Light in the Ocean
• Most life in oceans depends on
sunlight
• Autotrophs are producers who
capture light energy to make food
Pigments
• Capture light for plants
• Different plants may have different pigments
Ex: Chlorophyll, Xanthophyll, Carotenes...
Seaweeds with Different Pigments
Sun reaching the oceans’ surface may be:
1) Reflected back to atmosphere
– More when there are more waves
– Unusable by pl...
2) Absorbed – taken up by water, converted to heat
-most absorbed in first meter of depth (65%)
-<1 of light makes it past...
Light
• Some wavelengths of
light are absorbed at
shallower depths than
others
• Open ocean: blue
penetrates deepest
• Pla...
Compensation Depth
• Depth at which rate
of photosynthesis =
rate of respiration
• Above that depth
phytoplankton
make eno...
Turbidity
• Cloudiness of the water
• Measured using a secchi disk
• Coastal waters = higher turbidity (lower secchi
disk ...
Sources of Input that can cause Turbidity
Low Turbidity
High Turbidity
Light in the ocean
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Light in the ocean

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Light in the ocean

  1. 1. Light in the Ocean
  2. 2. • Most life in oceans depends on sunlight • Autotrophs are producers who capture light energy to make food
  3. 3. Pigments • Capture light for plants • Different plants may have different pigments Ex: Chlorophyll, Xanthophyll, Carotenes, Phycobilins
  4. 4. Seaweeds with Different Pigments
  5. 5. Sun reaching the oceans’ surface may be: 1) Reflected back to atmosphere – More when there are more waves – Unusable by plants
  6. 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. 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. 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. 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. 10. Sources of Input that can cause Turbidity
  11. 11. Low Turbidity
  12. 12. High Turbidity

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