MarBiolBenthos-corals_vents

MarBiolBenthos-corals_vents - Benthos Life at the bottom...

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Benthos Life at the bottom
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Benthos Benthic Organisms are those which live in the ocean sediments or on the sediments. The sediments may be soft or hard (rocky)
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Types of Benthos: Epifauna Live on or attached to sediments or rocks. (~80% of animal species in benthos) Infauna: Live in the soft sediments. (~20% of animal species in benthos) There are about 30,000 species of infauna as opposed to 120,000 of epifauna in the ocean.
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INFAUNA live IN the sediments
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Epifauna live ON the sediments
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The Benthos are also defined by size: Animals with shortest dimension… greater than 0.5 mm Macrofauna less than 0.5 mm but greater than 0.1 mm Meioflauna less than 0.1 mm Microfauna
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Sessile organisms are those which are attached and can’t move (i.e. Barnacles). Must have a motile larval stage to disperse and colonize new areas.
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Biogenic sorting Burrowing organisms (sediment ingesting) consume preferentially smaller particles and transport them to surface. Thus the coarser sediments are deeper and smaller particles are on the surface.
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Fecal pellets and other particulate organic material come from benthic and pelagic (water column) organisms. These serve as food for benthic organisms. The surface of sediments can be very flocculent (light & fluffy) and have a high percentage water content. Sediments below a few cm are usually devoid of oxygen. Many infauna need to get O 2 either through a tube or by pumping water continuously.
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Soft sediments typically have no oxygen because bacteria use it up. The infauna get O 2 either by having a “breathing tube” to the sediment surface or by creating a current through a “U tube”. Most infauna are either molluscs (clams) or polychaete (many bristles) worms
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Oxygen is pumped into anoxic sediments by plants too
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TYPES OF FEEDING Suspension feeders Deposit feeders Herbivores Carnívores Scavengers
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TYPES OF FEEDING Suspension feeders (filter particles from the water column) Some polychaete worms use a mucous net to filter, then eat the net with the particles. Others are setose suspension feeders (barnacles) in which limbs with setae (little bristles) are used to filter water. Sponges trap food in chambers using movement of flagella. Most of these feeders eat bacteria, phytoplankton or detritus (dead particulates).
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Suspension Feeder Barnacles use setose feeding Filter using “limbs” with setae (bristles) to obtain food
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Deposit feeders feed on particles in soft sediments. They digest the bacteria and organic matter on the sediment. Can be done by swallowing sediment, by tentacles (sea cucumbers), or by siphon (bivalves). Most species in muddy sediments are deposit feeders.
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Substratum type is a major factor in controlling distribution of benthic species. Sandy
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This note was uploaded on 11/07/2011 for the course BIO 160 taught by Professor Dr.jonstern during the Fall '08 term at S.F. State.

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MarBiolBenthos-corals_vents - Benthos Life at the bottom...

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