Marine Biology: Function, Biodiversity, Ecology / Edition 4

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* Examines marine biology from a unique global and evolutionary perspective

* Written in a clear, conversational style

* Filled with full-color photographs from the world's finest marine biologists

* Robust pedagogy includes "Key Concept" headings, "Basic Facts" summaries, "Going Deeper" boxes, end-of-chapter exercises, and more



Companion Website ( Maintained by the author, this comprehensive resource offers students cited references, "Key Concept" summaries, "Marine Biology Explorations" interactive tours, news updates, helpful review and study tools, and more. For adopting instructors, the site offers password-protected PowerPoint-based lecture notes and downloadable images from the text.

Instructor's Resource CD-ROM: Available to adopting instructors, the CD includes all of the resources listed above along with a Test Bank of approximately 400 questions.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Levinton's book is easy to follow yet challenging and is at a perfect level for undergraduate biology majors."
—Jayson Smith, California State University, Fullerton

"Highly enjoyable to read. Levinton's writing is engaging and approachable. I am impressed by his ability to weave in examples that support the concepts. The book provides greater breadth of coverage than comparable texts, and the description of climate change is excellent and current."
—Fiona M. Harper, Rollins College

"There is a nice use of specific experimental examples to illustrate concepts. The inclusion of new data on climate change and ocean acidification, along with the new examples of fisheries and aquaculture biology, are very much appreciated."
—Karen Martin, Pepperdine University

From The Critics
This text offers coverage of how the principles of cell biology, biomechanics, ecology and other topics are applied to marine biological problems. It is designed for a one-semester course for students with a background in biology, but can be used in both less and more advanced situations. New sections discuss subtidal rocky reefs, metapopulations, marine invasions, marine protected areas and no-take fishing zones, as well as molecular approaches to marine biology and fisheries. With an emphasis upon the relationship of the functional ecology of organisms to higher levels of organization such as major marine habitats and ecosystems, Levinton (State U. of New York) presents eight chapters that describe a variety of current research areas, and includes 20 "hot topics" essays. The included CD-ROM contains about 450 images that illustrate specific ecological and functional relationships in a variety of major marine habitats, and it also provides internet links to many related topics. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (
A text designed for a one-semester course at the sophomore to senior level, assuming a previous college-level biology course. It focuses on function, biodiversity, and ecology, with an introduction to principles of oceanography and marine biology, and sections on marine organisms, processes in the open sea and on the sea bed, organisms in the sea bed, coastal benthic environments, and the human impact on the sea. Includes highlighted key terms and concepts, questions, boxes on pollution and fisheries, and a glossary, plus color and b&w photos. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780199857128
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press
  • Publication date: 7/15/2013
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 4
  • Pages: 576
  • Sales rank: 250,521
  • Product dimensions: 10.70 (w) x 8.40 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

Jeffrey S. Levinton is Distinguished Professor of Ecology and Evolution at Stony Brook University.

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Table of Contents


Chapter 1. Sounding the Deep
Marine Biology as a Discipline
Historical Background of Marine Biology
Observation and Hypothesis Testing
Habitats and Life Habits: Some Definitions

Chapter 2. The Oceanic Environment
The Open Oceans and Marginal Seas
Topography and Structure of the Ocean Floor
The Ocean Above the Seabed
Circulation in the Open Sea: Patterns and Causes
Seawater Density and Deep Circulation
The Greenhouse Effect and Changing Ocean Climate
Hypothesized Effects of Climate Change on Sea Level, Circulation, and Ocean Chemistry
The Edge of the Sea

Chapter 3. Ecological and Evolutionary Principles of Marine Biology
Ecological Interactions
The Ecological Hierarchy
Interactions on the Scale of Individuals
The Population Level
The Community Level: Structure and Interspecies Interactions
The Ecosystem Level
Species, Genetic Variation, Evolution, and Biogeography


Chapter 4. The Chemical and Physical Environment
Measures of Physiological Performance
HOT TOPICS IN MARINE BIOLOGY 4.1 Global Warming: How Can We Tell If We Are at the Edge?

Chapter 5. Life in a Fluid Medium
Density, Viscosity, and Reynolds Number
GOING DEEPER 5.1 Is Seawater Always Seawater? A Tale from the Regions of Intermediate Reynolds Number
Moving Water
Water Moving over Surfaces and Obstructions, Such as Organisms
Using Water Motion for Biological Advantage
HOT TOPICS IN MARINE BIOLOGY 5.1 Flow Is a Drag, but It Sure Can Smell Good

Chapter 6. Reproduction, Dispersal, and Migration
Ecological and Evolutionary Factors in Sex
HOT TOPICS IN MARINE BIOLOGY 6.1 A Lover and a Fighter
Reproduction, Demography, and Life Cycles
HOT TOPICS IN MARINE BIOLOGY 6.2 Great Oceanic Migrations that Dwarf the Serengeti
Larval Dispersal: The Long and the Short Haul
The Microscale: Larval Settlement, Metamorphosis, and Early Juvenile Survival
The Mesoscale: Transport by Currents, Loss of Larvae, and Retention Mechanisms
HOT TOPICS IN MARINE BIOLOGY 6.3 How to Get a Free Ride Out to Sea
Planktonic Larvae: Getting Through Major Obstacles to the Final Destination
The Macroscale: Major Separations Lead to Biogeographic Structure
Planktonic Dispersal: Why Do They Do It?


Chapter 7. Plankton
Introduction and Definitions
Marine Bacteria and Archaea
Eukaryotic Phytoplankton
Life in the Open Sea
Defense Against Predation
HOT TOPICS IN MARINE BIOLOGY 7.1 Bioluminescence, Night Vision, and Death in the Deep
Diurnal Vertical Migration of the Zooplankton
Molecular Techniques to Identify Planktonic Microorganismal Diversity
GOING DEEPER 7.1 DNA: The Basics

Chapter 8. Marine Vertebrates and Other Nekton
HOT TOPICS IN MARINE BIOLOGY 8.1 Whales and Wonder Dogs
Marine Birds and Reptiles
HOT TOPICS IN MARINE BIOLOGY 8.2 Last March of the Penguins? Climate Change and a Bottom-Up Trophic Cascade


Chapter 9. Processes in the Open Sea
Critical Factors in Plankton Abundance
Patchiness of the Plankton
The Seasonal Pattern of Plankton Abundance
Water Column Parameters and the Spring Diatom Increase
GOING DEEPER 9.1 The Basics of Photosynthesis
Nutrients Required by Phytoplankton
Rate of Nutrient Uptake
Harmful Algal Blooms
HOT TOPICS IN MARINE BIOLOGY 9.1 Angry Birds and Lost Seals: Solution of the Effects of a Mysterious Poison
Phytoplankton Succession and the Paradox of Phytoplankton Coexistence
The Microbial Loop: Nutrient Cycling by Viruses, Heterotrophs and Chemoautotrophs
Zooplankton Grazing in the Sea
GOING DEEPER 9.2 Quantification of the Effect of Grazing

Chapter 10. Productivity, Food Webs, and Global Climate Change
Productivity, Food Webs, and Global Climate Change
Productivity and Biomass
Food Chains and Food Webs
Measuring Primary Productivity
GOING DEEPER 10.1 How to Calculate Productivity, Using the Oxygen Technique
GOING DEEPER 10.2 Using the Radiocarbon Technique to Estimate Productivity
Geographic Distribution of Primary Productivity
Global Climate Change and the Global Carbon Pump
Climate Change: Some Records and Effects on Oceanic Processes


Chapter 11. Benthic Microorganisms, Seaweeds, and Sea Grasses
The Big Picture: Domains of Life
Marine Protists, Fungi, and Multicellular Algae
Single-Celled Forms of Eukarya
Sea Grasses

Chapter 12. The Diversity of Benthic Marine Invertebrates
HOT TOPICS IN MARINE BIOLOGY 12.1 From Where Did All This Invertebrate Diversity Come?
Kingdom Protista: Single-Celled Organisms
Phylum Porifera: Sponges, Simplest of Animals
Phylum Cnidaria: Hydrozoans, Jellyfish, Anemones, and Corals
Phylum Platyhelminthes: Flatworms
Phylum Nemertea: Ribbon Worms
Phylum Nematoda: The Roundworms
Phylum Annelida: Segmented Worms
Phylum Sipuncula: Peanut Worms
Phylum Ponogonophora: Gutless Wonders
Phylum Mollusca: Shelled Invertebrates (Mostly)
Phylum Arthropoda: Jointed Appendages
The Lophophorate Phyla
Phylum Bryozoa: Moss Animals
Phylum Brachiopoda: Lingulas and Lampshells
Phylum Phoronida: Wormlike Animals with a Lophophore
Phylum Echinodermata: Animals with Fivefold Symmetry
Phylum Chordata: The Sea Squirts

Chapter 13. Benthic Life Habits
Life Habit Classification
Life in Mud and Sand
GOING DEEPER 13.1 Measuring Grain Size of Sediments
Soft Sediments and the Role of Burrowers in Sedimentary Structure
Deposit Feeding in Soft Sediments
Suspension Feeding
Life Habits on Hard Surfaces and in Moving Waters
Benthic Carnivores
HOT TOPICS IN MARINE BIOLOGY 13.1 Diary of a Stinging Snail
Benthic Herbivores


Chapter 14. The Tidelands Rocky Shores, Soft-Substratum Shores, Marshes, Mangroves, Estuaries, and Oyster Reefs
Rocky Shores and Exposed Beaches
Soft-Sediment Interactions in Protected Intertidal Areas
HOT TOPICS IN MARINE BIOLOGY 14.1 The Powerful Interaction of Invasion and Climate Change
Spartina Salt Marshes
HOT TOPICS IN MARINE BIOLOGY 14.2 The Molecular Sleuth, Part I: Invasion of a Very Aggressive Genotype
Mangrove Forests
Oyster Reefs

Chapter 15. Sea Grass Beds, Rocky Reefs, Kelp Forests, and Coral Reefs
Sea Grass Beds
The Rocky Reef-Kelp Forest System
HOT TOPICS IN MARINE BIOLOGY 15.1 Reorganization of a Rocky Subtidal Ecosystem: A Cod and Lobster Tale
Subtidal Rocky Reefs
Kelp Forests
Coral Reefs


Chapter 16. From the Continental Shelf to the Deep Sea
The Subtidal Landscape
Sampling the Subtidal Soft-Bottom Benthos
Sediment Type and Benthic Distribution
The Deep-Sea Gradient
The Shelf-Deep-Sea Gradient
Deep-Sea Biodiversity
Deep-Sea Island Hotspots of High Diversity
Cold-Water Deep Coral Mounds
Hot-Vent Environments, Cold Seeps, and Whale-Fish Falls
Pressure Change
Polar Environments
Arctic Subtidal Polar Environments
The Antarctic Shelf Benthos - A Special Case of Isolation

Chapter 17. Biodiversity and Conservation of the Ocean
Diversity, Speciation, Extinction, and Biogeographic Factors
Major Gradients of Species Diversity
Explanations of Regional Diversity Differences
Conserving Marine Biodiversity
Marine Invasions


Chapter 18. Fisheries and Food from the Sea
The Fishery Stock and Its Variability
Stocks and Markers
Life History and Stock Size
Stock Health and Production
GOING DEEPER 18.1 A Simple Model to Explain the Maximum Sustainable Yield
Fishing Techniques and Their Effects
Fisheries Impact and Management
Hot Topics in Marine Biology 18.1 Is Fisheries Policy at Odds with Managing Marine Ecosystems?
Causes and Cures of Stock Reduction
GOING DEEPER 18.2 Age-Based or Life-History Stage-Based Population Models
Overexploitation of Whales: A Case History
Other Types of Degradation
Disease as a Major Danger to Coastal Fisheries
Drugs from the Sea: Marine Natural Products

Chapter 19. Environmental Impacts of Industrial Activities and Human Populations
Human Effects on the Marine Environment
Measuring the Impact of Pollutants on Populations and Communities
Toxic Substances
HOT TOPICS IN MARINE BIOLOGY 19.1 Is the Gulf of Mexico Adapted to Oil?
Nutrient Input and Eutrophication
Thermal Pollution and Power Station Fish Mortality
Global Environmental Change and the Ocean




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