Life on the Benthos I: Marine Plants and Invertebrates

1. Describe how marine algae are different from terrestrial plants. How are they similar? What are the three major phyla? What are the differences between these groups?

2. Plants in the phylum Anthophyta are rare in marine environments. What are the types of plants found in and very close marine habitats? What are the major adaptations for these plants to marine environments?

3. Marine algae and plants are important in marine habitats. Discuss three reasons why this is the case. Be sure to include examples to highlight your major points.

4. Sponges were not always taxonomically placed in the Kingdom Animalia. Why are sponges different from the rest of the animal kingdom? What are the key characteristics for the organisms in the Phylum Porifera? What are the major subgroups, and how are they different?

5. Lastly, organisms cannot, will not, do not live in isolation. All life depends on other organisms (either directly or indirectly) rely on others for survival. What are the animals that consume sponges? Describe one way sponges contribute to the organism diversity of their habitats (this will require some investigation on your part)? Be sure to use examples in your response.

It is important that you cite the information you include in your paper. This should be either footnoted or included in the style of most scientific journals. Here is an important note: For the rest of the reports for this class, DO NOT use Wikipedia or WIKI sites as primary resources. Feel free to take a look, but don’t cite them. will be a significant point deduction. Otherwise, all citation should be listed in a references cited list at the end of the paper. I encourage you to use your text (Marine Biology, by Castro and Huber) as one of your resources. You may also use other texts, articles, or internet cites (please see the exception above). Example citations for references section:
Merriweather, J.P. 1989. Adaptation of nearshore fishes to changing environments. In: Anthropogenic Pollutants in the Oceans as a Mechanism for Evolutionary Change. Nothingatall Press, New York. 345 p. (citing a book).
Johnson, T.E. 1990. Reproduction as a function of resource partitioning in a benthic reef fish. J. Exp. Mar. Biol. Ecol. 44:123-135. (citing a journal article).
In presenting information about your subject in the text, cite the authors and year in parentheses after the appropriate sentence — e.g., “trace metals in our coastal waters increase at a rate of 20% per year (Merriweather, 1989).”