The ocean is a very massive body of water in the world. It holds many important marine animals and plants. Moreover, the most important thing about the ocean is its ability to provide ecological environment to all kinds of marine structures, vegetations and creatures. Below are 13 Ecological Uses of Oceans that you should definitely know.
1. Provide Seagrass Meadows
The ocean is an important environment for the seagrass meadows. Seagrass are the kinds of grass that can only grow in the ocean. Many marine creatures rely on these meadows for food such as the manatees. Other than that, marine creatures also like to use the meadows as a shelter or a place to breed. (Read : types of Seagrass in the great barrier reef)
2. Provide Salt Marshes
Salt marshes are also useful in the ocean ecosystem. It is a part of the types of ocean vegetation. A salt marsh is a muddy area that lies between the land and near the open water. The land is usually overflowed with water when the tides come. Salt marshes are crucial for holding sands and sediments in place since they have so many plants. The plants have firm roots to keep the land in the best condition possible.
3. Create Estuaries
Estuaries are parts of the land where there is an open space for salt water but there are also small rivers coming to it. These estuaries have an amazing ecological purpose. They provide a nursing place for fish such as trouts and salmons. Phytoplankton, a major food chain producer, also flourish in estuaries.
4. Create Lagoons
Lagoons are actually a a part of the ecological system of the ocean. The lagoons can give useful impact to the ocean water. A lagoon is an isolated body of water that is very close to the coastal lines. It is usually used to treat waste before the water can flow right back into the ocean again. This way, the ocean can use a part of its ecological environment to lessen the amount of toxic liquid flowing into it.
5. Give Habitat through Intertidal Zones
The intertidal zones are basically the shorelines of the oceans. During the low tide, the intertidal zone is seen to be above the level of the ocean water. On the other hand, during the high tide the zone is totally submerged in water. Read more about main causes of ocean tides to know their effects on other ocean areas. The intertidal zones provide the perfect habitat for many marine creatures such as the starfish and the sea urchins.
6. Provide Habitat to Coral Reefs
There are many tiny animals that make up the components in the different species of coral. They are basically a huge group of coral reef ecosystem in the ocean. Coral reefs help the ocean in many ways such as providing shelter to small marine creatures as well as feeding the sea floor with dead particles from the coral reefs. There are also so many plants in the coral reef that feed the marine creatures. The ocean allows the coral reefs to thrive as they rely on each other.
7. Provide Sea Floor
Without ocean, there could be no healthy sea floor. The ocean water is the home to all the marine creatures out there. Without a healthy ocean, the sea floor would experience extreme deprivation. It needs all the nutrients that it can get from the ocean so that the sea floor can maintain a good condition. A ruined sea floor could mean destroyed habitat and death to many marine creatures.
Read more: Destruction of Ocean Floor
8. Provide Starfish Habitat
Starfish are echinoderms that are famous for their appearance. These unique creatures are crucial to the food chain. As of now, some starfish can still survive because the ocean condition is healthy. Starfish are important predators, keeping other marine creatures population in check. This especially applies to the types of starfish in the Great Barrier Reef.
9. Give Dolphin Habitat
The ocean is the only home that most types of dolphins have other than the rivers. Without the ocean, the dolphin can no longer exist. The ocean provide the dolphins with a wide and vast environment. They are free to swim and roam around the environment for as much as they please without having to face any human disturbances.
10. Allow Mangrove Forests to Grow
The ocean allows the Mangrove forests to continue growing. Although mangrove trees cannot take in salt water, the ocean has provided a huge amount of space for the trees to continue growing. It has also provided lands where their roots can firmly dig into the sand. Mangrove forests are extremely important to a lot of marine creatures. The marine creatures most often turn the roots into shelters or simply a space for feeding.
11. Provide Seaweed Habitat
Seaweed is one important plants in the ocean biome. Seaweed contains many healthy nutrients for both humans and marine creatures. These ocean vegetation can only survive because of the ocean. The ocean provides the perfect temperature and condition for seaweed habitat. Marine creatures love to eat seaweed in the same way as humans. Moreover, they also use the seaweed habitat as their homes.
12. Provide Jellyfish Habitat
The ocean provide the many jellyfish species their habitat. Even though jellyfish are delicate and small in size, these creatures are important in maintaining the balance in the food chain. Without jellyfish, there could be a major disruption in the food chain. (see also:Types of Jellyfish in The Atlantic Ocean)
13. Conservation Areas
Lastly, the ocean is so useful in establishing conservation areas. Some marine creatures are so vulnerable and endangered that they are coming closer to extinction. An example of these creatures are the endangered dolphin species and endangered tuna species. To avoid a total wipeout from a specific species, people can set up conservation areas in the ocean. These conservation areas in the ocean will allow the endangered species to heal their population number while also still living in their natural habitat.
Indeed the ocean is a large environment but nonetheless, it provides a safe ecological habitat to many of its native species. Many of the world’s most valued habitat heavily depends on ocean so let’s start caring for it.