“An ecosystem consists of the biological community that occurs in some locale, and the physical and chemical factors that make up its non-living or abiotic environment. The aboitic components include sunlight temperature moisture, soil or water chemistry etcetera are many examples of ecosystems – pond, a forest, an estuary, grassland.”
The dominant feature of our planet is ocean, which consists of almost 97 of earth’s water. So oceans in it support a large ecosystem.
The importance of ocean currents to the local ecosystem:
1. Ocean currents help in shaping the features of the earth. The forces of waves influence and form the physical structure of the costs. Sand is also distribute by ocean currents to its shore, which normally consists of small rocks, minerals, plants animals. All these together form the local ecosystem of that particular area.
2. Ocean currents help in influencing weather and temperature of its local ecosystem by absorbing, storing and moving heat, carbon and water. Any disruption in the currents causes disorder in the local ecosystem. for example according to a report, in 2005, a delay in the arrival of a seasonal, nutrient-rich ocean current off the coast of Northern California and Oregon led to reduced influx of barnacle and mussel larvae to rocky shores, thus disturbing the coastal ecosystem of that area .The report also suggested that the change in ocean currents had several ecological consequences like, high ocean temperatures, low nutrient levels, and low abundance of phytoplankton.
3. Ocean currents help in maintaining the marine life. Ocean surface is warm on the top and cold in its lower levels. The upwards movements of its currents brings cold nutrient-rich water from the depths. Marine life thrives in this water. Many organisms in ocean use ocean currents as a conveyor belt, spending their larval and adult life in various parts of the ocean, all because of the motion of currents. This upwelling also supports half of the world fisheries. Another example to highlight the importance of currents is to see the currents pattern in Australia. In spring season ,the warm currents flowing south along the west and east coasts allow coral reefs to grow at low latitudes and thus keep swimming a pleasant experience.
One has to understand that any change in ocean currents has far reaching implication on the ecological balance, so its knowledge is important to an individual in order to make responsible decision regarding the resources of ocean.