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Week 8 and Beginning of Week 9 Notes

by: Katelynn Hine

Week 8 and Beginning of Week 9 Notes MSCI B210 001

Marketplace > University of South Carolina - Beaufort > MSCI B210 001 > Week 8 and Beginning of Week 9 Notes
Katelynn Hine


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Basic Ecology, Food Chain, and Energy Flow
Oceans and Man
Dr. Ember
Class Notes
Science, Marine
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This 5 page Class Notes was uploaded by Katelynn Hine on Thursday October 6, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to MSCI B210 001 at University of South Carolina - Beaufort taught by Dr. Ember in Fall 2016. Since its upload, it has received 2 views.


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Date Created: 10/06/16
“Oceans and Man”  ­  Basic Ecology  ­  Notes Ecology ­ interaction of organisms with their biotic and abiotic environments Species ­ members of a group of organisms that can interbreed Population ­ all the organisms of the same species in the same local area Community ­ populations of different species interacting with one another in  a shared environment ­ interactions control diversity & size of populations Ecosystem ­ a community of populations plus its physical environment Biotic component ­ living Autotrophs ­ producers ­ photosynthesis ­ make food for themselves and  indirectly for other populations Heterotrophs ­ consumers ­ need preformed food Herbivores ­ feed directly on green plants Carnivores ­ only feed on other animals Decomposers ­ feed on detritus ­ the remains of plants and animals  after they die ­ bacteria & fungi ­ break down organic  matter for plants to use again Abiotic component ­ nonliving ­ light, inorganic nutrients, space Biotic structure Niche – “job” ­ the role a species plays in a community of organisms ­ involves all the  requirements and activities of the species ­ similar species are able to coexist  in a community if they partition resources such as food and living space Habitat – “home” ­ the exact location where an organism lives Limiting Factors ­ nutrients, temperature tolerances, space Zones of the Marine Environment Pelagic ­ open water Plankton ­ “wanderers” ­ can’t control movement Nekton ­ free­swimming Neritic ­ near shore Oceanic ­ away from the shelf ­ open ocean, divided into light regimes Photic (Euphotic) Zone ­  Epipelagic ­ enough sunlight for photosynthesis Disphotic Zone – Mesopelagic ­ very dim light reaches below 200 m Aphotic Zone – Bathypelagic ­ no light at all reaches deep water Benthic ­ the sea bottom Intertidal ­ littoral ­ lies between the tide lines Sublittoral ­ the shelf ­ below low tide mark Bathyal – below sublittoral – extents to the deep ocean floor  MBAR B210  ­  Ecology and Energy Flow  ­  Notes Primary Production ­ phytoplankton in the ocean Photosynthesis ­ construction of energy­rich organic compounds (sugar) from  inorganic materials CO  2 H O2+ Sunlight  C H O  6 O12 6 2 Respiration ­ breaking down of sugar yields energy for growth C 6 O12+6O   2O  + H 2 + En2rgy Biomass ­ amount of organic matter produced ­ # or dry weight Standing Crop ­ Total amount of plant biomass present at a given time ­  Productivity and standing crop varies with time Light and Productivity ­ available light varies with season and latitude Measurement of Primary Productivity ­ carbon dioxide or oxygen Light­Dark Bottle Method ­ two identical bottles used ­ one clear and one opaque ­  same seawater and plankton samples added to each ­ bottles lowered to depth  of interest for specific period of time, returned and oxygen content measured  and compared to initial concentration: Oxygen produce by photosynthesis =  oxygen content of light bottle minus initial concentration minus respiration  (amount used up in dark bottle) = net photosynthesis. 1C Method ­ preferred method ­ known quantity of radioactive  C in bicarbonate form  added to bottle of seawater plus  phytoplankton. Bottle is lowered and  incubated for given time, water is filtered, organisms collected,  C measured ­  is proportional to rate of photosynthesis.  Dark bottle also used to determine  non­photosynthetic uptake of  C. 14 Factors Affecting Primary Productivity Whole ecosystems depend on PS activity of tiny phytoplankton in thin surface layer of  ocean ­ must understand conditions that affect them Physical and Chemical Factors Chemical Cycling ­ inorganic nutrients essential to life cycle through  ecosystems, minimum input from outside, elements are used over  and over again The Carbon Cycle ­ carbon dioxide is removed from air and water by plants  during photosynthesis and returned by animals during respiration Light ­ even in best conditions, most light is absorbed in top 200 m.  Dust, clouds interfere with light above surface, angle of incidence  change with season and location, affects penetration ­ water absorbs  light, less energy available w/ increasing depth, eventually disappears Limiting Nutrients ­ silica also! The Nitrogen Cycle ­ nitrogen is most common element in air, but plants,  which need it as a nutrient, can’t directly incorporate it into tissue ­ need nitrogen­fixing bacteria to turn nitrogen gas into organic  compounds needed by plants MBAR B210  ­  Ecology and Energy Flow  ­  Notes The Phosphorus Cycle ­ from phosphate rock ­ erosion makes it  available to life in water (dissolved phosphate) where it cycles  through organisms ­ phosphate is lost when skeletal remains sink  and become deep sediments MBAR B210  ­  Food Webs and Species Interactions  ­  Notes 1 Trophic Levels ­ describes distance of consumers from producer First trophic level – producers – autotrophs ­ plants Second trophic level ­ primary consumers ­ herbivores Third trophic level ­ secondary consumers ­ carnivores Food Chain ­ energy flows through an ecosystem as members of one population feed  on members of another population ­ each chain is only one path Grazing food chains ­ primary consumer feeds on photosynthetic plants Detritus food chain ­ primary consumer feeds on dead organic matter Food Web ­ numerous food chains are linked together in an ecosystem Ecological Pyramids ­ summary of trophic structure ­ base represents producer level,  apex ­ highest consumer level Pyramid of numbers ­ total number of organisms on each level Pyramid of biomass ­ total weight of living organisms at a particular time Pyramid of energy ­ each level is smaller than the one below ­ less energy on each  level ­ each trophic level passes on less energy than it receives ­ only 10% of  the energy available on one level is incorporated into tissues of organisms of  the next higher level.   Why? Some food cannot be digested ­ is wasted; only  a portion of food becomes tissue, the rest is used for growth and repair Interactions between Organisms Competition ­ affects population size ­ competition for resources within a population  helps limit growth ­ environmental resistance Competitive Exclusion Principle ­ no two species can occupy the same niche at the  same time ­ two species of paramecium can coexist if they have different food  sources (bacteria) Predation ­ one organism feeding on another ­ grazing is similar Keystone Species ­ one whose removal causes extinction of other species ­  Pisaster ­ keystone predator ­ helps increase diversity of a community ­ Mytilus Parasitism ­ parasite benefits, host is harmed ­ but not intentionally killed Mutualism – both species benefit – common in ocean – clownfish & anemone Marine food chains ­ differ from terrestrial food chains:   1) on land the primary producers are large plants like trees, in seawater the primary  producers are single­celled microscopic algae, the major primary consumers (filter  feeders) in the oceans are also very small, thus most large organisms in the sea are  carnivores ­ more links in marine food chain.   2) Marine plants don’t have “wasteful” cellulose ­ more is consumed and less energy is lost ­ higher efficiency of energy transfer compared to terrestrial food chain.   3) Marine organisms often change position in the food chain ­ results in “blurred  trophic levels ­ juvenile fish eat lower on the chain than adults, some adult fish change  their diet, krill can be herbivores or carnivores, zooplankton filter feeders don’t  discriminate between live or dead, animal or plant food ­ only size matters. MBAR B210  ­  Food Webs and Species Interactions  ­  Notes 2 Other differences between marine and terrestrial environments: Water is denser than air ­ many small floating organisms ­ the plankton community ­  food particles are floating around water, not in air ­ filter feeders are unique to  marine environment ­ spiders are only terrestrial model on land ­ sessile (fixed  in location) animals are also unique to marine environment.  Larval forms  disperse species. Water absorbs light ­ most life in ocean is found in a narrow  band near the surface ­  no plant life occurs below 200 m


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