The Marine Ecosystem

By: Molly Page and Molly Smith

Organisms of the Marine Ecosystem

  • Dolphins

  • Sharks

  • Fish

  • Seaweed

  • Coral and coral reefs

  • Kelp

  • Micro-fauna

  • Algae

  • Mollusks

  • Seahorse

  • Barracuda

  • Whale

  • Narwhal

  • Starfish

  • Shrimp

  • Crabs

  • Lobster

  • Sea urchins

  • Sand dollars

  • Sea cucumbers

  • Seabirds

  • Sea turtles

  • Marine iguanas

  • Sea snakes

  • Saltwater crocodiles

  • Seals

  • Otters

  • Walruses

  • Sea lions

  • Manatees

  • Porpoise

  • Elephant seal

  • Killer whale

  • Crab-eater seal

  • Squid

  • Leopard seal

  • Adelie penguin

  • Krill

  • Cod

  • Sea anemone

Symbiotic Relationship- Mutualism

In the marine ecosystem, an example of mutualism is the symbiotic relationship between the sea anemone and the clownfish. The sea anemone provides shelter and protection for the clownfish. In return, the clownfish provides protection for the sea anemone. The clownfish also feeds on the sea anemone's leftovers.

Predator/Prey Relationship

An example of a predator/prey relationship would be the symbiotic relationship between a shark and a fish. The shark is the predator of the fish, while the fish is the prey of the shark. Fish are a shark's source of food. Therefore, the shark spends his days roaming the seas for a nice, tasty fish, and when one swims his way, he attacks!


Different types of algae and plankton compete with each other for sunlight. The organisms that make it to the top of the water receive more sunlight. They need sunlight in order to thrive.

Limiting Factors

Three limiting factors of the marine ecosystem include:

1. sunlight

2. living space

3. nutrients

Density-dependent and Density-independent Factors

Density-dependent factors:

  • food
  • sunlight

Density-independent factors:

  • disease
  • water

Ecological Pyramid

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Here are the organisms in the picture above (in the same format).

Tertiary Consumers - Shark

Secondary Consumers - small fish, whale

Primary Consumers - lobster, shrimp

Producers - algae, plankton, seaweed, kelp

Explanation of the Energy Levels

The energy levels, as shown in the picture above, show how energy is transferred throughout the pyramid. The producers start out with all of the energy, which they receive from the sun. 90% of that energy is used for things such as photosynthesis. The other 10% of that energy is passed on to the consumer that eats it. The primary consumer then has 10% of the original energy. It uses 90% of it to hunt for food and reproduce. It then passes on 10% of its energy to the secondary consumers. The pattern continues throughout the pyramid. This is known as the "10% rule".

Marine Food Web

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Marine Food Chains

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Matter Cycle- Nitrogen Cycle

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I hope this site was beneficial to your learning experience.