Ocean ecosystems are found in polar regions, coastal waters, coral reefs, hydrothermal vents, the abyssal plain, and at the bottom of the sea.
Benthic animals live on the sea floor and are typically invertebrates, such as sea anemones, sponges, corals, sea stars, sea urchins, worms, mussels, crabs, and more.
The narrow region where land and ocean meet includes salt marshes, mangroves, wetlands, estuaries, reefs, and bays often linked in a network of physical, chemical, and biological interchanges.
Life at Vents & Seeps
Hydrothermal vents and cold seeps are places where chemical-rich fluids emanate from the seafloor, often providing the energy to sustain lush communities of life in some very harsh environments.
By human standards, they are extreme environments. Yet life not only persists in the poles...it thrives.