Primary Productivity in a Marine Ecosystem

Discuss the possible environmental factors affecting primary productivity of the two microhabitats, namely: the sandy microhabitat and rocky microhabitat.

The rocky microhabitat is an intertidal area which consists of solid rocks. It is often a biologically rich environment and can include many different habitat types like steep rocky cliffs, platforms, rock pools and boulder fields. Organisms that thrive in this area experience daily fluctuations of temperature, salinity, moisture and wave action. The common organisms found are brittle stars, sea stars, mollusks, and brown algae (Padina).

The sandy microhabitat is characterized by loose deposits of sand with shells that cover the shorelines. It is a dynamic environment since the sand and water are always in motion because of wave action. The common species found in this microhabitat includes the sea urchins (Diadema), sea cucumber (Holothuria), sea stars, brown algae (Padina) and seagrass (Thalassia). Microscopic algae are also abundant in this area. The organisms thriving in the sandy microhabitat experience daily fluctuations due to high or low tide.

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