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Difference Between Biota Of The Pelagic And Benthic Zone Of The Ocean

Understand The Difference Between Biota Of The Pelagic And Benthic Zone Of The Ocean

Hello Students!! Hope you are doing well? If you are curious about learning about the science behind our environment, you would definitely like this blog based on ocean or marine science. Excited to explore marine life, the ecology, the depth and extent of the oceanic water, physical features, movements, composition, and the interaction between the atmosphere and the oceans. This blog will explain the regions that make up the continental margins and the difference between the biota of the pelagic and benthic zone. So before we explore this topic, we will look at some other ways to categorize the ocean environments.

What Is Benthos, And What Is The Benthic Zone?

The benthic zone refers to the lowest ecological zone in an ocean, which typically includes the sediments at the seafloor. These sediments are the crucial key factors that provide nutrients and food for the organisms that survive in the benthic zones.

Whereas, the animals that live on the seafloor are called benthos. Most of these ocean animals lack a backbone and are called invertebrates.

ocaenic zone

Examples Of Bethos And Benthic Zones

Benthos includes rockfish, thorny heads, bluefin tuna, sea cucumbers, squat lobsters (galatheids), flatfish, rattails, brittle stars, crabs, sea pens, corals, sea stars, octopus, anemones, and bacterial mats (near seeps).

The benthic zone includes submerged plants and animals like crabs, prawns, fishes, and lobsters that will remain on the bottom of the marine layer. The benthic invertebrates typically include sea stars, sea anemones, corals, worms, sea urchins, sponges, bivalves, crabs, and many more.

Difference Between Biota Of The Pelagic And Benthic Zone?

Let's discuss some of the significant differences between the Biota of the Benthic and Pelagic zone:

  • As we have discussed earlier, the benthic zone is the layer closer to the bottom of a water body, including the sediments at the seafloor. In contrast, the pelagic zone considers the uppermost layers of a water body where swimming and floating organisms live.
  • Organisms that live under the benthic zone are termed' benthos,' and organisms that are found in the pelagic zones are known as pelagic organisms.
  • There are no photosynthetic organisms found in the benthic region; detritivores and scavengers dominate it. Compared to the pelagic zone, the photosynthetic organisms are present, and the active predators are dominant.
  • Most of the organisms in the benthic zone are sessile animals or bottom-dwellers, whereas all the organisms in the pelagic zone are free living.
  • Referring to the open sea, the benthic zone can be characterized by low-level oxygen, low light, low temperatures, and high pressure.
  • If we compare the varieties and diversity among these zones, they are rich in the resource that harbours high diversity compared to the benthic zone with lower resources.
  • The pelagic zone food webs are nurtured by the process of photosynthesis, whereas benthic zones are typically stimulated by accrual drift from the upper-most layers.
  • Examples of Benthic organisms- crabs, fishes, prawns, and lobsters; Pelagic- mackerel, sardine, tuna, whereas in pelagic zone many large ocean vertebrates found including sea turtles, cetaceans, bluefin tuna, and large fish such as swordfish, sharks, and ocean sunfish.

Why Is The Pelagic Zone Important?

The pelagic zone is the region of a lake, river, or ocean that is not connected with the shore or the bottom. The pelagic zone inhabitants do not contact the bottom of the coast throughout their lives. The pelagic zone is deficient in nutrients, and the giant fishes find their food by swimming long distances or drifting with currents and feeding on nutrient-deficient organisms.

Although this zone may emerge as a barren area, the pelagic zone importance is immense in maintaining the marine ecosystems. Microscopic benthic organisms usually live in the pelagic zones and act as food sources for bottom-feeding organisms and animals. The microorganisms living in the pelagic zone locate where there is the availability of food and find a partner to reproduce. In the pelagic zones, biomass is lower than the coastal water body per unit volume, but many organisms live here in such conditions.

What Are The Major Types Of The Pelagic Zones?

Pelagic zones can be categorized into five major sections:

  1. Abyssopelagic zone
  2. Epipelagic zone
  3. Hadopelagic zone
  4. Mesopelagic zone
  5. Bathypelagic zone

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About Author
Nick Johnson

Nick is a multi-faceted individual with diverse interests. I love teaching young students through coaching or writing who always gathered praise for a sharp calculative mind. I own a positive outlook towards life and also give motivational speeches for young kids and college students.

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