Marine habitat is made up of the shore and open sea which are water that is extremely salty. It has the characteristic that influenced the survival of organism.
Characteristic of marine
- It has high salinity i.e. high salt concentration pressure increases with depth
- Temperature decreases with depth
- It has very low concentration of dissolved nutrients
- The sea water is continuous movement caused by the wind.
- They are moved by waves and tidal current
- The density is higher than fresh water
- The pH of the surface water is alkaline
- The turbidity of the ocean water is high due to the suspended particles washed into it from land and river.
The marine habitat can be divided into the intertidal, littoral and occanic zone.
(A) INTERTIDAL ZONE: It is a zone that is covered with water during high tide and with air during low tide period. It is rich in organic matter and dissolved oxygen. The water is constantly in motion.
The organisms that are present there are limited to borrowing organisms like grabs, snails, periwinkles, worms auger, shell, gastropods, barnacles, oyster, mussel and limpets having adhesive structures found at the rocky shore.
Plant such as green algae, red algae are there
Adaptation of the organisms
The organisms have several adaptive features used to avoid drying out some like to borrow in the soil with their feet, some gothics and shells. Some animals like anemones withdraw their tentacles and fill their body cavity.
(B) LITTORAL ZONE (NERITIC ZONE) – This zone extends from the shoreline to the edge of the continental shelf where the depth of water is about 200m. Due to deep nature of the water, there is reduction in waves and tidal distribution. The zone is rich in free floating and bottom dwelling algae that serve as primary producers for varieties of plant eating animals. The distribution of the organisms is based on factors such as temperature, water, salinity, turbulence and lighting. The zone is the main site of commercial fish harvest because the zone is very rich nutrients. Fishes like mackerel, cod, herring, salmon etc.
(C) OCEANIC ZONE (APHOTIC ZONE): is zone of deep water that stretches beyond continental shelf. The zone is quite unproductive because raw materials required for photosynthesis are not sufficient. Although, there is enough light at the water surface, nutrients are inadequate and the dark. The zone support the growth of minute floating plant and animal planklon. They are usually unicellular algae, protozoans, small crustaceas and larvae of invertebrates.
The adaptive features include oil globule in their body that acts like float possession of external spines and air which provide friction and prevent drowning. The producer plankton (diatoms) and algae (sea weeds) sustain all the marine food chain which sustains all other life forms in the marine habitat.
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