Underwater Ecology Rundown

Hover over these terms for definitions, but before you do see if you can guess what they might mean! How many can you guess correctly?

Community of living organisms and their environment.

Ecosystem

The study of ecosystems and the relationships between living things and their physical surroundings.

Ecology

The natural home of an organism that has all of the conditions necessary for survival. 

Habitat

An area of the ocean seashore that is covered in water when the tide is high and exposed when the tide is low. 

Intertidal

Zone

A term used to relate to the water and organisms that live in the water.

Aquatic

An area submerged by water most of the time and only exposed in times of extreme low tides.

Subtidal

Zone

The physical, non-living components of an ecosystem (e.g. water temperature and light).

Abiotic

Biotic

The living components of an ecosystem (e.g. animals and plants).

An animal without a backbone. 

Invertebrate

Opposed to an invertebrate, a vertebrate is an animal that has a backbone or spinal column.

Vertebrate

Something an organism has evolved to do or a physical trait that helps them to thrive in their environment and survive.

Adaptation

An organisms that has a soft body that is not divided in segments and typically also has an external shell.

Mollusk

An aquatic mollusk or crustacean that has a shell.

Shellfish

A type of animal with a hard exoskeleton, jointed legs, and no backbone.

Crustacean

The order in which organisms (living things) eat other organisms in the environment.  

Food Chain

An organism capable of making their own food, such as plants who get energy from the sun and convert it into food. 

Producer

An organism that cannot produce its own food and must consume food to obtain energy, such as a crab.

Consumer

An organism that breaks down or decomposes organic matter, such as a marine worm. 

Decomposer

Responsible use, actions, and protection of aquatic resources to conserve ecosystems.

Aquatic Stewardship

Collecting fish and other marine species and relocating them to another area.

Fish Salvage

An organism that feeds by straining suspended food from the water like a filter, such as a sea urchin.

Filter

Feeder

An aquatic organism that feeds at the bottom of a water body.

Bottom

Feeder