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classification of organisms

Marine Ecology
Classification of organisms
Basic Ecology

Hydrothermal Vents

The Tree of Life Project

The Tree of Life Web Project (ToL) is a collaborative effort of biologists and nature enthusiasts from around the world. On more than 10,000 World Wide Web pages, the project provides information about biodiversity, the characteristics of different groups of organisms, and their evolutionary history (phylogeny).

Each page contains information about a particular group, such as salamanders, segmented worms, phlox flowers euglenids, helicnius, butterflies, club fungi, or the vampire squid. ToL pages are linked one to another hierarchically, in the form of the evolutionary tree of life. Starting with the root of all Life on Earth and moving out along diverging branches to individual species, the structure of the ToL project thus illustrates the genetic connections between all living things.

tree of life classification


Marine Ecology

Classification of Organisms

Numerous varieties of organisms have adapted well to life in the ocean. To make it easier to identify them and simplify the large amounts of taxonomic description, biologists have arranged the biota into broad groupings that share common traits. Proceeding from the most general form to the most specific.

Classification of Organisms         Human example
• Kingdom                                           Metazoa
   – Phylum                                              Chordatal
      • Class                                                 Mammalia
         – Order                                                 Primate
            - Family                                               Hominidae
               - Genus                                                Homo
                  - Species                                             Homo sapiens

• Genus names are capitalized
• Genus and Species are italicized
Homo sapiens

This classification scheme is based on the binominal system developed by the Swedish naturalist CarolusIn Linnaeus in 1735. Organisms are identified by their species name. This consists of the genus, first letter capitalised and the trivial name, all in lowercase characters. both the genus and trivial name are underlined or italicized. For example the scientific dsignation of ourselves is Homo sapians.

The five major kingdoms in the ocean are: Monera, Protista, Fungi, Metaphyta and Metazoa.

  • Monera are the bacteria and blue-green algae.
    -Eubacteria- There are typically 40 million bacterial cells in a gram of soil and a million bacterial cells in a milliliter of fresh water;
    -Archaebacteria – single celled microorganisms, most are extremophiles
  • Protista are single-celled organisms with a nucleus (e.g. amoeba, paramecium; algae – green, red, brown) . Powerpoint presentation on seaweeds (Multicelluar algae)
  • Fungi are abundant in the intertidal zone and are important in decomposition.
  • Metaphyta are the plants that grow attached to the sea floor.
  • Metazoa include all multicellular animals in the ocean

Marine organisms can also be classified by lifestyle.

  • Plankton are the organisms which float in the water and have no ability to propel themselves against a current.
  • —They can be divided into phytoplankton (plants) and zooplankton (animals).
  • Nekton are active swimmers and include marine fish, reptiles, mammals, birds and others.
  • Benthos are the organisms which live on the bottom (epifauna) or within the bottom sediments (infauna).
  • Some organisms cross from one lifestyle to another during their life, being pelagic early in life and benthonic late


Basic ecology

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