The ocean ecosystem, also known as the pelagic zone, is the largest collective ecosystem on Earth. Open waters have the greatest volume and depth of any living zone on the planet. The basis of ocean life is plankton, which are microscopic plants that move along ocean currents. Small animals such as krill eat plankton, and then progressively larger animals eat krill. Ocean ecosystems cover 70 percent of the Earth.Continue Reading
Ocean ecosystems include open oceans and shoreline habitats, such as mud flats, coral reefs, barrier islands, estuaries, salt marshes and mangrove forests. Plants found in ocean ecosystems include seaweed, kelp, algae, sea grasses and plankton. Animals that live in or near ocean ecosystems include one-celled protozoa, mollusks, anemones, jellyfish, zooplankton, crustaceans, sea stars, bony fish, cetaceans, sharks, sea lions, seals, penguins and other sea birds. Most ocean life exists in the photic zone, which is the region where sunlight makes photosynthesis possible.
Nutrients in ocean ecosystems come from areas where water washes off land and from cold currents upwelling from the bottom that rise to the ocean surface. One of the most productive upwelling zones is in the Pacific Ocean off the coast of Peru. This upwelling stops during an El Niño event, which reduces fish populations in the area because plankton do not grow as readily due to lack of nutrients.Learn more about Earth Science
The tropical zone is an area located around the Earth's axis at the equator. It is limited to the Tropic of Cancer in the northern hemisphere and the Tropic of Capricorn in the southern hemisphere.Full Answer >
An ocean current is "any more or less permanent or continuous, directed movement of ocean water that flows in one of the Earth's oceans," according to ScienceDaily.com. Currents are created by a variety of forces.Full Answer >
Jacques Piccard was an ocean explorer famous for being one of the first to venture into the Challenger Deep, the deepest part of the ocean and the lowest point on the Earth's crust. Piccard developed a specially reinforced bathyscape called Trieste for the journey. Along with his partner, Don Walsh of the United States Navy, he reached a depth of 35,800 feet beneath the sea.Full Answer >
Air pressure is caused by the weight of the air pressing down on the Earth, the ocean and the air below. Air pressure is also known as atmospheric pressure and barometric pressure.Full Answer >