The Fragile Beauty of Marine Ecosystems: A Look into the Wonders

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A Marine Ecosystem is a subset of all aquatic ecosystems. Since 70% of Earth’s surface in filled with water, and around 95% of that water in salt, Marine Ecosystems are defined as the largest and most biodiverse ecosystem in the world. An Ocean/Marine Ecosystem can be compared to a Freshwater Ecosystem, and it is composed of a high salt content, otherwise known as “salt water”. They are a home to an enormous amount of different species, working together to sustain life. A Marine Ecosystem can be split into different groups or areas of organisms such as the ocean surface, ocean floor, coral reefs, lagoons, beach areas, etc. Different Aquatic Ecosystems are so diverse, that for example, coral reefs contain around 25-30% of all ocean life, even though they only occupy less than 1% of the ocean floor.

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There is so much life in Marine Ecosystems, from fish, sharks, and rays, to fungi, kelp, and bacteria. Life in Marine Ecosystems are not only predominant on the surface of the water, but are also in extremely deep areas where sunlight is unable to be seen. These organisms can include bacteria, whales, squid, fungi, etc. There are also a lot of plants that thrive in different ocean conditions. All of them get their energy from the sun, which then goes to primary consumers, and finally the main secondary consumers. Those are only the biotic factors. Some abiotic factors of an Ocean Ecosystem can include water temperature, sunlight, water salinity, and the water itself. Organisms in this ecosystem rely on ideal factors for them to survive. Even a slight change in sunlight, for example, will cause marine plants to die out, which will then affect the food chain as some creatures will have to find a different, reliable food source. Marine Ecosystems follow a food web that has been there for a very long time. Sharks have always, and will continue to eat fish, fish will always eat krill, and krill will always eat algae. The ocean is so vast and diverse, and we can only imagine the different types of creatures down there.

In a Marine Ecosystem, there are a wide variety of producers, consumers, and decomposers. For example, even in a small community of sharks, fish, eagles, crabs, and turtles, the food chain would be very large and advanced, because secondary consumers such as sharks would have a lot of food sources to choose from. Firstly, abiotic factors such as sunlight, oxygen, and water would provide the necessary energy for plants like kelp, phytoplankton, and sea grass to grow on the seabed and sides on different rock and dirt formations. Herbivores and omnivores like fish, turtles, bears, limpets, and a wide variety of crustaceans eat these plants, which they use to get energy. Now, secondary consumers such as eagles, sharks, squid, and whales eat the primary consumers for the energy that they obtained from eating marine plants. In the middle of all this, crucial decomposers such as bacteria and fungi, clean up our oceans by absorbing the energy from waste materials and dead or decaying matter. By doing this, they are effectively helping ocean life survive, helping our ocean’s nutrient cycles, and keeping our oceans diverse with life. Without decomposers, organisms wouldn’t get the proper nutrients, waste and matter would accumulate, and oceans would be filled with dead animal and plant carcasses.

There are so many applications for the ocean that us humans can use to our benefit. They can be used for power generation. Water can be used in different power-generation techniques to produce energy in the form of electricity in many ways. This is called hydropower. The flow of water can be used by a water turbine to generate electricity from the spinning motion of the wheel. Water can also be boiled to produce steam to generate electricity. This is done in a thermal plant. Oceans can also be used for everyday things. We filter the salt out of the ocean water to clean water that we can use for drinking, cleaning, bathing, etc. Another thing that the ocean is used for is shelter. For every single organism that lives in the ocean, they are provided with a natural shelter. In conclusion, a Marine Ecosystem is amazing. It’s the biggest ecosystem on Earth, extremely diverse in terms of animals, and has an infinite number of uses for power, shelter, everyday things, etc.  

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