Marine Ecosystems of India

In contrast to life on land, the marine environment is constantly changing due to the continuous action of ocean currents, sunlight, wind, nutrients, temperature and salinity. India's vast coastline of 7,500 km gives rise to a number of varying and different habitats that are home to thousands of species. Broadly, marine habitats can be divided into two categories - coastal and open ocean habitats. Further categories can include segregation into sea surface and sea bed habitats. Coastal habitats are those that extend from the shoreline, and include mangroves, sandy shores, intertidal zones, seagrass meadows, and coral reefs. Most of the world's marine life is found in these regions. Anything that extends beyond this qualifies as open ocean. The main marine habitats in India are mangroves, pelagic, rocky intertidal zones, seagrass meadows, sandy beaches, and coral reefs.

Illustrated by Gayatri Jawali

Next - Ocean and us