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Chapter 15 Animals of the Benthic Environment

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1 Chapter 15 Animals of the Benthic Environment
Essentials of Oceanography 7th Edition

2 Benthic organisms Benthic organisms are those that live in or on the ocean floor More than 98% of known marine species are benthic The vast majority of benthic species live within the shallow continental shelf

3 Benthic biomass closely matches surface productivity
Figure 13-6 Benthic biomass Figure 15-1

4 Rocky shores Most organisms live on the surface (epifauna)
Zonation of rocky shores: Spray zone (rarely covered by water) High tide zone Middle tide zone Low tide zone (rarely exposed) Upper zones have mostly shelled organisms Lower zones have many soft-bodied organisms and algae

5 Rocky shores: Intertidal zonation and organisms
Figure 15-2a

6 Sea anemone A vicious predator cleverly disguised as a harmless flower but armed with stinging cells Figure 15-4

7 Sediment-covered shores
Most organisms burrow into the sediment (infauna) Sediment-covered shores include: Beaches Salt marshes Mud flats

8 Sediment-covered shores: Intertidal zonation and organisms
Figure 15-8

9 Sediment-covered shores: Modes of feeding
Figure 15-9

10 How a clam burrows Figure 15-10

11 Shallow offshore ocean floor
Extends from the spring low-tide shoreline to the edge of the continental shelf Mostly sediment-covered but contains rocky exposures Includes: Kelp forests Coral reefs

12 Kelp forests Kelp forests are found on rocky bottoms and provide habitat for many organisms Gant brown bladder kelp Macrocystis has a strong holdfast and gas-filled floats Macrocystis can grow up to 0.6 meter (2 feet) per day Figure 15-15a

13 Coral reefs Coral reefs are hard, wave-resistant structures composed of individual coral animals (polyps) Individual coral polyps: Are about the size of an ant Are related to jellyfish Feed with stinging tentacles Live attached to the sea floor in large colonies Construct hard calcium carbonate structures for protection Contain symbiotic photosynthetic zooxanthellae algae

14 Coral reefs: Environmental conditions
Coral reefs need: Warm water: 18-30°C (64-86°F) Strong sunlight (for symbiotic algae) Strong wave/current action Lack of turbidity Salt water Hard substrate for attachment Coral reefs found in shallow, tropical waters

15 Coral reef distribution and diversity
Figure 15-18

16 Coral reef zonation Figure 15-19

17 Stages of coral reef development
Figure 2-30

18 Coral bleaching Coral bleaching occurs when symbiotic zoothanthellae algae is removed or expelled Associated with high water temperatures Figure 15B

19 The deep-ocean floor Characteristics of the deep ocean:
Absence of sunlight Temperatures around freezing Average salinity High dissolved oxygen Extremely high pressure Slow bottom currents (except abyssal storms) Low food supply

20 Food sources for deep-sea organisms
Figure 15-22

21 Deep-sea hydrothermal vent biocommunities
Found in deep water near black smokers along the mid-ocean ridge Do not rely on food from sunlit surface waters Organisms include: Tube worms Clams Mussels Crabs Microbial mats

22 Alvin approaches a hydrothermal vent biocommunity
Figure 15-23

23 Locations of deep-sea biocommunities
Figure 15-24

24 Deep-sea vent biocommunity food source: Chemosynthesis
Deep-sea vent biocommunities rely on bacteria and archaeon that chemosynthesize Figure 15-25

25 Other deep-sea biocommunities
Low-temperature seep biocommunities are associated with: Hypersaline seeps Hydrocarbon seeps Subduction zone seeps

26 Essentials of Oceanography 7th Edition
End of Chapter 15 Essentials of Oceanography 7th Edition

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