In the enormous living space provided by the sea, there are plankton (drifters), nekton (swimmers), and benthos (bottom-living organisms). Much of the benthos releases eggs and larvae into the plankton — this is the meroplankton, abundant in coastal waters. The larvae are dispersed by currents; they settle when their time has come, and start growing on the appropriate solid subtrate. The meroplankton feeds planktonic and nektonic predators. Conversely, the plankton feeds the benthos. Thus there is an intimate ecologic relationship between free-swimming and bottom-living organisms. Ultimately, of course, benthic organisms rely on food produced in surface waters in the sunlit zone (Fig. 6.1). The notable exception is the deep-sea benthic community at the hot vents of the Mid-Ocean Ridge (see Sect. 6.9).
Weitere Kapitel dieses Buchs durch Wischen aufrufen
- Productivity and Benthic Organisms — Distribution, Activity, and Environmental Reconstruction
Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. mult. Eugen Seibold
Ph.D. Prof. Wolfgang H. Berger
- Springer Berlin Heidelberg
Fallstudie Überschwemmungskarten/© Thaut Images | Fotolia