Life in the oceans-Planktons

Geetha Iyer
In the second part of the article on Oceans, we look at life in the oceans and how they survive the various forces. Life in the oceans is governed by two factors – the presence or absence of light and the pressure exerted by water at various depths.

Understanding oceans

Geetha Iyer
Recently the international community agreed to the presence of a fifth ocean in the world–the Southern Ocean. The oceans and the life systems within them are directly and indirectly linked with our lives. It is important to understand the role that the oceans play in sustaining the earth as global warming is equally affecting our oceans and the lives within them. As a first step towards understanding oceans here are the characteristics that make an ocean.

The Intertidal zone – Rocky shores

Geetha Iyer
This article is about rocky shores, another habitat in the intertidal zone. As the name suggests, there are plenty of solid rocks here and the rocky shores are so rich in diversity that one can find the presence of several organisms. Read on to know more.

The Intertidal zone: Sandy beaches

Geetha Iyer
When we talk of oceans, we think of seas and the seashore. The shores of the seas are where the land meets the water of the ocean. This region is known as the intertidal zone and an incredible variety of organisms live in this zone. The region is a mix of different habitats and this article deals with sandy beaches. Read on to know more.

Ponds – A multipurpose habitat

Geetha Iyer
Ponds are a familiar structure to all and need no specific introduction. But their familiarity is also a reason for their destruction. People tend to take them for granted and that is the sad story of water pollution. This month’s column explores these multipurpose habitats.

Salt pans – a human-made wetland of significance

Geetha Iyer
It is not always that human activity destroys nature. Once in a while, they also contribute to its biodiversity. Man-made salt pans not only produce a nutrient that humans most need to survive, but they have also become places for several birds and mirco-organisms to flourish. These habitats too are under threat and we need to conserve them.

Mangroves: a national wealth

Geetha Iyer
Mangrove forests are a national wealth. They protect coastal areas from natural disasters, provide food for their inhabitants, are home to a variety of wildlife, provide a safe breeding ground for many species of fish, sustain livelihoods and are now also a popular tourist destination. When this rich and vibrant habitat gives us so much, the least we can do is to protect and conserve it.

Disappearing wetlands – paddy fields

Geetha Iyer

When you think of a paddy field, you only think of agriculture, but did you know that it is a temporary/permanent home to several species of flora and fauna? Because they sustain biodiversity, paddy fields although a result of human activities are also counted as wetlands and ironically today human activities are causing paddy fields to disappear threatening the many birds and plants that are dependent on this ecosystem.

Habitats under threat: Grasslands

Geetha Iyer
After a hiatus, we bring you Naturewatch, this time focusing on habitats under threat. With more knowledge about the different ecosystems, young minds will be in a better position to think about conserving them. In this first article, the author talks about grasslands, which we believe are ubiquitous in nature.

The flies from the forest

Geetha Iyer
This is the last article in the Nature Watch series, and as before, this article too deals with the amazing biodiversity that India has. Here the author talks about insects that reside deep in the forests. These are ‘ useful insects’ and the description ranges from the net- winged insects, the lacewing insects , the mantid fly and the scorpion fly. Biology teachers will be sure to find this information useful and also make their classes more interesting.