Monday, March 17, 2008


Zooplankton are tiny animals that are found in most aquatic ecosystems and are a key component to any water food web.

Go to this website and research one of the types of zooplankton listed (example: nanoplanktonic flagellates or phylum rotifera. Write a detailed paragraph about this type of organism.

Friday, March 14, 2008

So what is the synthetic sea of the North Pacific Gyre?

You probably don't want to know.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Threats to the ocean's ecosystem

One overwhelming threat to the ocean's vast ecosystem is the massive quantities of garbage that has been dumped into it. This trash is overwhelming to the plants and animals that attempt to survive there.
Go to the following website and read and/or watch the news report. Answer the following questions:
  • What substance is creating the biggest problem in the pollution of the oceans?
  • What types of organisms are having the most trouble with pollution and why?
  • Why did the report say, "plastic doesn't pollute, people pollute?"

Extra Credit: What is the "synthetic sea of the North Pacific Gyre?"

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Amazing Adaptations

In our discussions on aquatic ecosystems we are discovering some amazing adaptations that organisms have to survive in their unique environments. The mangrove trees, for example, survive in brackish water (a combination of fresh and salt water) and grow wide, above ground root systems. This complex network of roots is a perfect habitat for many organisms, allowing for a high degree of biodiversity.

The Anglerfish has developed extremely unique survival traits that allow it to exist within the harsh and desolate environment at the bottom of the ocean. One of the most disturbing of these adaptations is its method of reproduction. Go to the following website and read about the Anglerfish. Write a comment about the reproductive method of this organism.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Mangrove Forests

Today we discussed the coastal wetlands. The mangrove forests, densely populated ecosystems characterized by the mangrove tree, are found in subtropical and tropical zones. Of the worlds mangrove forests, nothing compares to Bangladesh's Sundarbans.
Covering 5.7 billion square meters, this vibrant ecosystem holds a tremendous amount of biodiversity. This is the home of the Royal Bengal Tiger, of which approximately 500 remain.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Dissolved Oxygen And BlogTests!

Today we were talking about rivers and we discussed some reasons why there was less dissolved oxygen (DO) available in the water as the river descended down a mountainside. It was a conundrum, because logic would assume that there would be more oxygen because there are more aquatic plants as a river slows down. While it’s true that aquatic plants, like seaweed, do produce dissolved oxygen, there is an overriding principle that guides the amount of DO in a water supply. Temperature of water has a direct impact on the amount of DO available.

By the way, we erred in our method of collecting the sample for DO. I challenge you to find the error.

Your ecoplots have transformed dramatically since we first visited them. Your teams have come up with many astute observations about the ways in which organisms interact. What can you tell so far about the health of the ecosystem?
On a single sheet of paper, write a five paragraph essay. Use at least five facts from your science log to reinforce your observations.
Describe the ways in which your ecoplot is a vibrant ecosystem. Describe the ways that it may be limited.

Monday, March 3, 2008


Fish are an amazing source of nutrition for people. Whether you love tuna fish sandwiches, filleted salmon, or fish sticks, most of us enjoy eating some type of fish. All over the world, people are being fed by the plentiful bounty found within our aquatic ecosystems. But how long can we sustain these practices? Like many of the world’s resources, the population of fish is in jeopardy. Watch this short, “humorous” video about the future of fishing:


Read the article linked below. Answer the following questions in complete, well thought out sentences. You may either hand them in or e-mail them, but DO NOT post them in the comment section. I would like you to provide one quote from the article in the comment section.
What does finite mean and how does it apply to fish populations?
What evidence is there that fish stock is in decline?
What does Dr. Worm say about why biodiversity is so important to marine life?
What is an example of a fishing practice that is extremely damaging to the ecosystem?
What is it going to take to solve this problem?

Article: BBC News: "Only 50 Years Left" for Sea Fish