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plank_activities - Activity: Pelagic Zones - Where To Live...

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Activity: Pelagic Zones - Where To Live in the Ocean The marine ecosystem is the largest aquatic system of the planet. Its size and complexity make it difficult to deal with as a whole. As a result, oceanographers divide the ocean into zones according to physical characteristics, just as the land environment that we live in is divided into zones (tundras, forests, grasslands, deserts, etc.). The two major zones of the ocean are the sea floor, or bottom region, called the benthic realm and the watery region above the sea floor called the pelagic realm . Each of these is further divided into correspondent zones according to their living conditions (depth, temperature, and sunlight penetration). Objectives: In this activity, the students will demonstrate understanding of the concept of zonation in the ocean environment by: explaining why oceanographers divide the ocean environment into zones, discussing the causes of pelagic zonation, identifying the different pelagic zones in which the marine organisms can live, and describing the physical characteristics of each pelagic zone. Materials: student worksheets: Ocean Zones: Where To Live in the Ocean Procedure: Introduce the subject of zonation by emphasizing that the marine ecosystem is the largest and most variable aquatic system on the planet. Establish the convenience of dividing it into zones, each of which can then be studied and discussed in terms of the ecological principles that govern life in them. Have the students discuss how conditions like light penetration, availability of food, and water temperature change with increasing depth across the pelagic region. Discussion Ask the students about examples of pelagic organisms and the types of adaptations that they may have to survive in the zones where they live. In general, in the epipelagic zone, there is light, warmer waters, and nutrients. Since plankton need light, they will have adaptations to reduce their sinking rates. Nektonic organisms will exhibit coloration, body shape, and special body features that increase their chances for survival. Silvery, countershading, or warning colorations accompanied by fusiform, rod, depressed or laterally compressed bodies, and the presence of spines are among the adaptations to survive in the epipelagic or photic zone. In deeper waters, there is no light and not much food. Nektonic organisms in these regions will tend to be smaller and darker, with big mouths and long, sharp teeth. They will have bigger eyes, and others will lack eyes or be bioluminescent to attract prey.
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Activity: Explore the Benthic Zones of the Ocean Environment Over 90% of the animal species found in the oceans and most large marine plants live in close association with the sea floor. The living conditions in this region are largely controlled by the physical characteristics of the sea bottom (substrate). Factors like water turbulence, temperature, oxygen content, exchange of substances between the sediments and the water, and the interaction between species make the benthic region a extremely
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plank_activities - Activity: Pelagic Zones - Where To Live...

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