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Deep Sea and Shallow Sea Ecosystems

by Widiya

Ecosystems are places where biotics interact with biotics and abiotics. The Earth itself is a planet with lots of ecosystems. Ecosystems on Earth are divided into two large ecosystems, namely terrestrial ecosystems and water systems. Land ecosystems are ecosystems whose habitat is on land. Land ecosystems include rainforests, seasonal forests, desert ecosystems, or tundra ecosystems while the water ecosystem is an ecosystem that lives in the water. The water system itself is divided into two, namely freshwater and seawater systems. Freshwater ecosystems include river ecosystems, lake ecosystems, and swamps whereas marine ecosystems are divided into two, namely deep-sea ecosystems and shallow sea ecosystems.

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Deep Sea

Deep sea ecosystems are ecosystems that are located in the deep sea. This ecosystem is different from shallow sea ecosystems. It’s rare to see sunlight enters the water. Living things that live in the average deep sea are predatory animals or scavengers. In addition, there is almost no amount of vegetation in the deep sea. Until now, marine ecosystems are still a mystery that has not been solved because the tools can only go as deep as up to thousands of meters. Some unique animals are found in deep-sea ecosystems.

However, due to the lack of technology and knowledge, many deep-sea animals have not been identified. Deep sea ecosystems are seen based on the depth of the ocean, namely mesopelagic, bathyal, abyssal, and hadopelagic.

  • Mesopelagic is a layer of ocean depth at a depth of 500 to 1,000 m. In this layer, the amount of sunlight entering has decreased a lot. This layer is often referred to as twilight. This is because the amount of sun entering is a little, so it looks like dusk. Animals that can live in this depth are animals that can live without requiring much sunlight. These animals are like whales. Vegetation at this depth is very little because of the lack of sunlight.
  • Bathyal is a layer of the depth of the sea at a depth of 1,000 to 4,000 meters. In this layer, the incoming sunlight is almost non-existent. This zone is also called midnight. In this area, the average temperature ranges from 4 degrees Celsius. Living things in this area are living things that eat from plankton and the remains of other living things that have died. Living things that need the sun can hardly be found in this zone.
  • Abyssal is a deep zone of the ocean. This zone is at a depth of 4,000 to 6,000 meters. This zone can also be called lower midnight. There is no sunlight in this zone. So this zone is very dark and cold. Temperatures in the zone range from 2 to 3 degrees Celsius. Occurrence in this zone is only filled with predatory animals. In this zone, many scientists believe that giant octopuses and ancient animals are still alive like the megalodon shark.
  • Hadopelagic is a sea trough. This zone is at a depth of more than 6,000 meters. This zone is the deepest of the oceans on Earth. There are still many mysteries that many scientists cannot solve regarding this zone. This is because this zone is very deep and it is very difficult to conduct research. No technology has been able to penetrate this layer. So, many mysteries of the deep sea are still unsolved.

Shallow Sea

Shallow sea ecosystems less than 500 meters deep. In shallow seas, the number of animals and vegetation can be found easily. It’s because sunlight can enter the sea. Shallow sea ecosystems, is indeed beautiful, that’s why they’re mostly transformed into a tourist attractions such as the Bunaken Marine Park in Indonesia. Coral reefs are one of the creatures that are easily found along the coast. Especially in coastal ecosystem areas, one of which is in Indonesia.

The coral reef itself has various types. The types of coral reefs are divided into 4, which are based on their type, based on their shape and place of growth, based on their location, and based on their zoning.

  1. Coral Reef Based on the Type

Coral reefs based on their type are divided into two, namely soft-edge coral reefs and hard-type coral reefs.

  • Soft: This type of coral reef is a coral reef that grows along the coast. These types of reefs do not form corals and tend to be fertile because they get enough sunlight.
  • Hard: This type of reef is a coral reef that forms limestone in the sea. This type of reef is very fragile and vulnerable to climate change. This coral reef is the main form of the coral reef ecosystem.
  1. Coral Reefs Based on the Shape and Place of Growth

This type of coral reef is divided into 4 types, namely:

  • Reefs that are deposits of limestone. This sediment is shaped like a sea ridge which is one of the forming coastal ecosystems.
  • Coral is a marine biota that has a role in reef formation. The shape of the coral extends like bamboo.
  • Reefs that are soft corals that do not produce lime. Coral reefs are often found in coastal areas.
  • Coral reefs that are ecosystems in the sea which are the result of a symbiosis between marine animals and plants.
  1. Coral Reefs Based on Location

Coral reefs based on their location are divided into 4, namely:

  • Coral Reef: These reefs are the most found reefs around the coast. This reef can live to a depth of 40 m. This reef is circular in shape towards the open ocean. These reefs are found in Bunaken, Panaitan Island, and Nusa Dua Bali.
  • Barrier Reefs: These reefs are almost the same as edge reefs. It is just that this reef is far from the coast. This reef can grow to a depth of 75 m. This reef is found in the Riau Islands, South Sulawesi, Banggai Islands, and Southeast Sulawesi.
  • Coral Reef Ring: These coral reefs are like rings. This reef is found around the Atlantic Ocean.
  • Flat Coral Reef: These reefs are the coral reefs that make up the islands. This coral reef grows from the sea floor to the sea level. These coral reefs are found in the Thousand Islands and Ujung Batu Aceh Islands.
  1. Based on Zoning

Coral reefs based on zoning are divided into 2, namely those facing the wind and back to the wind.

  • Wind-facing reefs: These reefs are reefs whose slopes lead to the open ocean. This reef can live to a depth of 50 m and tend to be fertile. This coral reef can also be called pamatang alga.
  • Reefs that are back to the wind: These reefs are reefs that are generally hard. It can be found at sea depth less than 50 m. The shape of this reef is like a narrow coral reef.

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