Many students in primary school ask about the sea/ocean ecosystem. Therefore, we have come up with this simple post to illustrate how the sea/ocean considered as an independent ecosystem.
Learn About The Ocean
The ocean is a huge and dynamic ecosystem. Even so, there are numerous other independent environments in this ecosystem. An example would be tropical coral reefs, the hard coastal waters and the oceans.
An ecosystem is a relationship between the biocenosis and the biotope. The biotope is the respective inanimate habitat and is composed of the abiotic factors, eg the temperature. All organisms in this habitat interact with each other in a variety of ways and, as a biotic environment, form a community, the biocoenosis.
All ecosystems are open systems
A system is said to be “open” if both energy and material transport take place across the system boundaries. In other words, all habitats, biological systems and associations that exchange materials and energy, such as heat, with their environment are open. That is why every ecosystem is an open system.
The question now is what are the system boundaries of an ecosystem when everything is open and interrelated?
Ecosystems are not always spatially separated, such as a mountain lake from the surrounding mountain landscape or a piece of forest with a fixed edge of the forest. For this reason, ecosystems are generally defined by their respective, specific material and energy cycles. If a community of organisms with the abiotic conditions prevailing in this habitat is able to maintain the material cycles of this open system, then one speaks of a functioning ecosystem. Other biotic or abiotic conditions therefore indicate a neighboring ecosystem.
The ocean – an open system
Through numerous interactions, the sea exchanges more matter and energy with the direct and indirect environment than any other ecosystem on earth. The four main factors should make this clear:
1) Climate regulation
Water has a high heat capacity. This means that a comparatively large amount of heat is required to heat a certain amount of water by 1 ° C. Accordingly, the sea has the ability to store the radiation energy from the sun in the form of thermal energy for a long time without being excessively heated itself. This energy reserve is replenished in summer, so to speak, and released slowly and evenly in winter. The oceans are the main climate regulator of our earth, because only through this heat absorption and emission the temperatures on our planet allow life and temperature fluctuations are strongly compensated by the oceans.
2) Ocean currents
Another aspect of the world climate is the distribution of thermal energy and the associated nutrients all over the world. This happens through currents. Such currents as the Gulf Stream allow palm trees to grow in a more northern region, such as England, or that floods of warm, nutrient-rich water are brought to colder areas that are poorer in nutrients and supply the flora and fauna there. Due to the amount of sunshine and the fresh water supply from rivers, the temperature and salinity change in different areas of the world’s oceans. This creates ocean currents that allow warm and cold ocean water to flow around our planet. Warm water stays on the surface of the sea, colder, more salty and therefore heavier water sinks to deeper levels in the water,
3) Gas exchange
Around 70% of the oxygen on Earth is formed in the sea and around 30% of the CO 2 emissions are absorbed by the oceans. This dynamic gas exchange enables us to live on our planet as we know it. In addition, this mass transfer compensates for a lot of human fault, for example in the form of emissions, and the resulting greenhouse effect is reduced.
4) Water cycle
The sun’s rays cause large amounts of water to evaporate from the oceans and reach the air as water vapor. Due to the cooler temperatures there, the water vapor condenses and water drops form from which the clouds are made. If enough liquid water has accumulated, then this water is too heavy and precipitates. On the one hand, these precipitates wash pollutants and other substances from our air, on the other hand they provide nature with vital water and feed rivers and lakes with water.
There’s so much to learn about the sea ecosystem. As we all already know, all life comes from water. But the sea is not only a source of life in the past, but it is also of central importance for the present and the future. The fact is that the sea is home to an immense number and variety of living things – from microscopic single-cell plants to the largest living animals. But the sea not only enables life below the surface of the water, it also has a direct impact on all other habitats in the world.
People try to copy the sea ecosystem through aquariums giving it the best accessories (see the top aquarium filters 2020) to give it a more natural feel for the fishes and other habitats of the man-made ecosystem. These aquariums give children a chance to learn more about marine life and the open ocean.