The ocean ecosystem is the largest ecosystem comprising of 70% of the earth’s surface and only 20% of it is known to man. Though expeditions and explorations have been conducted since early times, the vast ocean floor is as unknown as the space. The marine biome is rich in minerals, animals and plants. For our younger readers, here are some ocean facts for kids. First let us answer what is a marine biome? Aquatic biomes are of two kinds- marine and freshwater biome. The former is made up of saltwater oceans, the largest biome on earth. There are three types of marine biome– oceans, Coral reefs and estuaries. Interesting facts about the ocean:
- It is estimated that over 90% of life on Earth lives in the oceans
- Most of the volcanic activities take place in the oceans.
- The largest animal, the blue whale, roams about in the ocean!
- The deepest point in the ocean is the Mariana Trench in the Pacific Ocean, about 36,ooo feet deep!
Plants in the sea are different from plants on land. They have the ability to survive great depths of the ocean and thrive in saltwater. For preserving them in man-made environment, the surroundings needs to be perfectly balanced with light, temperature and pressure. Since these plants under the sea do not need external care, they are more “strong” than territorial fauna. Ocean biome plants remain a wonder to biologists regarding their survival, feeding habits and reproduction. This article attempts to list the amazing and interesting plants that live in the ocean.
But exactly what plants live in the ocean or more aptly, what plants are in the ocean? The types of ocean plants are kelp, seaweed, Seagrass, red algae, phytoplankton, corals and algae. Marine plants are divided into three types: euphotic or sunli, disphotic or twilight and aphotic or midnight depending upon the amount of sunlight needed for their survival and growth. Plants in the ocean biome range from single-celled organisms to large multi-celled trees and all that can be there in between. Some are stunningly beautiful while others appear ugly. Some have rich source of nutrition while others are poisonous or even carnivorous. The following marine plants list gives a few ocean plants names and their brief description.
Coral reefs are diverse ecosystems comprising of plants and animals, among the amazing sea plants. Biologically speaking, corals are tiny animals called polyps that are immobile with a hard shell. But apart from these micro organisms, there are also a variety of sea plants in a coral reef such as zooxanthellae, algae and seagrasses. These plants are important in providing food and oxygen to the animals that make the reef their habitat. Shelter is also provided by these plants of the ocean. Coral reefs take thousands of years to form and once big enough, they are very important for the marine biome as well as a great tourist attraction.
Open Brain Coral
Among the tropical ocean plants, the open brain coral got its name from its resemblance. These underwater plants looks like a human brain that has been split open and among amazing sea plants. Does not sound very good? Don’t let the name mislead you. They are bright red, or pink or even green and very colourful to look at. They are known to thrive in warm, shallow waters of the tropical region. As the name again suggests, they are also found in major coral reefs of the world. They usually feed after sunset and eat zooplanktons, phytoplankton and other small organisms that swims by with their stinging tentacles. however, they are no danger to human life.
A typical picture of kelp forest will seem like a normal rainforest to the layman’s eyes but an expert can tell it is one of the largest thriving plants under the sea. They are considered to be the largest plants in ocean and have the distinction of being the fastest growing plants ever. Kelps can reach to a height of about 250 feet. They stay afloat on the surface of the ocean with the help of small floatation bulbs and considered among amazing sea plants. Kelps were initially known to be found only in cool waters of the coastal region but the discovery of a kelp forest in the pacific ocean near the tropical region touch, having proved the earlier theory wrong. Kelps are among the tropical ocean plants that are brown, rich in nutrient and mostly prefer the still, peaceful underwater life.
Ocean plant life is full of amazing stuffs and the soft coral is among them. This kind of coral derives its name from its texture. While a typical coral is hard, these marine plants are soft to touch. Their bodies contain a spiny element called sclerite which provide support and also keeps away predators. They survive in medium sunlight regions and provide habitat for fish, snails, algae and other marine life. They are very brightly-coloured organisms and a wonder for scientists and tourists alike; amid amazing sea plants.
Known in the science world as the Aldrovanda, the waterwheel plant features among the marine plants that are carnivorous in nature. They are free floating, rootless plants found on the surface of the oceans. They prefer clean, warm, shallow waters with bright sunlight. Beautiful to look at, this amazing sea plant can trap your feet is you are careless enough to wade in their territory.
Sea anemonae are found growing in clusters mostly in tropical reefs though some species are also found in the deep, comparatively cold waters and in the Kelp regions. This deep sea plant has poisonous stings which keeps away predators. Only the clown fish is immune to the stings of the sea anemonae. They both have a symbolic relationship. While the clown fish keeps the sea anemonae clean, the latter provides a safe habitat for the fish! A match made in heaven (read underwater).
Red Sea Whip
Belonging to the Gorgoniidae family, Red Sea Whip is usually found in the warmer territories of the otherwise cool Atlantic ocean on rocks, sand or slit bottoms. It is also known as the finger gorgonian because of the long tentacle-like appearance. The red gorgonian is beautiful to look at but is very hard to maintain in captivity. It survives in medium light with a peaceful temperature and medium water flow. The main diet of this marine plant involves micro planktons and other micro nutrients.
Giant Plumose Anemone
This species of sea anemonae is found in deep waters on the western coasts of the US and Canada. Slow-moving waters of this variety of Pacific ocean plant are ideal for their growth. It grows up to 3 feet in height and has a furry pouf on the top. Before seeming cute, you must be warned that they have tentacles which are used for stinging and catching unsuspecting prey that happens to swim by. These deep sea plants are among the plant life in the ocean that have the most stunning colours, especially pearly white, which is a beauty in the ocean plants list.
Though not considered to be true grasses, the sea grass is among the sea flowers found in ocean plant life. Sea flowers are different from land flowers in their habitat and feeding habits. These plants under the sea forms meadows and are found in shallow, calm bays. They provide habitat to a number of sea organisms. This type of ocean flowers can also produce sexually as well as by pollination spread by water currents. They have roots and are found on the ocean floor. Types of sea grass include turtle grass, manatee grass and shoal grass, considered among amazing sea plants.
Ocean plant life is dominated by phytoplankton. They are single-celled plants which provide nourishment to majority of marine species. Another significance of these plants in the sea is that they help regulate the carbon content in the atmosphere. They feature among the plants in the Pacific ocean along with algae, sea grass and kelp.
The sea plants names and the list of ocean plants is only a tiny part of the vast ocean biome. Of what has been already discovered, the above ocean plants list attempts to describe the best and most exotic ones. As science shall advance, more wonders can be discovered thereafter. Plants in the sea are not your typical plants which we see around us. They do not have to be sown separately, given water and adequate nourishment and certainly do not depend on rain for survival! They are a separate genre of fauna altogether. Some grow alone, while others grow in clusters. Again, some grow in parches while others cover a large part of the ocean surface or the ocean floor. Some feed on nutrients present in the ocean water while others are carnivorous in nature. Since we have discovered only a small section of the ocean, it is still too soon to affirm these characteristics as definite. Who know what other wonders the deep waters are withholding yet..
Check the list of strange deep sea creatures.