January 31st 2019 Notes

Class notes

Tropical Marine Biology

January 31st

Types of consumers


  • Feed directly on photosynthetic producers
  • Feed on Producers/ Also called herbivore
  • (Zooplankton, Sea urchins, fishes, insects)


  • Feed on primary consumer
  • Frogs, Rats , Spiders , some fish ,


  • Sometimes called “Top Carnivores”
  • Snakes , Hawks , Large fish , sharks

^ Together these constitute a Food chain

Each level is called a trophic level


Does Not tend to go past it but why?

  • Around 90% of energy is lost between

In a grassfield you have 100000 Kcal of energy

  • After producers make 10,000 kcal
  • Primary consumers 1,000 kcal
  • Secondary consumers 100 kcal
  • Tertiary consumers 10 kcal

Trophic transfer of energy is lost via cellular respiration

  1. Grain —-> Humans
  2. Grian —> beef —-> Humans

     – Which one would give humans more power?

being vegetarians would give humans the most use of the energy potential from foods

In Aquatic

Marine food Pyramid

Anything that dies become Detritus in the ocean

  • Detritus is dead organic matter – dead bodies of animals, plants, fungi, etc.
  • Includes animal wastes, secretions
  • Animal detritivores are called scavengers


  • Microbial detritivores are often called decomposers.
  • Bacteria
  • Fungi
  • – Secrete enzymes onto detritus, breakdown molecules , release Co2, and heat
  • Larger detritivores (worms, etc.) break down material into smaller fragments. (Fragmentation)
  • Bacteria and fungi secrete enzymes onto detritus, breakdown molecules by converting large organic macromolecules into small soluble compounds and inorganic macromolecules into small soluble compounds and inorganic nutrients ( nitrates, nitrites, phosphates, etc.) This phase is also known as mineralization
  • The small molecules are released into the soil, then taken up by plants (nutrient uptake)  
  • This process releases Co2 and heat
  • Decomposition

Trophic levels are never simple they are always layered


Dead leaves – Keep darker streams in the woods alive from dying trees (freshwater example)

Keystone Species

  1. a species on which other species in an ecosystem largely depend, such that if it were removed the ecosystem would change drastically.

January 29th notes

January 29th

Marine Zonation

Benthic Organisms  

  • Live on or burrowed in the bottom or sediments
  • Some are attached and immobile = sessile (corals, plants tend to be attached to the bottom of the ocean)
  • Some crawl around, on or in sediment – mobile
  • Sea stars can be both sessile and mobile

Pelagic Organisms

  • Live up in the water column
  • Further subdivided according to size and swimming ability (Plankton and Nekton(squid, fish and anything swimming in the water column)


  • Swim weakly, float around at mercy of currents
  • Phytoplankton: Algae, tiny plants, photosynthetic bacteria
  • Zooplankton: Tiny animals and protozoans – microcrustaceans, rotifers, larvae, etc.
  • Ex ( Fish larvae)
  • Nekton
    • Animals that swim well enough to oppose currents
    • Mainly fishes , marine animals

Benthic Zone

Is the ecological region at the lowest level of a body of water in the ocean, lake, or stream, including the sediment surface and some sub-surface layers.

Intertidal zone

  • Shallowest part of the continental shelf
  • Tides cause exposure to air at times
  • Smallest fraction of the continental shelf

Subtidal zone

  • Beyond the intertidal, always submerged
  • Where coral reefs are found

Deep ocean floor

Photic zone

  • Where light can penetrate
  • Usually 50 to 100 meters

Aphotic zone

Absence of sunlight, no photosynthesis

Physical properties of water

  • Humidity
    • Prevents drying out or desiccation
    • Exposed respiratory surfaces (gills)  
    • External fertilization and development


  • The study of the interactions between organisms and their environment ( abiotic and biotic)  
  • THese interactions determine the distribution and abundance of organisms.
  • Abiotic (non living factors)  
    • Humidity, sand , etc
  • Biotic (living factors)
    • Producers,
      • Green plants, Algae (Phytoplankton)
    • All are autotrophic _ they feed themselves through photosynthesis
    • Use sunlight energy to convert inorganic compounds into large organic compounds
    • Photosynthesis / Some chemosynthetic bacteria  
    • Photosynthesis equation
    • 6Co2 + 6 H20 —> Glucose and 6O2
    • Consumers,
    • Animals, Zooplankton, Other Heterotrophs
    • Cellular respiration
    • Break down the organic fuel molecules in food to harvest energy
    • Glucose + Oxygen —-> Carbon dioxide + Water + energy (ATP)
    • Decomposers

Social Media and Educating the Masses

Attached is a link to my activist twitter which features research, up to date academic literature, and interesting Climate/animal facts. Tweets are from the perspective of a Parrot who has lost his home from the effects of deforestation.


Why Make a Twitter for environmental activism?

The question is not why, but why not? Just think about all the possible information on twitter. For example, you can follow multiple accounts of Conservation companies, a famous scientist, and even share your own thoughts. This community was created to connect one and other while sharing information we all enjoy! So, why not join the chance to make the difference in how a person may think!