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Light in the ocean
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Light in the ocean

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  • 1. Light in the Ocean
  • 2. • Most life in oceans depends on sunlight • Autotrophs are producers who capture light energy to make food
  • 3. Pigments • Capture light for plants • Different plants may have different pigments Ex: Chlorophyll, Xanthophyll, Carotenes, Phycobilins
  • 4. Seaweeds with Different Pigments
  • 5. Sun reaching the oceans’ surface may be: 1) Reflected back to atmosphere – More when there are more waves – Unusable by plants
  • 6. 2) Absorbed – taken up by water, converted to heat -most absorbed in first meter of depth (65%) -<1 of light makes it past 100m -So autotrophs must be near surface
  • 7. Light • Some wavelengths of light are absorbed at shallower depths than others • Open ocean: blue penetrates deepest • Plants living at different depths have different pigments to help them absorb different wavelengths of light
  • 8. Compensation Depth • Depth at which rate of photosynthesis = rate of respiration • Above that depth phytoplankton make enough food • Below that depth phytoplankton starve
  • 9. Turbidity • Cloudiness of the water • Measured using a secchi disk • Coastal waters = higher turbidity (lower secchi disk depth) – Q: Why? A: more organic matter, sediment, plankton, sewage, etc. – Water appears green/brown
  • 10. Sources of Input that can cause Turbidity
  • 11. Low Turbidity
  • 12. High Turbidity