The Ocean Ecosystem

The ocean ecosystem is where there is more saltwater than freshwater involved in the balance of the landscape. Other aquatic ecosystems are freshwater lakes, rivers and estuaries. The ocean ecosystem specifically identifies life forms found in the ocean environment.

Sharks in the Ocean Ecosystem

Ocean ecosystem topography extends beyond the tidal zones. It can include coral reefs and deep sea where saltwater is predominant. The life forms that live in the ocean ecosystem have adapted to life in a saltwater environment.

From the Arctic to the Antarctic the ocean ecosystem offers a diverse choice of issues for life forms and plant life to deal with. Ocean ecosystems may have similar conditions as other aquatic ecosystems underlying criteria for classification, but their levels of saltwater will effect the life forms able to exist in the symbiotic relationships needed between ocean ecosystem and sustainable life.

In the ocean ecosystem the food chain begins with the largest predatory mammals and fish and will continue down through the strata of life forms to the smallest poly and coral life. In studies of ocean ecosystem, the predatory nature of some forms of life will mark the food chain of the particular area. Seals, whales and dolphins exist in the ocean ecosystem. They make the top of the food chain with fish such as sharks and large predators like turtles and sting rays.

The food chain in the ocean ecosystem consists of smaller fish and crustaceans. It is the way that these creatures exist among the plant life and coral formations that make up the unique relationships in the ocean ecosystem. Without plant life or plankton the larger species could not exist. Without the tides, the currents and the sand bars or rock reefs the plants could not exist. Without the movement of schools of fish, jelly fish, rays, eels and turtles, the levels of life would not remain in balance.

An Antarctic GlacierWhen looking at the ocean ecosystem it is important to understand the changes that have taken place over the last hundred years. The impact of human activity on the ocean ecosystem may not at first be discernible, but study would give an idea of how man has changed the balance of life in any aquatic ecosystem. Not only through the act of fishing, does human activity impact on the ocean ecosystem, but activities such as fertilization of crops can effect the delicate balance in the marine environment. Toxins washing into the tidal zones, plastics floating through a marine ecosystem, long lines, waste material and oil spills can damage a fragile ocean ecosystem.

Taking care of the ocean ecosystem, whether it is in tropical waters or in the Arctic or Antarctic oceans will mean the survival of thousands of individual species. No ocean ecosystem can exist without being impacted by what happens in other parts of the globe. The ocean ecosystem is vital to the health of all life forms that pass through it.