Deep Sea Food Webs

Food webs are key to understanding how an ecosystem functions. The webs are just that: networks of complex feeding relationships, not just the linear food chain we may have learned about in a biology class. More, food webs illustrate the energy flow and predator/prey interactions within an ecosystem.

 

 

 

 

Pelagic predators from deep sea food web

Hope For Coral Reefs

Worldwide coral reefs are suffering from the impacts of climate change. Around the world researchers are pioneering ways to protect and restore coral reefs that have already bleached. Between these efforts and the amazing capacity for corals to adapt to healthier environments, there seems to be  some hope.

 

 

 

Corals can be attached to reefs piece by piece with cement, zip ties, and nails. (Photo: Reef Resilience Network)

We Have Seen the Enemy and IT’S US!

Think about the biggest, most powerful predators in any system. These are called apex predators. Some that come to mind are obvious— wolves in Yellowstone, lions on the Serengeti and orcas in the Pacific Northwest. There are others in many different ecosystems, like the sunflower star in nearshore waters off Alaska. Often the large predators at the top of the food web in a particular ecosystem. But, humans are the ultimate apex predator.

Whale Communication

From where we stand on land or on a boat deck, we may think the ocean is silent; but it most definitely isn’t. In the ocean where there’s little light, many marine animals rely on sound to communicate, navigate and find food. Sound travels far and fast in the ocean: it can travel about a 1000 times farther than light underwater, and more than four times faster in water than in air.