Lecture16MarineCommunities

Lecture16MarineCommunities - Marine Communities (Benthic)...

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Bat Stars in a Tide Pool Queen Charlotte Islands British Columbia Canada Marine Communities Marine Communities (Benthic) (Benthic)
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Definitions Definitions Benthos includes all animals and plants that live on the ocean bottom Epifauna - attached to the surface of hard structures or move along the sediment surface Infauna - buried in the sediment or shells Nektobenthos - live along the bottom but occasionally move into the water column
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And bacteria! megafauna [much bigger than 1 mm] (Historically, focus has been on the larger organisms (why?), but the protozoa and bacteria are extremely abundant and often dominate overall benthic metabolism)
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Global Distribution of Benthic Biomass Global Distribution of Benthic Biomass Wet weight of benthic biomass. Note the correlation with regions of high primary productivity SeaWIFs Ocean Color – Global Primary Production
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The benthos is highly-diverse - about 98% of all marine species are found in benthic habitats The type of substrate (rock, sand, mud, etc.) determines the community composition Many species are highly adapted for living in specific habitats The distribution of benthic biomass is patterned after the distribution of primary productivity in the surface waters Zonation - the spatial distribution of species into different habitats - is an important aspect of benthic species and communities Distribution patterns may be random, uniform, or clumped; clumped patterns are most common in nature General Description King Penguins on South Georgia Island Incubating their eggs An example of a near Uniform Distribution in nature
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Benthic environments include… Shallow, coastal environments light reaches the bottom , benthic microalgae, macroalgae play a more dominant role in PP than phytoplankton; includes rocky intertidal, sandy intertidal, mud flats, continental shelves Deep-sea environments chemosynthesis is main source of PP; includes hydrothermal vents, methane gas hydrates, cold seeps, etc Most deep benthic communities are dependent upon the “rain” of particles from above.
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www.photolib.noaa.gov/reef/images/reef0102.jpg www.waterencyclopedia.com/images/
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Sampling the benthos Non-invasive: Cameras Good for long time series studies Allow characterization of movements and sea floor dynamics Not as quantitative, less useful for process studies (rate measurements) 2°N, 140°W Sea urchin tracks Fish swarming bait 5850 m NW Pacific
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Lecture16MarineCommunities - Marine Communities (Benthic)...

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