Marine Ecology

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.

  • European otter Featured Article European otter European otter

    The European otter (Lutra lutra) is a broadly distributed marine mammal found in both marine and freshwater systems over considerable portions of Europe, Asia and North Africa;... More »

  • Atlantic hydrothermal vent life Featured News Article Atlantic hydrothermal vent life Atlantic hydrothermal vent life

    Explorers on NOAA expedition discover chemosynthetic shrimp, tubeworms together for first time at hydrothermal vent, also first live vent tubeworms seen in Atlantic waters... More »

  • Overfishing Featured Article Overfishing Overfishing

    Overfishing is the human act of extracting aquatic (that is, marine and freshwater) fauna from natural water bodies at a rate greater than the reproductive and recruitment... More »

  • Abyssal zone Featured Article Abyssal zone Abyssal zone

    The Abyssal zone (from the 4o C isotherm at 2000 to 3000 meters in depth down to about 6000 meters) is a term in oceanography which originally (before the mid-1800s) meant the... More »

  • South African fur seal Featured Article South African fur seal South African fur seal

    The South African fur seal (also Also known as the Cape fur seal, Australian Fur Seal; scientific name: Arctocephalus pusillus) is one of 16 species of marine mammals in the... More »

  • Catching a Coral Killer Featured News Article Catching a Coral Killer Catching a Coral Killer

    First ever case of human-caused marine disease. Catching a Coral Killer Coral reefs play an important role in marine ecosystems, so it's concerning to scientists,... More »

  • Porkfish Featured Article Porkfish Porkfish

    The porkfish (scientific name: Anisotremus virginicus) is a member of the grunt family (Family Haemulidae) that lives on coral reefs in the Western Atlantic Ocean and... More »

  • Wrasses Featured Article Wrasses Wrasses

    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... More »

Recently Updated
Pinniped Last Updated on 2014-07-21 17:04:25 Pinnipeds ("finned-feet") are are group of marine mammals, that includes seals, sea lions, and walruses. The word pinniped is sometimes treated as a synonym for "seal" since all pinnipeds except for the the sole species of Walrus are seals (sea lions are eared seals).     Scientific Classification Kingdom: Animalia (Animals) Phylum:--- Chordata Class:------ Mammalia (Mammals) Order:-------- Carnivora (Carnivores) Family:-------- Otariidae (Eared seals) Pinnipeds differ form other marine mammals like whales, dolphins and porpoises in that they do not spend their entire lives in water. Pinnipeds "haul out" onto land and ice to mate, give birth, moult, and rest. Pinnipeds were agressively hunted until the early twentieth century for their skins, oil, meat and, in the case of... More »
Keoladeo (Bharatpur) National Park, India Last Updated on 2014-07-07 14:58:21 Keoladeo (Bhartpur) National Park (27°10'N, 77°31'E is a World Heritage Site situated in eastern Rajasthan. The park is 2 kilometers (km) south-east of Bharatpur and 50km west of Agra. Established as a national park on 10 March 1982. Previously the private duck shooting preserve of the Maharaja of Bharatpur since the 1850's, the area was designated as a bird sanctuary on 13 March 1956 and a Ramsar site in October 1981. The last big shoot was held in 1964 but the Maharajah retained shooting rights until 1972. Inscribed on the World Heritage List in 1985. 2,873 hectares (ha) Rajasthan State Government 174 meters (m) The area consists of a flat patchwork of marshes in the Gangetic plain, artificially created in the 1850s and maintained ever since by a system of canals, sluices and dykes. Normally, water is fed into the marshes twice a... More »
Japanese sea lion Last Updated on 2014-07-02 14:48:14 Also known as the Black sea lion, the Japanese sea lion (Scientific name: Zalophus japonicus) is a species that is believed to have become extinct in the 1950s. The species was one of 16 species of marine mammals in the family of Eared seals which include sea lions and fur seals. Together with the families of true seals and Walruses, Eared seals form the group of marine mammals known as pinnipeds.      Conservation Status   Scientific Classification Kingdom: Anamalia (Animals) Phylum:--- Chordata Class:------ Mammalia (Mammals) Order:-------- Carnivora (Carnivores) Family:-------- Otariidae (Eared Seals) Genus:----------Zalophus Species:-----------  Zalophus japonicus (Peters, 1866) Eared seals  differ from the true seals in having... More »
Amundsen Sea Last Updated on 2014-07-02 14:32:05 The Amundsen Sea is a marginal sea of Antarctica centered at about 112o W and 73o S. It sits between the Bellingshausen Sea to the east and the Ross Sea to the west, with the Antarctic Circle serving as the northern boundary. The Amundsen Sea is one of the Antarctic seas which contributes to the formation of cold deep-water masses, which are instrumental in driving the global ocean thermohaline circulation. Norwegian polar explorer Roald Amundsen is credited with the first sighting of the Amundsen Sea during an an expedition in 1928-29 commanded by the Norwegian under Captain Nils Larsen; the Amundsen Basin was first explored in February of 1929 as a part of that exploration. The Amundsen Sea has relatively low nutrient levels compared to other seas in the Antarctic Zone. As with other seas of the Antarctic large marine ecoregion, the Amundsen Sea is under pressure of overfishing, with... More »
Elkhorn Slough National Estuarine Research Reserve, California Last Updated on 2014-07-01 16:13:44 The Elkhorn Slough National Estuarine Research Reserve is one of 27 National Estuarine Research Reserves established nationwide as field laboratories for scientific research and estuarine education. Elkhorn Slough is one of the relatively few coastal wetlands remaining in California. The main channel of the slough, which winds inland nearly seven miles, is flanked by a broad salt marsh second in size in California only to San Francisco Bay. The reserve lands also include oak woodlands, grasslands and freshwater ponds that provide essential coastal habitats that support a great diversity of native organisms and migratory animals. More than 400 species of invertebrates, 80 species of fish and 200 species of birds have been identified in Elkhorn Slough. The channels and tidal creeks of the slough are nurseries for many species of fish. At least six threatened or endangered species... More »