Marine Ecology, a sub-discipline of Ecology, is an integrative science focused on research on and assessment of the biotic and abiotic components and processes of Earth's marine and oceanic environments. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration estimates that oceans comprise an astonishing 70 percent of the Earth's surface.
This environmental medium is supplemented by estuaries and coastal areas, and such other brackish bodies of water as the Great Lakes. Marine environments and their ecology are, therefore, critical for life, human habitation, and food and other natural resources. Also, basic and applied marine ecological research address human activity that affects ocean ecosystem composition, structure and function.
Wrasses (the family Labridae) are the most abundant and conspicuous fishes on tropical reefs around the world. Wrasses also comprise an important element of the coldwater fish...
CubozoaLast Updated on 2013-10-23 13:31:26Cubozoans are astounding animals. They resemble basic jellyfish, but they can swim quite rapidly, maneuver with great agility, and have good vision despite not having a brain...Believe it or not!
In general, box jellies are similar in form to the "true" jellyfish, known as scyphozoans. However, it is relatively easy to tell the two groups apart. Cubozoans have a square shape when viewed from above. (Gee, maybe that's how they got their name.) They also have four evenly spaced out tentacles or bunches of tentacles and well-developed eyes. Not surprisingly, given their squishy nature, there are not many fossil cubozoans known. Today, there are about 20 known species found in tropical and semitropical waters. The Australian stinger Chironex fleckeri is among the deadliest creatures in the world, having caused human fatalities.
Cubozoans are rare as fossils. A... More »
Indus River Delta-Arabian Sea mangrovesLast Updated on 2013-10-17 23:48:27
The Indus River Delta-Arabian Sea mangroves ecoregion represents a mangrove habitat that is adapted to some of the most extreme temperatures and salinity conditions in the Indo-Pacific region. As a transition from the marine to freshwater and terrestrial systems, mangroves provide critical habitat for numerous species of fishes and crustaceans that are adapted to live among the tangled mass of pneumatophores, the roots that reach up from the muddy, anaerobic substrate to obrain the supply of oxygen for the mangrove trees.
This ecoregion lies at the delta of the Indus River, which originates in the Tibetan Plateau and flows through the northwestern part of India and into the arid Thar Desert in Pakistan before finally emptying into the Arabian Sea. There are high salinity levels in the sloughs because of the high evaporation rates and the salts that are washed down by the river,... More »
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), United StatesLast Updated on 2013-10-12 23:55:15
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is a federal agency within the United States Department of Commerce. As a science-based operational agency tasked with monitoring climate and changes in the environment, NOAA is responsible for the study of the atmosphere and the oceans. The agency issues daily weather forecasts and storm warnings, restores coastline, aids the flow of marine commerce, and manages fisheries. NOAA's activities facilitate weather- and climate-sensitive economic activity that account for roughly one-third of the country's gross domestic product (GDP). The agency also responds to natural and man-made maritime disasters, operates a complex network of oceanographic, meteorological and atmospheric data-collecting products and services, and manages marine mammals, marine endangered... More »
Seas of the worldLast Updated on 2013-10-08 22:27:11A sea is commonly defined to be an extended body of saline water associated with one of the worlds five oceans (Atlantic, Indian, Pacific, Arctic, and Southern oceans). Some seas can appear to be distant from the ocean to which they are associated, like the Black Sea which is connected to the Atlantic Ocean, two thousand miles away, via the Mediterranean Sea and several very narrow straits.
Other bodies of inland waetr carry the name sea but are not directly associated with one of the world's oceans, such as the Caspian Sea and the Aral Sea. In most cases, seas are areas of an oceans that are close to and bounded to a greater or lesser degree by land.The degree to which seas are enclosed by land affects the degree to which they share water flows with the larger oceans or seas which they conect to. There are two types of sea defined by their degree of enclosure and connection to... More »
Chesapeake Bay oyster depletionLast Updated on 2013-10-05 01:13:04Chesapeake Bay oyster depletion has occurred significantly in the period 1960 to 2010. This depletion is caused by a number of factors, including water quality, disease and over harvesting. The native oyster to the Chesapeake Bay and all Atlantic Coast regions is the American or Eastern Oyster Crassostrea virginica. The Bay's ecological conditions are ideal for oysters, and the oyster fishery was at one time the Bay's most commercially viable enterprises. However, in the last fifty years the oyster population has been devastated. Maryland once had roughly 200,000 acres of oyster reefs; in 2010 it has about 36,000 such reefs. In pre-colonial times, oysters filtered the entirety of the Chesapeake Bay in approximately 3.3 days; by 1988 this time had increased to 325 days. The oyster harvest's gross value has decreased 88% from 1982 to 2007. Today there are fewer... More »
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