Marine Ecosystem – The Largest Ecosystem on Our Planet

Marine Ecosystem is the largest ecosystem on Earth. Brine pools, coral reeves, deep sea corals, estuaries, hydrothermal vents, intertidal ecology, kelp forests, lagoons, mangroves, mudflats, oceans, polar regions, rocky shores, salt marshes, sandy shores, sea floors and whale falls are included into these largest aquatic ecosystems.

One of the apparent differences between other aquatic ecosystems and marine ecosystem is the salinity of water. However, marine ecology is described on the basis of other factors and features too. Formation of different types of marine ecology depends upon geography, geology, light, temperature and tides. Since marine plants and animals are interdependent like the terrestrial plants and animals, it is called an Ecosystem. In fact, aquatic ecosystem does influence upon terrestrial and other ecosystems.

Mangroves, salt marshes and sea grasses are a few of the most productive regions on Earth. About 1/3 of marine biological productivity is constituted by coastal habitats. The highest level of marine diversity gets food and shelter in the coral reeves. This reveals that while underwater life is rich in diversity, the life is in abundance at the merger of land and water too. This further reveals the impact of marine ecology upon terrestrial ecosystems.

Marine Ecosystem

It is notable that estuaries, lagoons, mangroves, etc. that have been included in marine ecology are complete ecosystems. Some of the deep sea ecosystems remain constantly in darkness due to inaccessibility of light. Rocky shores face extreme variations in availability of light, level of oxygen and temperature daily. Similarly, other minor ecosystems included under these aquatics ecosystems have their characteristic features.

Thus, organisms that thrive in the extreme environments have adapted accordingly. There are living marine organisms that even emit light form their bodies. Such heterogeneity and diversity of marine ecosystem determines the resistance of the environment from species invasion. Though marine ecology has been quite resilient, there have been species invasion but the reason of those are yet to be identified.

Damages to the marine ecosystems

Marine life has been vastly disturbed due to careless actions of human beings. Aerosol contamination, eutrophication, habitat degradation, toxic pollution, unsustainable fishing, etc. have been primary causes of degradation of coastal waters. However, since man does not live in water does not mean that humans are any less dependent upon the health of marine ecology. The ocean currents depend upon the salinity of water, which may get affected due to increasingly depleting polar icecaps. Changed ocean currents would not only ruin ocean life but also impact navigation, sea food supply, etc.

Researches are on but awareness regarding aquatic ecosystem among humans is equally important for its maintenance. Regulatory bodies are required to assess the exploitation of oceans for consumer requirements so that hard-lined permission and prohibitions can be chalked out for the health of marine ecosystems.