A body of water covering approximately one-fifth of the total ocean area of the earth, extending amidst Africa in the west, Australia in the east, Asia in the north, and Antarctica in the south. Including the Red Sea and the Persian Gulf, it constitutes the third largest ocean after the ATLANTIC OCEAN and the PACIFIC OCEAN. (New Encyclopaedia Britannica Micropaedia, 15th ed, 1990, p289)
Multicellular marine macroalgae including some members of red (RHODOPHYTA), green (CHLOROPHYTA), and brown (PHAEOPHYTA) algae. They are widely distributed in the ocean, occurring from the tide level to considerable depths, free-floating (planktonic) or anchored to the substratum (benthic). They lack a specialized vascular system but take up fluids, nutrients, and gases directly from the water. They contain CHLOROPHYLL and are photosynthetic, but some also contain other light-absorbing pigments. Many are of economic importance as FOOD, fertilizer, AGAR, potash, or source of IODINE.
A functional system which includes the organisms of a natural community together with their environment. (McGraw Hill Dictionary of Scientific and Technical Terms, 4th ed)
Conservation of Natural Resources
The protection, preservation, restoration, and rational use of all resources in the total environment.
Oceans and Seas
A phylum of radially symmetrical invertebrates characterized by possession of stinging cells called nematocysts. It includes the classes ANTHOZOA; CUBOZOA; HYDROZOA, and SCYPHOZOA. Members carry CNIDARIAN VENOMS.
Flagellate EUKARYOTES, found mainly in the oceans. They are characterized by the presence of transverse and longitudinal flagella which propel the organisms in a rotating manner through the water. Dinoflagellida were formerly members of the class Phytomastigophorea under the old five kingdom paradigm.
The salinated water of OCEANS AND SEAS that provides habitat for marine organisms.
The collective name for the islands of the central Pacific Ocean, including the Austral Islands, Cook Islands, Easter Island, HAWAII; NEW ZEALAND; Phoenix Islands, PITCAIRN ISLAND; SAMOA; TONGA; Tuamotu Archipelago, Wake Island, and Wallis and Futuna Islands. Polynesians are of the Caucasoid race, but many are of mixed origin. Polynesia is from the Greek poly, many + nesos, island, with reference to the many islands in the group. (From Webster's New Geographical Dictionary, 1988, p966 & Room, Brewer's Dictionary of Names, 1992, p426)
The study of the origin, structure, development, growth, function, genetics, and reproduction of organisms which inhabit the OCEANS AND SEAS.
Salts or ions of the theoretical carbonic acid, containing the radical CO2(3-). Carbonates are readily decomposed by acids. The carbonates of the alkali metals are water-soluble; all others are insoluble. (From Grant & Hackh's Chemical Dictionary, 5th ed)
The effect of GLOBAL WARMING and the resulting increase in world temperatures. The predicted health effects of such long-term climatic change include increased incidence of respiratory, water-borne, and vector-borne diseases.
The phylum of sponges which are sessile, suspension-feeding, multicellular animals that utilize flagellated cells called choanocytes to circulate water. Most are hermaphroditic. They are probably an early evolutionary side branch that gave rise to no other group of animals. Except for about 150 freshwater species, sponges are marine animals. They are a source of ALKALOIDS; STEROLS; and other complex molecules useful in medicine and biological research.
A chain of islands, cays, and reefs in the West Indies, lying southeast of Florida and north of Cuba. It is an independent state, called also the Commonwealth of the Bahamas or the Bahama Islands. The name likely represents the local name Guanahani, itself of uncertain origin. (From Webster's New Geographical Dictionary, 1988, p106 & Room, Brewer's Dictionary of Names, 1992, p45)
One of the three domains of life (the others being BACTERIA and ARCHAEA), also called Eukarya. These are organisms whose cells are enclosed in membranes and possess a nucleus. They comprise almost all multicellular and many unicellular organisms, and are traditionally divided into groups (sometimes called kingdoms) including ANIMALS; PLANTS; FUNGI; and various algae and other taxa that were previously part of the old kingdom Protista.
Any significant change in measures of climate (such as temperature, precipitation, or wind) lasting for an extended period (decades or longer). It may result from natural factors such as changes in the sun's intensity, natural processes within the climate system such as changes in ocean circulation, or human activities.
Increase in the temperature of the atmosphere near the Earth's surface and in the troposphere, which can contribute to changes in global climate patterns.
El Nino-Southern Oscillation
El Nino-Southern Oscillation or ENSO is a cycle of extreme alternating warm El Niño and cold La Nina events which is the dominant year-to-year climate pattern on Earth. Both terms refer to large-scale changes in sea-surface temperature across the eastern tropical Pacific. ENSO is associated with a heightened risk of certain vector-borne diseases. (From http://www.elnino.noaa.gov/lanina_new_faq.html, accessed 5/12/2020)
Former Netherlands overseas territory in the Lesser Antilles in the West Indies. It had included the islands of Aruba, Bonaire, Curacao, Saba, St. Eustatius, and the southern part of St. Martin. The Netherlands Antilles dissolved on October 10, 2010. Aruba, Curacao and Sint Maarten became autonomous territories of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. Bonaire, Saba, and Sint Eustatius are under the direct administration of the Netherlands. (From US Department of State, Background Note)
Plants of the division Rhodophyta, commonly known as red algae, in which the red pigment (PHYCOERYTHRIN) predominates. However, if this pigment is destroyed, the algae can appear purple, brown, green, or yellow. Two important substances found in the cell walls of red algae are AGAR and CARRAGEENAN. Some rhodophyta are notable SEAWEED (macroalgae).
The sequence of transfers of matter and energy from organism to organism in the form of FOOD. Food chains intertwine locally into a food web because most organisms consume more than one type of animal or plant. PLANTS, which convert SOLAR ENERGY to food by PHOTOSYNTHESIS, are the primary food source. In a predator chain, a plant-eating animal is eaten by a larger animal. In a parasite chain, a smaller organism consumes part of a larger host and may itself be parasitized by smaller organisms. In a saprophytic chain, microorganisms live on dead organic matter.
A state in northeastern Australia. Its capital is Brisbane. Its coast was first visited by Captain Cook in 1770 and its first settlement (penal) was located on Moreton Bay in 1824. The name Cooksland was first proposed but honor to Queen Victoria prevailed. (From Webster's New Geographical Dictionary, 1988, p996 & Room, Brewer's Dictionary of Names, 1992, p441)
A mass of organic or inorganic solid fragmented material, or the solid fragment itself, that comes from the weathering of rock and is carried by, suspended in, or dropped by air, water, or ice. It refers also to a mass that is accumulated by any other natural agent and that forms in layers on the earth's surface, such as sand, gravel, silt, mud, fill, or loess. (McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific and Technical Terms, 4th ed, p1689)
An island in Micronesia, east of the Philippines, the largest and southernmost of the Marianas. Its capital is Agana. It was discovered by Magellan in 1521 and occupied by Spain in 1565. They ceded it to the United States in 1898. It is an unincorporated territory of the United States, administered by the Department of the Interior since 1950. The derivation of the name Guam is in dispute. (From Webster's New Geographical Dictionary, 1988, p471)
A group of elongate elasmobranchs. Sharks are mostly marine fish, with certain species large and voracious.
The monitoring of the level of toxins, chemical pollutants, microbial contaminants, or other harmful substances in the environment (soil, air, and water), workplace, or in the bodies of people and animals present in that environment.
The restriction of a characteristic behavior, anatomical structure or physical system, such as immune response; metabolic response, or gene or gene variant to the members of one species. It refers to that property which differentiates one species from another but it is also used for phylogenetic levels higher or lower than the species.
A group of islands in Polynesia, in the north central Pacific Ocean, comprising eight major and 114 minor islands, largely volcanic and coral. Its capital is Honolulu. It was first reached by Polynesians about 500 A.D. It was discovered and named the Sandwich Islands in 1778 by Captain Cook. The islands were united under the rule of King Kamehameha 1795-1819 and requested annexation to the United States in 1893 when a provisional government was set up. Hawaii was established as a territory in 1900 and admitted as a state in 1959. The name is from the Polynesian Owhyhii, place of the gods, with reference to the two volcanoes Mauna Kea and Mauna Loa, regarded as the abode of the gods. (From Webster's New Geographical Dictionary, 1988, p493 & Room, Brewer's Dictionary of Names, 1992, p2330)
An island in the Lesser Antilles in the West Indies. It is chiefly of coral formation with no good harbors and only small streams. It was probably discovered by the Portuguese in the sixteenth century. The name was given by 16th-century Spanish explorers from barbados, the plural for "bearded", with reference to the beard-like leaves or trails of moss on the trees that grew there in abundance. (From Webster's New Geographical Dictionary, 1988, p116 & Room, Brewer's Dictionary of Names, 1992, p49)
One of the largest genera of BROWN ALGAE, comprised of more than 150 species found in tropical, subtropical, and temperate zones of both hemispheres. Some species are attached (benthic) but most float in the open sea (pelagic). Sargassum provides a critical habitat for hundreds of species of FISHES; TURTLES; and INVERTEBRATES.
The property of objects that determines the direction of heat flow when they are placed in direct thermal contact. The temperature is the energy of microscopic motions (vibrational and translational) of the particles of atoms.
The branch of science concerned with the interrelationship of organisms and their ENVIRONMENT, especially as manifested by natural cycles and rhythms, community development and structure, interactions between different kinds of organisms, geographic distributions, and population alterations. (Webster's, 3d ed)
Ecological Parameter Monitoring
Ongoing collection, analysis, and interpretation of ecological data that is used to assess changes in the components, processes, and overall condition and functioning of an ECOSYSTEM.
The processes by which organisms utilize organic substances as their nutrient sources. Contrasts with AUTOTROPHIC PROCESSES which make use of simple inorganic substances as the nutrient supply source. Heterotrophs can be either chemoheterotrophs (or chemoorganotrophs) which also require organic substances such as glucose for their primary metabolic energy requirements, or photoheterotrophs (or photoorganotrophs) which derive their primary energy requirements from light. Depending on environmental conditions some organisms can switch between different nutritional modes (AUTOTROPHY; heterotrophy; chemotrophy; or PHOTOTROPHY) to utilize different sources to meet their nutrients and energy requirements.
A group of islands of SAMOA, in the southwest central Pacific. Its capital is Pago Pago. The islands were ruled by native chiefs until about 1869. An object of American interest beginning in 1839, Pago Pago and trading and extraterritorial rights were granted to the United States in 1878. The United States, Germany, and England administered the islands jointly 1889-99, but in 1899 they were granted to the United States by treaty. The Department of the Interior has administered American Samoa since 1951. (From Webster's New Geographical Dictionary, 1988, p44)
Adaptation to a new environment or to a change in the old.
An animal or plant species in danger of extinction. Causes can include human activity, changing climate, or change in predator/prey ratios.
A group of islands in Melanesia constituting a French overseas territory. The group includes New Caledonia (the main island), Ile des Pins, Loyalty Island, and several other islet groups. The capital is Noumea. It was discovered by Captain Cook in 1774 and visited by various navigators, explorers, and traders from 1792 to 1840. Occupied by the French in 1853, it was set up as a penal colony 1864-94. In 1946 it was made a French overseas territory. It was named by Captain Cook with the 5th and 6th century A.D. Latin name for Scotland, Caledonia. (From Webster's New Geographical Dictionary, 1988, p830 & Room, Brewer's Dictionary of Names, 1992, p375)
A climate which is typical of equatorial and tropical regions, i.e., one with continually high temperatures with considerable precipitation, at least during part of the year. (McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific and Technical Terms, 4th ed)
Papua New Guinea
A country consisting of the eastern half of the island of New Guinea and adjacent islands, including New Britain, New Ireland, the Admiralty Islands, and New Hanover in the Bismarck Archipelago; Bougainville and Buka in the northern Solomon Islands; the D'Entrecasteaux and Trobriand Islands; Woodlark (Murua) Island; and the Louisiade Archipelago. It became independent on September 16, 1975. Formerly, the southern part was the Australian Territory of Papua, and the northern part was the UN Trust Territory of New Guinea, administered by Australia. They were administratively merged in 1949 and named Papua and New Guinea, and renamed Papua New Guinea in 1971.
Indian Ocean Islands
Numerous islands in the Indian Ocean situated east of Madagascar, north to the Arabian Sea and east to Sri Lanka. Included are COMOROS (republic), MADAGASCAR (republic), Maldives (republic), MAURITIUS (parliamentary democracy), Pemba (administered by Tanzania), REUNION (a department of France), and SEYCHELLES (republic).