Chapter 16

Chapter 16 - Ch.16: Benthic Animals Of the 250,000 known...

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Ch.16: Benthic Animals Of the 250,000 known marine species, 98% live on the sea floor.
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Benthic biomass is concentrated along shores and diluted in the centers of circulation gyres. This distribution mirrors that of surface productivity, suggesting benthic organisms receive most of their food from surface waters.
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Rocky intertidal: divided into spray zone and intertidal (high, middle, and low) zones. Organisms in the drier zones are mostly shelled, to protect themselves from predation and from drying out, while organisms in the wet zones are more frequently soft-bodied. Primarily inhabited by epifaunal organisms. Rocky shores
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Spray zone Periwinkle snail Rock louse
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High tide zone Limpet Buckshot barnacle
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Middle tide zone Rockweed Acorn barnacle Goosenecked barnacle
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Low tide zone Sea anemone Sea star
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Sea star feeding on a blue mussel: prying shells apart and then inverting stomach and extruding in between the shells and digesting the mussel.
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Anatomy of a sea anemone
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Hermit crabs are crustacea that have evolved to inhabit abandoned gastropod shells.
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Sea urchins have spiny test made of high-Mg calcite that inhabit crevices in the middle- to lower-tide zone. They typically feed on algae.
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Marine algae and surf grass of the lower tidal zone – exposed by a very low tide.
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Shore crabs inhabit all three shore zones, hiding in the crevices and pulling algae off the rocks whenever they are able.
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Sediment-covered shores Sediment-covered shores: same distribution of shore zones as rocky shores, but most organisms are infaunal (live within the sediment). Also, less diversity but greater biomass than on rocky shores. Why might this be?
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Types of feeding in sediments - bivalves
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Types of feeding in sediments - worms
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Types of feeding in sediments – sea star
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They burrow in the manner shown above. They feed through cycling water through their 2 valves, extracting suspended organic material from this water. Burrowing in sediments - bivalves
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This note was uploaded on 03/22/2009 for the course GEOL 103 taught by Professor Dr.ries during the Fall '08 term at UNC.

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Chapter 16 - Ch.16: Benthic Animals Of the 250,000 known...

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