SeaHarmony welcomes all ocean scientists, ocean educators, resource managers, artists, and ocean related organizations and community groups.
Have you heard of coral bleaching? That is what happens when corals lose their green or brown colored algae living inside of them due to environmental stress such as warmer temperatures. If conditions return to normal fairly quickly, the algae will come back; but if conditions change for too long then the coral will be permanently bleached and won’t be able to survive.
In the ocean, as on land, elements are constantly being cycled through different animals. An important player in this cycling process is bacteria. Bacteria can take organic matter, such as a fish carcass, and break it down to some of the essential compounds required for life. Bacteria sometimes get a dirty reputation, but they’re actually nature’s recyclers!
The ocean plays a huge role in controlling Earth’s climate. Large amounts of energy from the sun are absorbed by the ocean, and that heat gets redistributed around the world by large-scale ocean currents. Changes in these currents are predicted to occur as the earth warms, resulting in changes to both small scale and large scale weather and climate.
Eutrophication is when a large amount of nutrients enters the water and causes a sharp increase in the algae population, which then rapidly die off once these nutrients are used up, creating low-oxygen conditions. Eutrophication often happens in areas where fertilizer run-off from agriculture gets into the water. In extreme cases, it can kill off a large area of marine life from lack of oxygen.
So little is still understood about our deep oceans. One study recently discovered that the deep ocean had 898 species in an area about half the size of a tennis court. Over half of these species had never been identified before by scientists, and that’s not even including all the microscopic organisms that can be found.
Photo: SECORE Synchrony of reproduction is an important strategy used by both terrestrial and marine organisms to maximize their reproductive success. Depending on the ecological context, synchronization of reproduction may offer advantages in increasing fertilization success, reducing predation through “swarming”, and ability to locate mates. Timing of reproduction and large reproductive events in a population is dependent on the “clock” set by environmental cues, such as temperature, chemical cues, irradiance, lunar cycles, tides, wind or current patterns, and timing of... (more)