Marine Biology Final

  1. Define ‘ecosystem’, ‘community’, ‘species’, ‘niche’
    • Ecosystem: a community or communities plus their physical environment interacting in a large more or less self contained area
    • Community: populations of different species that live and interact at a particular location
    • Species: genetically related individuals that can readily interbreed
    • Niche: role of a species in an ecosystem
  2. Name the 6 layers of the ocean
    • Intertidal: between high and low tide mark
    • Benthic: anywhere on bottom
    • Epipelagic: top layer of ocean (100-200m)
    • Mesopelagic: second layer of ocean (1000m down)
    • Bathypelagic: third layer of ocean (4000m down)
    • Abyssopelagic: Bottom of ocean (<4000m deep)
  3. Define ‘nekton’, ‘plankton’ and ‘benthic’.
    • Nekton: swims
    • Plankton: drifts
    • Benthic: lives in or on bottom
  4. Define ‘food web’
    • All of the interconnected feeding relationships within a community
    • complex in oceans
  5. Define the three main steps in a marine food chain?
    • primary producers
    • primary consumers
    • secondary consumers
  6. What is primary production? How is it measured?
    • Production of organic carbon
    • measured via photosynthesis
  7. What is ‘carrying capacity’ and why it rarely reached?
    • Amount of organisms a given area can sustain
    • reached due to fluctuations in nutrients and organisms
  8. What is an ‘abiotic factor’?
    • Waves and currents
    • light
    • nutrients
    • temperature
  9. Describe two key abiotic factors that play dominant roles in most marine ecosystems
    • Light = energy for primary producers to grow
    • Temperature = energy to grow
  10. What is a ‘biotic factor’
    • Food
    • competition for resources
    • predator-prey interactions
  11. Describe 2 biotic factors that play dominate roles in most marine ecosystems
    • Food (for primary production)
    • predator prey (even balance or one will go extinct)
  12. Define ‘mutalism’ and give an example.
    • Benefits all parties
    • remora on sharks
  13. Define ‘intertidal zone’
    Locations where organisms are routinely exposed to air at low tide (emersion) and to the sea at high tide (immersion)
  14. What are the three basic types of intertidal communities?
    • Rocky (or hard bottom)
    • Gravel (extremely high energy)
    • Soft bottom (sand=high energy, mud=low energy)
  15. How does wave action drive organismal form and function in the rocky intertidal zone?
    Organisms need to be tough (like holdfasts in kelp in high current)
  16. How do tides drive organismal form and function in the rocky intertidal zone?
    Usually have attached organisms (mussels/algae)
  17. What is a tide pool?
    • Special places in the rocky intertidal that have water trapped at low tide
    • harsh competitive environment
    • simple communities (algae, herbivores)
  18. Why are most rocky intertidal organisms filter feeders?
    • Cannot dislodge to hunt
    • much plankton and detritus available
  19. How do macroalgae typically cope with wave shock?
    Use holdfasts
  20. What is ‘zonation’?
    Combination of abiotic and biotic pressures
  21. Describe the three zones that are evident in all rocky intertidal ecosystems
    • Upper intertidal = physically dominated
    • Middle intertidal = barnicles, mussles, submerged/uncovered daily
    • Lower intertidal = only exposed during spring/low tides
  22. Compare and contrast in some detail the roles of abiotic and biotic factors in determining zonation patterns in the rocky intertidal.
    • Abiotic: constant daily stress, sudden extreme events like storms
    • succession to recover

    Biotic: competition
  23. What is a byssal thread?
    what mussels use to attach themselves to substrates
  24. How do most intertidal organisms reproduce and then disperse?
    Broadcast spawning
  25. Name two types of organisms usually found in the middle intertidal zone of rocky shores.
    • barnicles
    • mussels
  26. Why is competition for space so common in the rocky intertidal?
    there is only so much room to attach
  27. What is a gravel intertidal beach ecosystem?
    • High-impact/energy
    • eroded rocky shore lines
    • Shifting rocks/ gravel
    • Very, very simple and limited infauna because of shifting gravel
  28. Describe both types of soft bottom intertidal ecosystems.
    • Antarctic soft bottom = productive, undisturbed
    • Tropical =
  29. What physical factors determine the nature of intertidal organisms found in soft bottom communities?
    • wave action
    • salt concentration
  30. What are infauna?
    • Infauna = organisms in sediments
    • worms, molluscs
  31. What is an estuary?
    Semi-enclosed areas where fresh and salt water mix
  32. What are the two types of estuaries as defined by their salinity profiles?
    • Well-mixed - gradual top-to-bottom mixing (ex. broad shallow regions; lagoons)
    • Stratified
  33. What is salt wedge and how does it determine the distribution of estuarine organisms?
    Waters with different salinities slide over each other as tides change
  34. How productive are estuaries and why?
    nutrient mixing = VERY PRODUCTIVE
  35. Name and describe two ways that estuarine organisms cope with salinity.
    • Stenohaline = intolerant of salinity change
    • Euryhaline = tolerant of salinity change
    • (osmoregulator = an animal that can regulate osmolarity (may or may not be stenohaline))
  36. What ecological roles do birds play in mudflats?
    • important
    • specialized predators and feeders
  37. What is a salt marsh?
    • Marine wetlands (very low energy enviroment)
    • -Dominated by grasses
    • -Detritus and bacteria play a key role
    • -Provide shelter for many organisms
  38. Describe the dominant type of plant in a salt marsh.
    seagrass and mangroves
  39. What is a mangal?
    a mangrove forest
  40. Where are mangals found and what ecological role do they play in coastal zones?
    • found around equator
    • play large role in nursery and shrimp production
  41. Describe the role of detritus in a typical estuarine food web.
    deposit and filter feeders eat this
  42. Define and then describe 3 features of the continental shelf.
    • areas of the continent that were flooded during ice age
    • steep slope
    • 200m deep max
    • well mixed
  43. List the 4 types of benthic communities that are found on the continental shelf and describe 4 features of one of these.
    soft- bottom:vegetated or not

    hard- vegetated or not

    Softbottom vegetated - low wave energy

    Shallow: high nutrient loads from shore,high standing biomass
  44. What are two major sources of nutrients to continental shelf communities?
    • detritus from inshore
    • mixing
  45. Why is the distribution of benthic organisms over the continental shelf often patchy?
    • larval dispersal
    • also based on sediment type
  46. Define ‘seagrass’
    • marine angiosperm
    • from the lily family
  47. What are epiphytes and what roles do they play in a vegetated, seagrass community?
    • little guys stuck to sea grasses (snails, green algae)
    • nitrogen fixation
  48. Why are seagrasses disappearing?
    • development and pollution
    • nursery areas
  49. What is the single biggest difference between vegetated and nonvegetated soft bottom communities other than the plants?
    the presence of herbivores
  50. Define ‘infauna’ and describe its ecological role in a soft-bottomed community.

    10. Define ‘infauna’ and describe its ecological role in a
    soft-bottomed community.
    carbon and nutrient recycling via detritus
  51. What 3 strategies do epifauna employ to survive in soft-bottomed communities?
    • poisonous and display
    • camouflage
    • bury
  52. Where do nudibranchs get their poisons?
    eating sponges
  53. What 3 aspects of their appearance can octopuses rapidly change?
    • size
    • pattern
    • texture
  54. Where are kelp forest communities found and why?
    • east sides of gyres
    • need stable cool temps for kelps
    • upwelling
  55. What role do sea urchins play in kelp communities?
    • kelp grazers
    • otter food
  56. Why are otters ‘keystone’ species in kelp communities?
    Eat urchins which have domino effect
  57. What is a ‘reef’? list the two types
    • underwater structure
    • abiotic or biotic
  58. What is coral?
    members of the class Anthozoa with a calcium carbonate skeleton
  59. What is a coral reef? How many types are there?
    • reef made of corals –term sometimes includes hydrozoans
    • scleractinian
    • fire coral
    • deep
    • other
  60. How productive are scleractinian coral reefs relative to other ecosystems?
    • highly
    • some of most productive on earth
  61. Where are coral reefs found and why (at least three
    • Eastern sides of continents (due to currents) and in 30 degree latitude or less
    • light
    • warm
    • moderate
    • nutrient load
  62. What is a cnidarian coral? A hermatypic coral?
    • A scleractinian coral
    • only has POLYP stage
  63. How can a scleractinian coral reef be so productive?
    • Zooxanthellae
    • then high recycling within the system
  64. What are three defining features that explain interconnections of scelertinian coral polyps?
    • membranes
    • connected nervous systems
    • connected digestive systems
  65. List 3 of the many ways that reef-building corals obtain nutrients.
    • zooxanthellae
    • deposit feeders
    • absorb nutrients
  66. What zooxanthellae? What do they do?
    • internal photosynthetic algae
    • most are dinoflagellates
    • get CO2
    • produce O2, calcium carbonate and organic carbon
  67. How important are zooxanthellae to corals and how do they determine the distribution of this organism?
    • receive oxygen from photosynthesis
    • necessary for coral life
    • need specific levels of light year around
  68. Aside from scleractinian corals, what other organisms contribute to coral building?
    red algae
  69. How do corals reproduce? When and how do they do this?
    • most broadcast spawn (but also budding)
    • they do this at night
    • spit gametes through mouth
  70. How many types of reef are there? Define one
    • fringe - form a narrow band close to shore
    • barrier - separated from shore by a lagoon
    • atoll - a ring reef (extremely old!)
  71. Describe the zonation process and structures in one type of a coral reef.
    • Abiotic factors (wind, sunlight)
    • near intertidal mark to biotic deep
  72. What role does detritus have in coral reef food webs?
    • food for deposit feeders
    • comes from feces and external sources
  73. What is coral rubble?
    • base of reef
    • form foundation
  74. Why is space so limiting on coral reefs and explain how coral compete for it?
    • light availability
    • they try to kill each other
  75. Describe predation pressure exerted by fishes on corals reefs?
    • extreme pressure!
    • eat each other and eat corals
  76. How is symbiosis important in coral reefs?
    • essential for rebuilding
    • provide oxygen to cnidarians
    • responsible for CaCO3 deposition
  77. Describe 3 ways man’s activities threaten reefs.
    • nutrients - higher nutrient inputs can lead to hypoxia
    • salinity - can endanger sensitive organisms that are not able to cope
    • overfishing - can mess up complex food webs
  78. Describe/define the ‘epipelagic zone’?
    • Top 200 m of oceanic waters
    • excludes the estuaries
  79. What two regions comprise the epipelagic zone?
    • Neritic - over the continental shelf
    • Oceanic - beyond shelf
  80. Describe three features of life in the epipelagic
    • Generally sparebut patchy
    • complex food webs
    • small (200 meters)
  81. What is the microbial loop? Which section of the ocean is it located?
    • bacteria and viruses
    • reprocesses detritus and plankton to liberate dissolved organic carbon
    • epipelagic
  82. What role does detritus play in epipelagic foodwebs?
    • it mostly sinks so....
    • Very little role except through microbial loop
  83. How productive are epipelagic food webs and why?
    • Not very
    • patchy
    • no nutrients except in upwelling and downwelling regions
  84. Define the term ’plankton’
    Drifitng organisms that are too small to be self-propelled
  85. What are 'netplankton?'

    8. What are ‘netplaknton’?
    • Plankton that can be caught in nets
    • 20 microns to 20 cm in size
  86. What is the most important (common) type of picoplankton?
    • Cyanobacteria
    • reponsible for 90% + of the ocean’s primary production!
  87. What are zooplankton?
    • animal plankton
    • mostly carnivores
    • some herbivores
  88. What is a copepod?
    • Small crustaceans (75% of zooplankton)
    • largest animal biomass on Earth!
  89. What is krill and why is it important to whales?
    • Second most abundant zooplankton (decapod)
    • major food source for whales
  90. What features characterize epipelagic zooplankton and why?
    • Transparent - camoflauge
    • buoyant - unable to swim on their own
    • small - protection
  91. What is vertical migration and why is it important?
    • Largest movement of animals on earth
    • every night
    • drives food chains
  92. What are nekton’?
    • Large self-propelled organisms
    • Dolphins, tuna, birds
  93. Where and what do nekton eat and live?
    • Large predators (dolphins, birds, fish, whales)
    • constantly roaming looking for upwelling regions and food patches
  94. What makes a tuna a ‘swimming machine’?
    • Streamlined
    • warm blooded
    • great sensory system
  95. Describe the arctic.
    • Ice-covered ocean surrounded by continents
    • Huge ice sheet
    • fluctuating pack ice
    • seasonal river input
  96. What is ‘fast ice’?
    Ice frozen to shoreline of coast
  97. Compare and contrast nutrient availability throughout the year at the north and south poles.
    • North: variable and lower on avg
    • South: high with more krill
    • Both: highly seasonal primary production
  98. Describe the nature of the summer-time arctic ocean food web
    • Short
    • consumer-driven web
    • ultimately based on plankton blooms
  99. What ecological roles do seals play in the Arctic? How many species are there?
    • Huge fish eaters
    • 3 - ringed, harped, hooded
  100. What animal is at the top of the Arctic foodweb?
    Polar bear
  101. Are odontocetes (toothed whales) found in the Antarctic? Which bird species is only found in the Antarctic?
    • No odontocetes in Antarctic
    • Penguins in the south!
  102. Where do Arctic baleen whales go during the winter months and why?
    • South because...
    • there is no food in the North during this time
  103. Antarctica surface waters are a constant -2 C year-round. Why?
    • Cooling effects of the continental Antarctic
    • nutrient cycling via upwelling creates a nutrient-rich surface
  104. Why do all organisms living on Antarctica depend on the marine environment?
    There is no food on land (its frozen solid year-around)
  105. What are ‘krill’ and what role do they play in the Antarctic
    • Large, long-lived decapods
    • eat plankton
    • is the source of food for all consumers
  106. What is the Antarctic circumpolar current? What drives it? How does it distribute waters?
    • a slow current that circles the continent
    • Wind driven
    • Mixes and distributes deep and intermediate waters from Atlantic, Indian and Pacific oceans
  107. What is the sea-ice boundary and why is it so important to ecology for the Antarctic?
    • it is on the east side of the continent, where ice and ocean meet
    • where it is thick, most life is present
    • where thin, Salpa thompsoni (a small tunicate) is present
  108. What is so special about Nototheonoid fishes?
    • 47% of all fishes in the Antarctic
    • make up 90% of biomass in this area
  109. Describe a few distinguishing features of Weddel seals
    • Deepdivers
    • hold breath for 60-80 min
    • aggressive predators
  110. What do Orcas feed on?
  111. What is noncolleagative freezing?
    • Fish antifreeze,
    • prevents enucleation of cells
  112. What is spermaceti and what function does it serve?
    • Lipids
    • Allow animal to dive deeply by using blood temperature to regulate density of lipids
  113. Define 'fishery'
    an organized effort to catch fish or other aquatic species to provide food for human consumption, amusement, or industry
  114. Fisheries can be classified by their goals (benefits to humans), of which four are commonly identified. What are these and describe two.
    • Ornamental - aquarium trade
    • recreational - sailfish, tarpin
    • industrial - animal foods (fish farms, poultry)
    • food - for humans
  115. What is a ‘specialized fishery for human food’ and why are they so important from a global conservation perspective?
    • Fisheries for food
    • items that are worth far more than their value as protein alone
    • as the fish get rarer, their price increases as does their demand
  116. By weight what group of fishes dominate the world fisheries and why?
    • Sardines!
    • from upwelling regions
    • there are lots of them worldwide
  117. What is the United Nations Convention on the Law and Sea (UNCLOS) of 1982 and why is it so important to global fisheries?
    • Exclusive economic fishery zones set
    • 200 miles from shore
    • coastal country has EXCLUSIVE rights to all natural resources in this area
  118. What country is responsible for most of the world’s fish
  119. What are the two basic ways of managing a marine fisheries?
    • restricted access
    • open access
  120. What is ‘maximum sustainable yield’? Draw and explain this
    relationship and why it does not work
    • parabola like in ecology
    • there is always poaching and illegal capture of fish
    • difficult to measure populations of fish worldwide
  121. What is the ‘tragedy of the commons’? How does it pertain to bluefin
    • Maximum sustainable yield via self-regulation
    • The ‘right’ to use common property (international waters)
    • bluefin tuna is now endangered
  122. What is ‘fishing down the food chain’?
    • How to capture and use small animals for bait
    • Has large scale effects on oceanic food chains
  123. What is a marine sanctuary? How might they help stabilize global fisheries?
    • defined area within or adjacent to the marine
    • environment, protected by legislation with the
    • intent that its coastal biodiversity
    • enjoys a higher level of protection then its
    • surroundings
    • could bring back populations of endangered or threatened fish species
    • allow them to spawn
  124. What is a ‘fish stock’?
    A defined population of fish with its own genetic and ecological identity
  125. When was the Atlantic cod first fished?
    • Vikings and then....
    • Basques
  126. What attributes of its biology made the cod made it so susceptible
    to overfishing?
    easy to catch due to spawning aggregations
  127. What has happened to the age/size of Atlantic cod breeding
    stock as a result of continued heavy fishing pressure?
    • age has decreased
    • size decreased
    • health decreased
  128. Have Atlantic cod been driven to the point that they cannot
    recover? Have other species replaced them in their ecological niche?
    • Maybe – this is an example of fishing ‘down the web’.
    • Certain species of shark may have replaced them
  129. Name three species of fish that are fished sustainably and that Seawtch suggests you can eat?
    • Char
    • Catfish
    • Alaska wild salmon
  130. What is 'aquaculture?'
    the growth and harvesting of aquatic organisms
  131. Define 'mariculture'
    Aquaculture in the marine environment
  132. What is closed aquaculture?
    • re-circulating
    • land based-systems
  133. What is open aquaculture?
    it is open to the ocean in some way (net pen)
  134. What percentage of the fish we eat presently comes from
    About a third
  135. Why is mariculture growing so quickly?
    • high value and success
    • 325 species can be raised this way
  136. What environmental factors limit the aquaculture of marine
    • parasites
    • disease
  137. Describe two serious ecological problems of Atlantic salmon
    culture operations.
    • Disease - if one fish gets it, the rest of the crop dies off too
    • food waste - it is biologically and monetarily expensive to feed them
    • escape - interbreeding and hybridization of wild fish
  138. What country cultures
    the most fin by weight and what is it?
    • CHINA!
    • carp....ew
  139. Describe an intense form of mariculture that is
    environmentally friendly.
    • oysters!
    • do not require feeding such as salmon and other larger fishes
  140. Why is preserving marine habitat in the ocean difficult?
    • Size
    • no one owns the oceans
    • high level of connectivity
  141. What was the ‘Freedom of the Seas’ understanding?
    • That the country had jurisdiction out to 3 nautical miles (basically as far as a cannon would shoot)
    • a Dutch law
  142. What is the UN Convention of the Law of the Sea III (UNCLOS)?
    • defines the rights and responsibilities of nations with respect to the oceans,
    • establishes guidelines for businesses, and protocols for managing marine
    • protected areas. 158
    • countries have signed but not the USA (why?)
  143. What is a ‘Economic Exclusive Zone’ (EEZ)? Who has exclusive rights there?
    • from the coast to 200 nautical miles off shore
    • the country has all rights in this area
  144. What are ‘Territorial seas’?
    Sea within 12 nautical miles of shore
  145. What are ‘High Seas’?
    Non internal or territorial areas of the ocean
  146. What is a ‘Marine Protected Area (MPA)’?
    ’any area of the intertidal or subtidal terrain, together with its overlying water and associated flora, fauna, historical and cultural features, which has been reserved by law or other effective means to protect part or all of the enclosed environment’
  147. How many MPAs are there?
    Over 5000, but 20% of the ocean is recommended
  148. What was the first Marine Protected Area?
    Pelago Sanctuary for Marine Mammals (Italy and France)
Card Set
Marine Biology Final
Marine Biology, Human Impacts