Definition: aquatic organisms that construct and inhabit simple unbranched vertical shafts with only one opening to the surface. These are primarily above-sediment filter-feeders, surface deposit-feeders, and subsurface deposit-feeders (head-down, conveyor-belt feeders)
Definition: Whale fall is the term used for a whale carcass that has fallen to the ocean floor. When a whale dies in shallow water, its carcass is typically devoured by scavengers over a relatively short period of time: within several months. However, in deeper water (depths of 2,000 m/6,600 ft or greater), fewer scavenger species exist, and the carcass can provide sustenance for a complex localized ecosystem over periods of decades.
Definition: An aquatic biome that comprises systems of open-ocean and unprotected coastal habitats, characterized by exposure to wave action, tidal fluctuation, and ocean currents as well as systems that largely resemble these. Water in the marine biome is generally within the salinity range of seawater: 30 to 38 ppt.
Definition: The marine hydrothermal vent biome comprises regions of the marine benthic biome where heat generated due to tectonic activity, either at divergent plate boundaries or convergent ocean plates where back-arc spreading occurs, is released or 'vented' to the surface. The resultant high temperature water jets are laden with dissolved metals and minerals.