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Marine Biology Research Papers

Marine biology research papers are a specialty of the science writers at Paper Masters. Any aspect of the marine ecosystem can be written about when you custom order your project. Every research project we do is written fresh, with the most recent research in the fields related to marine biology.

Marine biology is the study of ocean life. Most of the Earth, about 71 percent, is covered with water, and is home to a significant amount of life. In fact, because the depths of the oceans are still largely unexplored, scientists are not completely sure how many ocean species are waiting to be discovered.

Because the marine ecosystem is so large, there are major fields within the science of marine biology. Most of those scientists who can be considered to be marine biologists specialize in areas such as ichthyology, invertebrate zoology, and phycology, the study of algae. Marine biology has been instrumental in understanding the nature of all life on the planet. The voyage of the HMS Beagle, for example, was a scientific expedition of marine life. Its most famous crewman was Charles Darwin, who developed the Theory of Evolution out of his observations.Marine Biology

Within the field of marine biology, divisions can be made between two main habitat:

  1. Coastal habitats
  2. Open ocean habitats.

These are fundamentally different ecosystems, and while most marine life can be found in coastal habitats (from the shore to the continental shelf), significant discoveries await in the open ocean. Much sea life thrives in the deepest depths of the ocean, some of which exists around hydrothermal vents on the ocean floor. Numerous previously unknown microbes have been discovered in such places.

Within a marine ecosystem, the individual plants have a range of molecules which are able to evolve, over many generations, a range of biochemical weapons to prevent predation. This is not, however, always as effective as the
anti-predation measures taken by terrestrial plants.

The portieria hornamannii or red alga, can, like all sea-dwelling algae, produce metabolites to prevent herbivore predation, but these have only a limited effect against fish and ,in the case of some predators, notably the Aplysia Parvula or sea hare, the production of the metabolite ochtodene may be seen to have the opposite effect to the desired deterrent, with the sea hare having evolved a system of incorporating the metabolite into its system and thriving. The sea hare is known to graze on the red alga and the metabolite is thought to actually stimulate feeding in the sea hare. This arrangement appears to work only with this host/ predator pairing, and the metabolites are more effective against other prey, but, as the red alga provides not only important nutrients but also physical protection for the sea hare, it can be seen that it has somehow evolved a method of rendering safe the otherwise toxic metabolites, in order to continue its association with the alga. There is some benefit in this pairing for the alga too, as the attentions of the sea hare seem to limit feeding on the alga by other predators.

Sample Outline for a Research Project on Coral Reefs

Your research paper for marine biology may want to explore several critical aspects of coral reef biology. After following this basic outline of coral reef systems and their importance to the planet’s ecology, the study focuses on such important matters as the feeding behaviors, reproductive and spawning behaviors, and productivity of reef-building corals. The study also describes in detail the major coral reef diseases that currently threaten many of the Earth’s coral reefs and therefore endanger the diverse species that rely upon them for survival.

  1. Introduction to Topic & Overview of Paper
  2. Summary of Coral Reef Systems
    1. Critical importance to marine ecosystems
    2. Adaptation to life in poor environments
    3. Restrictions on geographic range
  3. Feeding & Productivity
    1. Reliance on delicate ecological balance
    2. Symbiosis with photosynthetic dinoflagellates
      1. Algae photosynthesis to fix carbon
      2. Use of carbon compounds by coral polyps
      3. Calcium carbonate for skeletal structures
    3. Feeding on live prey
      1. Zooplankton prey
      2. Mechanisms for capturing and ingesting live prey
      3. Feeding via mucous suspension
  4. Reproduction & Spawning
    1. Asexual reproduction
    2. Sexual reproduction
      1. Hermaphroditic vs. gonochronistic coral colonies
      2. Importance of synchronized spawning
      3. Development and movement of coral planulae
      4. Settlement of planulae to establish new colonies
    3. Ongoing investigations on coral hybrids
  5. Major Coral Reef Disease
    1. High susceptibility to disease
    2. Recent global explosion of coral diseases
      1. "Bleaching”: characteristics, causes, effects
      2. Black band disease: characteristics, causes, impacts
      3. White-band disease: characteristics, impacts, causes (?)
  6. Concluding Remarks

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