Ocean Ecosystem

Biotic Factors

The biotic factors in an ocean ecosystem are all of the marine animals and plants such as: dolphins, fish, stingrays, starfish, phytoplankton, and coral.  

Abiotic Factors

Abiotic factors are non-living things, like: minerals, chemicals, gases, rocks, and water.

Carrying Capacity

Carrying capacity is the number or quantity of people or things that can be conveyed or held by a vehicle or container. Resources that are needed for a population to survive are food, water, shelter, and space.

The reason a population changes over time is because of the availability of resources that are needed to survive. Only a small handful of dolphins are able to thrive in freshwater regions. Although they prefer warmer locations, they usually go down in the colder areas due for a desperate need of food. However, they are very smart creatures and have the intelligence to modify their habitat when possible for survival.

Limiting Factors

A limiting factor is the environmental factor that is of predominant importance in restricting the size of a population. The factors that limit the size and distribution of starfish are temperatures exceeding over 25 degrees celsius in the summer and salinities less than 14 per mille in the winter. Rate of growth varies with the kind and abundance of food and inversely with the size of starfish.

A predator/ prey relationship in the ocean is between a shark and a sea lion. Sharks typically eat smaller, weaker, sicker, or older animals. Limiting factors affect sharks because of the temperature which is very common among other organisms in the ocean. Availability of suitable prey will also impact population growth rates. Finally, harvesting by humans is having a major impact on many sharks and allies. Limiting factors that affect a sea lion are entanglement in debris, environmental contaminants, predation by killer whales and disease, and fluctuating prey populations.

Energy Roles

An energy role is the quantitative measure of the production or consumption of energy by any organism. A producer is an organism, either a green plant or bacterium, which is part of the first level of a food chain. An example of a producer is algae.

A herbivore is often defined as any organism that only eats plants. A herbivore in the ocean is a green sea turtle.

An omnivore is an animal that eats food of  both plant and animal origin. An example of an omnivore is a lobster.

A carnivore is an animal that feeds on other animals. An example of one is a killer whale.

A decomposer is an organism, especially a soil bacterium, fungus, or invertebrate, that decomposes organic material. A common decomposer is an earthworm.

A scavenger is an animal that feeds on carrion, dead plant material, or refuse. An example of a scavenger are young marine eels.

Producer Explanation

As each energy role passes on to another organism, the producer starts by making its own food then an herbivore comes along and eats that plant. If there is plant material that they left behind, then decomposers break that down to soil. After that, an omnivore or carnivore eats the herbivore. If there is any dead animal that the carnivore or omnivore doesn't eat, a scavenger eats it. Each time a consumer eats something, the organism that they ate passes on 10% of energy to the consumer.

Food Chains & Food Webs

Food webs are more realistic than food chains because everything is intertwined to create a balance in nature. Food webs are intertwined because each organism eats more than one specific plant or animal. If one organism was taken out of the food web, it would affect the balance in nature.

A pyramid is more efficient rather than a cylinder or square because it shows the levels of energy transfer from top to bottom. It also gives you a less confusing idea of producers, herbivores, carnivores, omnivores, and top predator. The reason behind producers are at the very bottom and the top predator is at the very top is to show that each time you move up a trophic level, it gives less and less energy as you get closer to the top.

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