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The majority of life on the earth is found under the oceans! It is approximated that even more than 70% of all life exists underwater. And the study of this marine life, i.e., the plants, animals, and other microorganisms that live there, is called Marine Biology. It is the branch of biology that encourages us to explore and learn more about the vast wilderness that thrives there. And yet, we have only succeeded negligibly. Nevertheless, we are here with our team of marine biology experts who know the subject well enough to get you the marine biology homework help online to help you secure the best grades in academia this session.
In order to understand life and existence, we must step out of our petty miseries and put some effort into getting to know other lifeforms with as much wonder as they demand of us! It is said that more than 80% of all marine life awaits to be explored as of yet. But what about the nearly 20% of it that we do know? Let’s take you through a small bit of that percentage to help pique your interest for the right reasons!
As we understand it, Marine Biology is the study of marine life forms. Let us get to know about the various kinds of lifeforms co-inhabiting our beautiful, diverse, and abundant planet earth.
About as much as half of the planet’s oxygen production is credited to the largest population of living beings called phytoplanktons. These are microorganisms that carry out extensive photosynthesis. Phytoplanktons are further classified into blue-green bacteria, algae of different kinds, dinoflagellates, diatomaceous microorganisms, and others that are also called the primary producers in the ecological food chain system.
The other different types of microorganisms living in the ocean are called zooplanktons, and not all of them are of the order of a micron. Some are large, but the characteristic feature of zooplanktons is that they do not photosynthesize oxygen and are, in fact, dependent on phytoplankton for their food and survival.
The plants that can survive the harsh saline conditions of the ocean are mostly found in the shallow waters, for example, the seagrasses like eelgrass and turtle grass. Some plant life is also found in the intertidal zone on the seashore. Examples of plants growing in this zone are beachgrass and cordgrass.
A vast diversity is observed in the algal population that lives under the ocean. There are several types of algal microorganisms that are responsible for photosynthesis and contribute to a large fraction of the world’s entire photosynthetic output, even more than all the forests of the land combined. There are different types of marine algae - also known as seaweeds - brown algae, red algae green algae, named so for the color pigments present in them.
There are almost two thousand species of marine fungi that have been identified to date. Most of the fungi live off of marine animals or marine algae by feeding on them as parasites or sometimes even derive saprotrophic nutrients from algae, protozoans, wood, seagrasses, or other substrates. A lot of these fungal species are also well known for their ability to produce secondary metabolites, which find many uses for humans, such as excipients for drugs and medication.
It is estimated that almost 40,000 species of fish are known, and more are being discovered and added to the list each day. It is also approximated that about 3/5th of the entire fish population thrives in marine environments, i.e., saltwater habitats. There are majorly two categories of fish, namely, cartilaginous and bony fish. If we classify the marine fish further, here are coastal fish, deep-sea fish, pelagic fish, demersal fish, and coral reef fish. However, these days, because of overfishing, there is a high risk of extinction of a lot of species.
It is believed that during evolution, most reptilian animals adapted to marine life as their secondary habitats. Most marine reptiles reproduce by laying eggs (known as oviparous) and have to visit the marine habitat just for that while living off on the land for the rest of their life period. However, some reproduce by giving birth to young ones (the term for this is viviparous) and therefore need not return to the land. Some examples of marine reptiles are sea turtles, sea snakes, saltwater crocodiles, and marine iguanas.
These are the birds that are dependent on marine habitat. They usually hover above the sea and forage for food on the sea surface as well as below the water for their survival. However, they are adapted to living even in terrestrial environments, so they are found to be living a considerable part of the year or their life, many miles inland. Some classic examples of seabirds or marine birds include seagulls, penguins, puffins, pelicans, auklets, albatrosses, etc.
Marine mammals are mammals that strive for their growth and survival living underwater in marine ecosystems. All of the marine mammals breathe in the air, and the only difference is in how much time they can stay underwater, but all of them have to come up to the surface to breathe every once in a while. Some marine mammals are dolphins, whales, walruses, sea otters, sea lions, polar bears, etc.
The marine environment is subdivided into four major classes, and they are as follows.
Mangrove is found in muddy, marshy regions of the shorelines of oceans, riverbanks, and even in estuaries. They are muddy because of the accumulation of the soil from continued erosion. This kind of environment is mostly found in the tropical and subtropical regions. The most remarkable feature of such habitat is that the extensive flora found here can convert the highly saline water from the ocean into freshwater, which supports life conditions for other organisms to thrive.
As the name suggests, this is the region between the high and low tides and serves as a challenging environment for the organisms that live here. There is enough sunlight that reaches and supports the life of many algae and plants living in this zone and providing food for other animals. Crabs, isopods, and brittle stars are some of the examples of organisms that inhabit this intertidal zone.
These are the deepest parts of the marine ecosystem, often ranging from 800 meters to several miles. The conditions here are extremely harsh and unfavorable, and yet, a lot of organisms have adapted to this environment. However, due to our inefficiency to reach the depths of such high-pressure environments, most of the wilderness lies unexplored.
Thousands of different marine species inhabit the coral reefs and are found in the tropical and subtropical regions of the world. Coral reefs live in symbiotic relationships with algae and are found in shallow areas because of their requirement for direct sunlight to survive and support lifeforms. The constant water pollution and changes in climate change threaten the coral reefs. It is high time we pay more attention to save nature and restore it.
There is another classification of the marine habitats that can be done based on their salinity levels. Let’s have a look at that as well.
The salinity levels of this environment range from 0.5-33 ppt (parts per thousand). Estuaries, mangroves, and brackish marshes are some of the habitats that come under the umbrella of brackish salinity.
The sea is characterized by a salinity level ranging from 34 ppt to 37 ppt. Also, as the salinity of the sea increases here, the density of the water changes, and due to this, there are pressure variations observed. All these features result in a challenging environment, but life exists amidst all the challenges, and that’s the most beautiful part of existence.
Inland water ecosystems are used for aqua-culturing of marine flora and fauna by making use of the inland sources of groundwater. The salinity levels vary between 0.5 ppt - 250 ppt. The species of marine organisms that are found here are brown trout, rainbow trout, snapper, and various types of unicellular algae. Inland saline ecosystems are used for extensive aquaculture, intensive aquaculture, as well as semi-intensive culture.
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This was an overview of the vast world of marine biology. We hope it was as interesting as it was informative. If you require any kind of assistance for marine biology homework help online, do reach out to us, and our team of marine biology experts shall be happy to provide academic guidance to help you secure the best grades.
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