Earth Sciences

Photic zone

The photic zone is the surface layer of the oceans or water bodies. This zone has enough light for organisms to carry out the process of photosynthesis. In the ocean, about 90% of life can be found and developed within this zone. The depth of this zone can vary greatly, depending on a number of different factors. It is also called the euphotic zone, and in it we can find all those organisms that need light to obtain energy, along with some organisms that depend on these beings for their sustenance. This includes plants, bacteria, algae and many animals that inhabit the sea. Some inhabitants of this area have developed creative adaptations such as pigments that help them use sunlight more effectively, so that, they can survive at lower light levels. Scientists are very interested in the photic zone, as it can provide important information about ocean health. Protecting this area is important for fishing and other industries that use the ocean and for the survival of the environment in general.

Photic zone

Related topics

Abyssal zone, hadal zone

What is the photic zone?

The photic zone is the oceanic zone that lies between 0 and 200 meters below the surface of the sea, is where most marine life develops and in which enough amount of sunlight is carried for photosynthesis.

Characteristics of the photic zone

Among the main characteristics of the marine photic zone we can mention the following:

Animals of the photic zone

The photic zone is full of sunlight creating perfect conditions for marine life. The temperature provided by the sun’s heat along with the pressure of the ocean water is suitable for many creatures. For this reason many marine animals have an easy time adapting to the area. There are a large number of marine animals that can live in the sunlight or photic zone. These aquatic animals include all kinds of jellyfish, whales, fish and even sharks. Most of these creatures also find a way to adapt to the area. The upper part of their bodies is darker than the lower one in order to prevent predators from chasing them.

Plants of the photic zone

A wide variety of oceanic vegetation types and all types of plants can grow in the sunlit area. These plants include marine algae, plankton, and even mangroves. The body structure of these plants is already modified to allow them to float in the area. In addition, they have that special ability to carry out photosynthesis and for this reason also serve as a diet for marine animals.

Written by Gabriela Briceño V.
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