Microbes are microorganisms that have micron size or smaller. Microbes are everywhere, such as in the soil, the flow of water to the ocean and even the atmosphere. Microbes are closely related to nature and human life. The following are the 15 importance of microbes in the ocean.
1. Bring lots of plankton
The presence of microbes in the oceans is beneficial to marine ecosystems. With microbes, like microalgae will bring in lots of plankton. Phytoplankton or zooplankton is the main food for fishes. Many planktons in a zone are a sign of a fertility in the aquatic zone. The types of microalgae found in waters include Chlorella, Hydrodyction, Pinnularia, Scenedesmus, and Tabellaria. Read more about Functions of the Phytoplankton in Ocean Ecosystem
2. The Food Chain
The oceans contain large amounts of microbes, including coastal areas. Most the number of bacteria and plankton live on the surface as well as in deep sea waters. Microbes such as plankton help make some nutrients for living things. Sunlight is able to convert iron into a form that can be taken by plankton and other microbes. Microbes make available of iron to other living things in the food chain.
3. Microbes as a decomposer
The main role of microbes or bacteria in the ocean is to function as a decomposer. Examples are heterotrophic bacteria, this bacterium is not chlorophyll, motile, no spores, bacteria are aerobic and gram-negative bacteria. Read more about Decomposers of The Ocean
These bacteria get organic food provided by other organisms. With these bacteria, the transformation of energy flows in the mangrove ecosystems, estuaries, shallow seas, and other bodies of water can be kept balanced by these bacteria. Several types of bacteria belonging to this group are Micrococcus, Sarcina, Vibrio, Bacillus, Bacterium, Pseudomonas, Corynebacterium, Nocardia, Spirillum, Mycoplana, and Streptomyces.
4. As a Food Provider
The microbes in the oceans are an important key in the food chain. They provide food for the life of the next organism of a higher grade. The average marine microbes are anaerobic facultative and they can grow better in the presence of oxygen. Microbes in the sea are classified into two genes, namely Photobacterium and Vibrio. Both of these genes are heterotrophic bacteria and it is commonly found in the oceans.
5. The Chain of Biochemical Reactions
Aside from being a food provider, the microorganisms that are decomposed will help the chain reaction process biochemically. Which this process as a regulator of recycling, as it happens in the soil. Many types of microbes have the ability as a decomposer. The results from the description of microbial compounds were also utilized by microalgae to consume.
Therefore, microbe on the sea is beneficial for marine life, right? But actually, there are microbes in water that harmful such as Salmonella. These gram-negative bacteria are the cause of typhoid disease. These bacteria can be contaminated with water due to cross-contamination between the water pipe and the sewerage.
6. The Temperature Range
Microbes are found in oceans followed by several environmental factors. Water temperature is the main thing. The microbes in the oceans prefer temperatures with temperatures below 5 degrees Celsius. This temperature is favored by microbes for growth. Some researchers argue that microbes or bacteria can grow optimally at a temperature of 105 degrees Celsius. Read more about Characteristics of Ocean Temperature
While at temperatures below 82 degrees Celsius they cannot grow optimally. Pyrodictium occultum is one of the microbes that grow through the formation of hydrogen sulfide and sulfur.
7. Hydrostatic Pressure
Hydrostatic pressure is the pressure of a vertical column of water that can rise at a pressure range of 14.7 psi every 10 meters. Hydrostatic pressure is very large, especially on the seabed area. This pressure can affect biological systems, such as the rate of chemical reactions, nutrients that are dissolved, and water boiling. However, bacteria or microbes can grow well at this pressure.
They are usually found in Pacific Ocean trenches at depths between 1,000 and 10,000 meters. Microbes at hydrostatic pressure are divided into two. The first is microbial Barotoleran is a microbe that can live at a high hydrostatic pressure above of 100.000 pounds/inches.
The second group, the Barofil microbes are microbes that live at pressures above of 16,000 pounds/inches. An example of bacteria in this group is Spirillum.
8. The Sunlight
The most types of microbes in the ocean depend on sunlight, either directly or indirectly. The sunlight penetrating on the water surface is used by microbial species of phototrophic bacteria to make food and produce energy.
Some bacteria that utilize the sunlight such as; Cyanobacteria, green sulfur bacteria, Chloroflexi bacteria, and Purple bacteria. Read more about Importance of Decomposers in The Ocean
These bacteria are different from plants, they do not produce oxygen during the process of photosynthesis. They just do photosynthesis to make their food and produce energy. This photosynthesis activity usually occurs in the photic zone. The size of each photic zone is different. It depends on the position of the sun, the season and the purity of the water.
9. The High Salinities
Several types of microbes are able to live in environments with high salinity. Examples of high salinity environments are in dead sea lakes, Central Asia regions. This lake has a high salt level compared to other areas. Microbes or bacteria that survive in high salinity environments fall into three categories;
Halo-tolerant organisms are gram-positive bacteria that can tolerate salinity by 6-12%. Halo-resistant organisms are bacteria that tolerate salinity between 0.5-30%. Flavobacterium halmephilum, Pseudomonas halestorgus, and Chromobacterium marismortui are examples of this bacterium. Read more about Factors Affecting Ocean Salinity
The last is halo-obligatory organisms besides being able to survive in high salinity environments. They are able to reorganize the urea, they can form nitrogen, nitrification, denitrification, sulfur oxidation, decomposing cellulose, and fibrinolytic organisms.
10. The pH Concentration
Microbial activity is influenced by pH, which this parameter is to determine the base or acidity of water soluble. The ocean has a relatively stable pH ranging from 7.4 to 8.3. Generally, microbes do live on neutral pH (pH 7).
Some microbes can grow optimally in ph 4.0-8.0. Some examples of bacteria that are tolerant to acidity include Lactobacilli, Acetobacter, and Sarcina ventriculi. Besides, there are 3 types of microbes that grow based on pH. Microbial acidophils are grown in the pH range 2.0-5.0. Microbial neutrophils that grow in the pH range 5.5-8.0. Finally, alkaline microbes that grow in the pH range 8.4-9.5.
11. The Nutrient
The number of nutrients in the oceans actually helps the growth of microbes, such as nitrates and phosphates. They are inorganic elements that support the growth of algae. The amount of nutrients in coastal areas is a great nutrient. This is influenced by factory and agricultural waste entering the estuary and coastal areas.
The piles of nutrients in this environment can also go down in an instant. Another case with the estuary and coastal, the pile of nutrients in the ocean turned out to have a lower nutrient and stable.One type of marine bacteria such as Thiobacillus is capable of producing hydrogen sulfide in contaminated coastal waters.
The bacterium is capable of oxidizing ammonia into nitrite. This bacteria is commonly found in the North Sea and the Atlantic Ocean.
12. The Energy of Marine Ecosystem
Basically, the main source of energy for life is the sun. However, other elements such as carbon dioxide, water, and oxygen also have a role. In marine ecosystems, photosynthesis is a source of organic matter which will then be oxidized by bacteria or microbes. Heterotrophic bacteria can produce energy by decomposition process.
Furthermore, energy is used for life activities. The energy produced by the decomposition process makes the energy in the marine ecosystem to be balanced.
13. Microbes Able to Decompose The Detergent
In addition to decomposing organic materials, microbes or bacteria can also break down detergent. The detergent has an active substance called Alkyl Benzyl Sulfonate (ABS). ABS is difficult to decompose, especially if the ABS agent has strong branches and foams.
Although the ABS difficult to decompose, some of the bacteria are able to decompose ABS even though it takes a long time.
Some bacteria that able to decompose the detergent are Bacillus subtilus, Vibrio comma, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, and Escherichia coli. These bacteria are commonly found in the contaminated water by household waste, such as the river.
14. Used in biotechnology applications
Biotechnology is a science to study the benefits of living things, including microbes. Some scientists use this technology application on microbes to produce food. Examples of food by using microbes include alcohol, sugar, soy sauce, soybean cake, cheese, yogurt, and others. Microbes that play a role in the manufacture of yogurts are Lactobacillus bulgaricus and Streptococcus thermophillus.
Both types of these bacteria will decompose lactose into lactic acid and various components of flavor. The presence of lactic acid provides a sour taste in yogurt. The utilization of Lactobacillus bacteria in biotechnology applications is used until now. Some marine microbes that have high sensitivity such as luminescence bacteria are used in biotechnology applications too. These bacteria play a role to determine water quality.
15. Production of enzymes
Enzymes are complex of proteins and it produced by living cells. Enzymes are useful as catalysts that accelerate the occurrence of a reaction. Microbes are one of the most commercialized enzyme-producing microorganisms. Enzymes produced by microbes serve to accelerate chemical reactions. The following are some of the enzyme names produced by microbes, such as Amylase, Iso Amylase, Anthocyanase, Catalase, Cellulase, and others.
Many types of microbes are beneficial to the oceans. Microbes play a big role in the ocean as we described above.
However, not all microbes are beneficial. Some microbes are harmful to us. The disadvantageous microbes can cause disease, especially in humans. Hopefully, 15 The importance of microbes in the oceans will add to your knowledge as well.
See Also :
- Importance of Artificial Coral Reefs In Ocean
- Common Uses Of Ocean Mineral
- Importance Of Maintaining The Ocean Ecosystem