Q:

What plants live in the neritic zone?

A:

Some plants that live in the neritic zone include kelp, coral, algae, seaweed, seagrass and phytoplankton. The neritic zone is considered the forest of the ocean because it contains a wide array of plant life.

The neritic zone lies above the continental shelf and extends from the low-tide mark to 200 meters below water. Because this zone receives a lot of sunlight and is relatively shallow, plants can root themselves in the ocean floor and still receive the sunlight they need for photosynthesis. The majority of the ocean's small organisms live in this zone because of the well-oxygenated waters, low pressure and fairly stable temperature. Floating microorganisms, called phytoplankton and algae, live in this zone because they demand sunlight for survival.

Coral reefs have thousands of species of brightly colored animal and plant life, and they are found in the neritic zones. The abundance of small creatures in this zone draw in large fish that prey on them. Kelp forests put their roots down in the soil of the neritic zone and provide shelter for fish and crabs and a hunting ground for seals, as well as sharks that prey on seals. The neritic zone is also called coastal waters, coastal ocean and the sublittoral zone.


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