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Dominant producers of the neritic zone of the sea are the

Last updated date: 13th Jun 2024
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Hint: The neritic zone (nearshore) mainly extends from the high tide mark to the edge of the continental shelf which has a shallow water zone. The dominant producers in these zones are passively drifting or floating algae.

Complete answer:
The neritic habitats support two basic types of marine organisms: plankton and nekton. Planktonic microorganisms that live in the water column and are incapable of swimming against currents, instead they drift along with them. Planktons are often categorized into two categories: phytoplankton or zooplankton. Phytoplankton are microscopic photosynthesizing organisms (e.g., diatoms), and are one of the primary producers that form the base of the marine food web. “Blooms,” are generally huge surges in phytoplankton populations.

Additional information:
Phytoplankton is basically microscopic algae that live in marine waters and drift with ocean currents. They are the key component of the marine ecosystem. They are also the primary producers at the base of the food web and create the food directly consumed by many marine animals. The productivity of the marine waters near the neritic zone is closely tied to this primary production of food from sunlight, water, carbon dioxide, and nutrients by phytoplankton. Additionally, they filter-feeding bivalve shellfish such as clams, mussels, scallops, and oysters extract and ingest these algae along with small drifting animals, called zooplankton, as they pump water through their bodies to feed and respire.
However, some species of phytoplanktonic algae produce biotoxins that accumulate in the digestive tract of animals that eat them causing illness and death in seabirds and mammals higher up the food web.
So, the correct answer is option (A) phytoplankton.

Note: Uses of the neritic habitat by humans mainly include various commercial and recreational fishing, non consumptive recreational pursuits such as boating or whale watching, scientific research, commercial maritime transportation, and military operations. The development of renewable energy sources from both wind and waves can be an emerging use of the energetic habitat.