution decomposition of living organisms and their bi-products
inorganic pollution dissolved and suspended solids as silt, salts, and minerals
toxic pollution heavy medals and other chemical compounds that are lethal to organisms
thermal pollution waste heat from industrial and power generation processes
Bycatch marine wildlife unintentionally caught as sea turtles, porpoises, albatross, crabs, starfish & fish
Threats to Marine Water Quality and Marine Environments Oil spills, Marine dumping of wastes, Overfishing and Exploitation, Climate Change, Sea Temperature Rise Invasive Species Ocean Dead Zones Overfishing, Ocean acidification, Population, displacement, Mangrove Destruction, Bycatch, Dredging Wastes,


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