Research In The Photic Zone
Research in the photic zone is focused on three main priorities: eutrophication of water bodies, fundamental food web research, and the understanding of nutrient movement and cycling. Eutrophication is the enrichment of water bodies through the addition of nutrients, often leading to excessive phytoplankton growth. Eutrophication is a well understood process, but it remains as a serious problem in much of the world.
Another important area is research into basic food webs. Many things are still to be discovered regarding the relative roles of species within aquatic food webs. The recent closure of the fisheries off eastern Canada exemplifies the importance of basic understanding of food webs in these productive photic zones.
A third area of research within the photic zone involves nutrient movements and cycling within water bodies. Especially in oceans the movements of particles and nutrients by water currents are not well understood. We are just beginning to understand the connections among wind, ocean currents, and global weather patterns. All life ultimately depends on the continued productivity of the photic zones of the world, and we need to work harder to understand the physical, chemical, and biological nature of these zones.
See also Ocean zones.
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Begon, M., J.L. Harper, and C. R. Townsend. Ecology: Individuals, Populations and Communities. 2nd ed. Cambridge, MA: Blackwell Scientific Publications, 1990.
Cousteau, Jacques-Yves. The Ocean World of Jacques Cousteau: Window in the Sea. World Publishing Company, 1973.
Culliney, J. L. "The Fluid Forests." In The Forests of the Sea: Life and Death on the Continental Shelf. San Francisco Sierra Club Books, 1976.
Miller, G. Tyler, Jr. Environmental Science: Sustaining the Earth. 3rd ed. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth Publishing, 1986.
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