Marine Biomes in Ecology: Marine biome facts, location, types, plants and animals

Table of Contents

Photo of Marine Biomes: Marine biome facts, location, types, plants and animals

Marine biomes are the largest of all biomes in the world, it covers about (70%) of the earth surface and it consists of two types of water- the fresh water and the marine water. In ecology marine biomes are usually made of salty ocean water which all include the Atlantic, Pacific, Indian, arctic and Southern oceans.

Types of marine biomes

Marine biomes are divided into oceans, coral reefs and estuaries


Oceans are the largest ecosystem with diverse organisms, they connect with the land ecosystem through the inter-tidal zone (i.e. rising and falling of tides), however, the oceans and the land work together to transfer heat and freshwater around the earth.

The circulation of ocean currents moves warm water towards the poles and colder water towards the equator. The ocean can store much more heat than the land surfaces on the earth and majority of the thermal energy on the earths surface is stored in the ocean.

Thus, the absorption and movement of energy on the earth is particularly linked to the ocean-atmosphere system. The ocean is not static, but constantly changing from time to time, however, many species have their specific location and they have ways of surviving in this biome.

For instance, various animals settle at the bottom and on the seashore and the rocky part of the ocean consists of fewer species, due to it rocky nature and because the highest tides are collected only at the top of the cliff. The largest part of the ocean is called the abyssal zone; this zone is about of 4,000 to 6,000 metres deep (13,123 to 19,685 feet).

Abyssal zone is incomplete darkness and never receives daylight and because of this, it lacks higher plants, but consists chiefly of carnivorous animals that are often blind or have special luminous organs and are structurally adapted to withstand the great pressures of this level. This region is also characterized by continuous cold, extreme water pressure and lack of nutrients.

The abyssal zone has temperatures around 20C- 30F(350F- 370F) through the large majority of its mass. Some animal species found in the oceans are the seaweeds, sea worms, clams, predatory crustaceans, crabs, and shorebirds.

Coral reefs

Coral reefs are home for all marine species, these cover just 1% of the marine floor and consisting of thousands of animals and plants species, these diversities of species are because of availability of food, shelter, light, mates and places to reproduce.

Reefs are also a breeding ground for large fish species, keeping them safe until they are matured enough to strike out into the deeper ocean. Coral reefs are important biomes for animal species; they provide an important barrier against some natural disasters like storms, hurricanes, and typhoons. They are also essential not only to ocean lives, but also to human health and well-being; they provide man with food and income through fishing for various commercial purposes.

So many factors or activities are great threats to the coral reefs such as climate change, pollution, soil erosion, and over fishing. Over fishing is a contributing factor to ecological balance of coral reef species, this act interrupts the food chain and causing effects far beyond the directly overfished population. Other impacts that cause harm to the reef come from pollution, Urban and industrial waste, sewage, agrochemicals, and oil pollution.

These toxins are discharged directly into the ocean, or carried by river systems from sources upstream. Sewage and runoff from farming increase the level of nitrogen in seawater, causing an overgrowth of algae, which ‘smothers’ reefs by cutting off their sunlight.

Additionally, Sediment is sometimes washed into the coral reef when large areas of land are bulldozed, maybe for the purpose of construction or poor agricultural practices. Running water can wash the soil into streams and this eventually will be transported to the ocean, where it will bury the corals and kill the reef.

The trash and debris that washes off the streets, such as oil from our cars, ends up in the storm drains that carry it to the ocean and onto the reef


An estuary is an enclosed coastal body of brackish water with one or more rivers or streams flowing into it, and with a free connection to the open sea. These are areas where fresh and salt-water meets), they serve as passage in which the tide meets a river current, especially an arm of the sea at the lower end of a river.

Estuaries are made up of divers plants and animals settling on the margin of the sea due to the tidal and shelter they provide. The estuaries are productive environments and they have enough organic matters for animal species when compared to grassland biomes and forest biomes , there are different habitat in the estuaries which include fresh water, salt marshes, shallow open waters, sandy beaches, rocky shore, mud, oyster reefs, river deltas, tidal pools sea grass, kelp beds and wooded swamps. Estuaries come in different names such as bays, lagoons, inlets, sound or harbour.

Animals as fish crabs lobster, crayfish, shellfish, clams, marine worms, shore birds, jellyfish, sea birds and reptiles often found their home in the estuaries. Some other plants species still adapt in these parts of the seas especially in the tropics, they include-seaweeds, marsh grasses, algae, macro flora and mangrove trees.

The marine biome climate

The ocean is the largest biome in the world, it has an average temperature of 390F (40C). Marine lives are constantly affected by the changes in weather condition, the ocean biome is colder at the South Pole, but warmer near the equator as the sun falls directly on the surface of the waters. The oceans are often disturbed by ocean currents and waves, these factors bring about hurricanes and typhoons, which may cause little harm to some species seasonally.

Species that are often affected are plankton, fish, polar bears, walruses, seals, penguins, sea birds and sea lions. Some of the marine species are already adapting to these seasonal disasters, as they have already known where to migrate to when the ocean is troubled by these factors.

High temperature is another factor that causes stress and in many cases has led to coral death; this high temperature brings about coral bleaching which has cause over 70% of marine death in many parts of the world.

Marine biome plants

Marine biome plants
Marine biome plants

There are millions of plants and animal species in the ocean biomes, and some of these species are not yet discovered. The dominant plant species found in the ocean biome are phytoplankton, kelp and see weeds; phytoplankton and kelp are important ocean biome plants that provide much of the worlds needed oxygen, they and take in huge amounts of carbon dioxide and they provide foods for other marine creature.

Kelp is a marine alga that provides shelter and food for many marine creatures. It also serves an important purpose to man as it is used in some of our products like ice creams and in toothpaste.

Marine biome animals

Marine biomes animal species
Marine biomes animal species

The ocean biomes are homes for various animal species, these animals get their food from plants or from smaller animals and they are provided with shelters. Some of these animals include mollusks, fish, whales, crustaceans, bacteria, fungi, sea anemones. These animals possess some unique features that allow them to adapt well in the environment which they found themselves and are also able to withstand any harsh climatic condition.