Rhode Island the State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, is a state in the New England region of the United States. It is the smallest state in area, the seventh least populous, the second most densely populated, it has the longest official name of any state. Rhode Island is bordered by Connecticut to the west, Massachusetts to the north and east, the Atlantic Ocean to the south via Rhode Island Sound and Block Island Sound, it shares a small maritime border with New York. Providence is most populous city in Rhode Island. On May 4, 1776, the Colony of Rhode Island was the first of the Thirteen Colonies to renounce its allegiance to the British Crown, it was the fourth among the newly independent states to ratify the Articles of Confederation on February 9, 1778; the state boycotted the 1787 convention which drew up the United States Constitution and refused to ratify it. Rhode Island's official nickname is "The Ocean State", a reference to the large bays and inlets that amount to about 14 percent of its total area.
Despite its name, most of Rhode Island is located on the mainland of the United States. Its official name is State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, derived from the merger of four Colonial settlements; the settlements of Newport and Portsmouth were situated on what is called Aquidneck Island today, but it was called Rhode Island in Colonial times. Providence Plantation was the name of the colony founded by Roger Williams in the area now known as the city of Providence; this was adjoined by the settlement of Warwick. It is unclear how the island came to be named Rhode Island, but two historical events may have been of influence: Explorer Giovanni da Verrazzano noted the presence of an island near the mouth of Narragansett Bay in 1524 which he likened to the island of Rhodes. Subsequent European explorers were unable to identify the island that Verrazzano had named, but the Pilgrims who colonized the area assumed that it was this island. Adriaen Block passed by the island during his expeditions in the 1610s, he described it in a 1625 account of his travels as "an island of reddish appearance,", "een rodlich Eylande" in 17th-century Dutch, one popular notion is that this Dutch phrase might have influenced the name Rhode Island.
The earliest documented use of the name "Rhode Island" for Aquidneck was in 1637 by Roger Williams. The name was applied to the island in 1644 with these words: "Aquethneck shall be henceforth called the Isle of Rodes or Rhode-Island." The name "Isle of Rodes" is used in a legal document as late as 1646. Dutch maps as early as 1659 call the island "Red Island". Roger Williams was a theologian, forced out of the Massachusetts Bay Colony, seeking religious and political tolerance, he and others founded Providence Plantation as a free proprietary colony. "Providence" referred to the concept of divine providence, "plantation" was an English term for a colony. "State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations" is the longest official name of any state in the Union. In recent years, the word plantation in the state's name became a contested issue, the Rhode Island General Assembly voted on June 25, 2009 to hold a general referendum determining whether "and Providence Plantations" would be dropped from the official name.
Advocates for excising plantation claimed that the word symbolized an alleged legacy of disenfranchisement for many Rhode Islanders, as well as the proliferation of slavery in the colonies and in the post-colonial United States. Rhode Island abolished slavery in 1652, but the law was not enforced and, by the early 18th century, it was "the epicenter of the North American slave trade", according to the Brown Daily Herald. Advocates for retaining the name argued that plantation was an archaic synonym for colony and bore no relation to slavery; the referendum election was held on November 2, 2010, the people voted overwhelmingly to retain the entire original name. In 1636, Roger Williams was banished from the Massachusetts Bay Colony for his religious views, he settled at the top of Narragansett Bay on land sold or given to him by Narragansett sachem Canonicus, he named the site Providence Plantations, "having a sense of God's merciful providence unto me in my distress", it became a place of religious freedom where all were welcome.
In 1638, Anne Hutchinson, William Coddington, John Clarke, Philip Sherman, other religious dissenters settled on Aquidneck Island, purchased from the local tribes who called it Pocasset. This settlement was governed by the Portsmouth Compact; the southern part of the island became the separate settlement of Newport after disagreements among the founders. Samuel Gorton purchased lands at Shawomet in 1642 from the Narragansetts, precipitating a dispute with the Massachusetts Bay Colony. In 1644, Providence and Newport united for their common independence as the Colony of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, governed by an elected council and "president". Gorton received a separate charter for his settlement in 1648 which he named Warwick after his patron. Brown University was founded in 1764 as the College in the English Colony of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, it was one of nine Colonial colleges granted charters before the American Revolution, but was the first college in America to accept students regardless of religious affilia
A pollinator is an animal that moves pollen from the male anther of a flower to the female stigma of a flower. This helps to bring about fertilization of the ovules in the flower by the male gametes from the pollen grains. Insect pollinators include bees,. Vertebrates bats and birds, but some non-bat mammals and some lizards pollinate certain plants. Among the pollinating birds are hummingbirds and sunbirds with long beaks. Humans may carry out artificial pollination. A pollinator is different from a pollenizer, a plant, a source of pollen for the pollination process. Plants fall into pollination syndromes; these are characteristics such as: overall flower size, the depth and width of the corolla, the color, the scent, amount of nectar, composition of nectar, etc. For example, birds visit red flowers with long, narrow tubes and lots of nectar, but are not as attracted to wide flowers with little nectar and copious pollen, which are more attractive to beetles; when these characteristics are experimentally modified, pollinator visitation may decline.
It has been discovered that cycads, which are not flowering plants, are pollinated by insects. The most recognized pollinators are the various species of bees, which are plainly adapted to pollination. Bees are fuzzy and carry an electrostatic charge. Both features help pollen grains adhere to their bodies, but they have specialized pollen-carrying structures. Honey bees and their relatives do not have a scopa, but the hind leg is modified into a structure called the corbicula. Most bees gather nectar, a concentrated energy source, pollen, high protein food, to nurture their young, inadvertently transfer some among the flowers as they are working. Euglossine bees pollinate orchids, but these are male bees collecting floral scents rather than females gathering nectar or pollen. Female orchid bees act of flowers other than orchids. Eusocial bees such as honey bees need an steady pollen source to multiply. Honey bees travel from flower to flower, collecting nectar, pollen grains; the bee collects the pollen by rubbing against the anthers.
The pollen collects on the hind legs, in a structure referred to as a "pollen basket". As the bee flies from flower to flower, some of the pollen grains are transferred onto the stigma of other flowers. Nectar provides the energy for bee nutrition; when bees are rearing large quantities of brood, bees deliberately gather pollen to meet the nutritional needs of the brood. Good pollination management seeks to have bees in a "building" state during the bloom period of the crop, thus requiring them to gather pollen, making them more efficient pollinators. Thus, the management techniques of a beekeeper providing pollination services are different from, to some extent in tension with, those of a beekeeper, trying to produce honey. Millions of hives of honey bees are contracted out as pollinators by beekeepers, honey bees are by far the most important commercial pollinating agents, but many other kinds of pollinators, from blue bottle flies, to bumblebees, orchard mason bees, leaf cutter bees are cultured and sold for managed pollination.
Other species of bees differ in various details of their behavior and pollen-gathering habits, honey bees are not native to the Western Hemisphere. Many insects other than bees accomplish pollination by visiting flowers for nectar or pollen, or both. Many do so adventitiously, but the most important pollinators are specialists for at least parts of their lifecycles for at least certain functions. For example, males of many species of Hymenoptera, including many hunting wasps, rely on flowering plants as sources of energy and as territories for meeting fertile females that visit the flowers. Prominent examples are predatory wasps; the term "pollen wasps", in particular, is applied to the Masarinae, a subfamily of the Vespidae. Many bee flies, some Tabanidae and Nemestrinidae are adapted to pollinating fynbos and Karoo plants with narrow, deep corolla tubes, such as Lapeirousia species. Part of the adaptation takes the form of remarkably long probosces. Lepidoptera pollinate plants to various degrees.
They are not major pollinators of food crops, but various moths are important pollinators of other commercial crops such as tobacco. Pollination by certain moths may be important, however, or crucial, for some wildflowers mutually adapted to specialist pollinators. Spectacular examples include orchids such as Angraecum sesquipedale, dependant on a particular hawk moth, Morgan's sphinx. Yucca species provide other examples, bei
Natural selection is the differential survival and reproduction of individuals due to differences in phenotype. It is a key mechanism of evolution, the change in the heritable traits characteristic of a population over generations. Charles Darwin popularised the term "natural selection", contrasting it with artificial selection, which in his view is intentional, whereas natural selection is not. Variation exists within all populations of organisms; this occurs because random mutations arise in the genome of an individual organism, offspring can inherit such mutations. Throughout the lives of the individuals, their genomes interact with their environments to cause variations in traits; the environment of a genome includes the molecular biology in the cell, other cells, other individuals, species, as well as the abiotic environment. Because individuals with certain variants of the trait tend to survive and reproduce more than individuals with other, less successful variants, the population evolves.
Other factors affecting reproductive success include fecundity selection. Natural selection acts on the phenotype, the characteristics of the organism which interact with the environment, but the genetic basis of any phenotype that gives that phenotype a reproductive advantage may become more common in a population. Over time, this process can result in populations that specialise for particular ecological niches and may result in speciation. In other words, natural selection is a key process in the evolution of a population. Natural selection is a cornerstone of modern biology; the concept, published by Darwin and Alfred Russel Wallace in a joint presentation of papers in 1858, was elaborated in Darwin's influential 1859 book On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, or the Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life. He described natural selection as analogous to artificial selection, a process by which animals and plants with traits considered desirable by human breeders are systematically favoured for reproduction.
The concept of natural selection developed in the absence of a valid theory of heredity. The union of traditional Darwinian evolution with subsequent discoveries in classical genetics formed the modern synthesis of the mid-20th century; the addition of molecular genetics has led to evolutionary developmental biology, which explains evolution at the molecular level. While genotypes can change by random genetic drift, natural selection remains the primary explanation for adaptive evolution. Several philosophers of the classical era, including Empedocles and his intellectual successor, the Roman poet Lucretius, expressed the idea that nature produces a huge variety of creatures and that only those creatures that manage to provide for themselves and reproduce persist. Empedocles' idea that organisms arose by the incidental workings of causes such as heat and cold was criticised by Aristotle in Book II of Physics, he posited natural teleology in its place, believed that form was achieved for a purpose, citing the regularity of heredity in species as proof.
He accepted in his biology that new types of animals, can occur in rare instances. As quoted in Darwin's 1872 edition of The Origin of Species, Aristotle considered whether different forms might have appeared accidentally, but only the useful forms survived: So what hinders the different parts from having this accidental relation in nature? as the teeth, for example, grow by necessity, the front ones sharp, adapted for dividing, the grinders flat, serviceable for masticating the food. And in like manner as to the other parts in which there appears to exist an adaptation to an end. Wheresoever, all things together happened like as if they were made for the sake of something, these were preserved, having been appropriately constituted by an internal spontaneity, whatsoever things were not thus constituted and still perish, but Aristotle rejected this possibility in the next paragraph, making clear that he is talking about the development of animals as embryos with the phrase "either invariably or come about", not the origin of species:...
Yet it is impossible. For teeth and all other natural things either invariably or come about in a given way. We do not ascribe to chance or mere coincidence the frequency of rain in winter, but frequent rain in summer we do. If it is agreed that things are either the result of coincidence or for an end, these cannot be the result of coincidence or spontaneity, it follows that they must be for an end; therefore action for an end is present in things which are by nature. The struggle for existence was described by the Islamic writer Al-Jahiz in the 9th century; the classical arguments were reintroduced in the 18th century by Pierre Louis Maupertuis and others, including Darwin's grandfather, Erasmus Darwin. Until the early 19th century, the prevailing view in Western societies was that differences between individuals of a species were uninteresting departures from their Platonic i
Termites are eusocial insects that are classified at the taxonomic rank of infraorder Isoptera, or as epifamily Termitoidae within the cockroach order Blattodea. Termites were once classified in a separate order from cockroaches, but recent phylogenetic studies indicate that they evolved from close ancestors of cockroaches during the Jurassic or Triassic. However, the first termites emerged during the Permian or the Carboniferous. About 3,106 species are described, with a few hundred more left to be described. Although these insects are called "white ants", they are not ants. Like ants and some bees and wasps from the separate order Hymenoptera, termites divide labour among castes consisting of sterile male and female "workers" and "soldiers". All colonies have fertile males called "kings" and one or more fertile females called "queens". Termites feed on dead plant material and cellulose in the form of wood, leaf litter, soil, or animal dung. Termites are major detritivores in the subtropical and tropical regions, their recycling of wood and plant matter is of considerable ecological importance.
Termites are among the most successful groups of insects on Earth, colonising most landmasses except Antarctica. Their colonies range in size from a few hundred individuals to enormous societies with several million individuals. Termite queens have the longest lifespan of any insect in the world, with some queens living up to 30 to 50 years. Unlike ants, which undergo a complete metamorphosis, each individual termite goes through an incomplete metamorphosis that proceeds through egg and adult stages. Colonies are described as superorganisms because the termites form part of a self-regulating entity: the colony itself. Termites are a delicacy in the diet of some human cultures and are used in many traditional medicines. Several hundred species are economically significant as pests that can cause serious damage to buildings, crops, or plantation forests; some species, such as the West Indian drywood termite, are regarded as invasive species. The infraorder name Isoptera is derived from the Greek words iso and ptera, which refers to the nearly equal size of the fore and hind wings.
"Termite" derives from the Latin and Late Latin word termes, altered by the influence of Latin terere from the earlier word tarmes. Termite nests were known as terminarium or termitaria. In earlier English, termites were known as "wood ants" or "white ants"; the modern term was first used in 1781. Termites were placed in the order Isoptera; as early as 1934 suggestions were made that they were related to wood-eating cockroaches based on the similarity of their symbiotic gut flagellates. In the 1960s additional evidence supporting that hypothesis emerged when F. A. McKittrick noted similar morphological characteristics between some termites and Cryptocercus nymphs. In 2008 DNA analysis from 16S rRNA sequences supported the position of termites being nested within the evolutionary tree containing the order Blattodea, which included the cockroaches; the cockroach genus Cryptocercus shares the strongest phylogenetical similarity with termites and is considered to be a sister-group to termites. Termites and Cryptocercus share similar morphological and social features: for example, most cockroaches do not exhibit social characteristics, but Cryptocercus takes care of its young and exhibits other social behaviour such as trophallaxis and allogrooming.
Termites are thought to be the descendants of the genus Cryptocercus. Some researchers have suggested a more conservative measure of retaining the termites as the Termitoidae, an epifamily within the cockroach order, which preserves the classification of termites at family level and below. Termites have long been accepted to be related to cockroaches and mantids, they are classified in the same superorder; the oldest unambiguous termite fossils date to the early Cretaceous, but given the diversity of Cretaceous termites and early fossil records showing mutualism between microorganisms and these insects, they originated earlier in the Jurassic or Triassic. Further evidence of a Jurassic origin is the assumption that the extinct Fruitafossor consumed termites, judging from its morphological similarity to modern termite-eating mammals; the oldest termite nest discovered is believed to be from the Upper Cretaceous in West Texas, where the oldest known faecal pellets were discovered. Claims that termites emerged earlier have faced controversy.
For example, F. M. Weesner indicated that the Mastotermitidae termites may go back to the Late Permian, 251 million years ago, fossil wings that have a close resemblance to the wings of Mastotermes of the Mastotermitidae, the most primitive living termite, have been discovered in the Permian layers in Kansas, it is possible that the first termites emerged during the Carboniferous. The folded wings of the fossil wood roach Pycnoblattina, arranged in a convex pattern between segments 1a and 2a, resemble those seen in Mastotermes, the only living insect with the same pattern. Krishna et al. though, consider that all of the Paleozoic and Triassic insects tentatively classified as termites are in fact unrelated to termites and should be excluded from the Isoptera. The primitive giant northern termite exhibits numerous cockroach-like characteristics that are not shared with other termites, such as laying its eggs in rafts and having anal lobes on the wings. Cryptocercidae and Isoptera are united in the clade Xylophagidae.
Termites are sometimes called "white ants" but the only resemblance to the ants is due to their sociality, due to converg
Germination is the process by which an organism grows from a seed or similar structure. The most common example of germination is the sprouting of a seedling from a seed of an angiosperm or gymnosperm. In addition, the growth of a sporeling from a spore, such as the spores of hyphae from fungal spores, is germination. Thus, in a general sense, germination can be thought of as anything expanding into greater being from a small existence or germ. Most seeds do not need sunlight to germinate but some seeds such as sunflower seeds, mustard seeds and blosnian seeds need sunlight to germinate. Experiments were carried out to prove this. Germination is the growth of a plant contained within a seed; the seed of a vascular plant is a small package produced in a fruit or cone after the union of male and female reproductive cells. All developed seeds contain an embryo and, in most plant species some store of food reserves, wrapped in a seed coat; some plants produce varying numbers of seeds. Dormant seeds are ripe seeds that do not germinate because they are subject to external environmental conditions that prevent the initiation of metabolic processes and cell growth.
Under proper conditions, the seed begins to germinate and the embryonic tissues resume growth, developing towards a seedling. Seed germination depends on both external conditions; the most important external factors include right temperature, oxygen or air and sometimes light or darkness. Various plants require different variables for successful seed germination; this depends on the individual seed variety and is linked to the ecological conditions of a plant's natural habitat. For some seeds, their future germination response is affected by environmental conditions during seed formation. Water is required for germination. Mature seeds are extremely dry and need to take in significant amounts of water, relative to the dry weight of the seed, before cellular metabolism and growth can resume. Most seeds need enough water to moisten the seeds but not enough to soak them; the uptake of water by seeds is called imbibition, which leads to the swelling and the breaking of the seed coat. When seeds are formed, most plants store a food reserve with the seed, such as starch, proteins, or oils.
This food reserve provides nourishment to the growing embryo. When the seed imbibes water, hydrolytic enzymes are activated which break down these stored food resources into metabolically useful chemicals. After the seedling emerges from the seed coat and starts growing roots and leaves, the seedling's food reserves are exhausted. Oxygen is required by the germinating seed for metabolism. Oxygen is used in aerobic respiration, the main source of the seedling's energy until it grows leaves. Oxygen is an atmospheric gas, found in soil pore spaces; some seeds have impermeable seed coats that prevent oxygen from entering the seed, causing a type of physical dormancy, broken when the seed coat is worn away enough to allow gas exchange and water uptake from the environment. Temperature affects cellular growth rates. Seeds from different species and seeds from the same plant germinate over a wide range of temperatures. Seeds have a temperature range within which they will germinate, they will not do so above or below this range.
Many seeds germinate at temperatures above 60-75 F, while others germinate just above freezing and others germinate only in response to alternations in temperature between warm and cool. Some seeds germinate when the soil is cool 28-40 F, some when the soil is warm 76-90 F; some seeds require exposure to cold temperatures to break dormancy. Some seeds in a dormant state will not germinate if conditions are favorable. Seeds that are dependent on temperature to end dormancy have a type of physiological dormancy. For example, seeds requiring the cold of winter are inhibited from germinating until they take in water in the fall and experience cooler temperatures. Cold stratification is a process that induces the dormancy breaking prior to light emission that promotes germination. Four degrees Celsius is cool enough to end dormancy for most cool dormant seeds, but some groups within the family Ranunculaceae and others, need conditions cooler than -5 C; some seeds will only germinate after hot temperatures during a forest fire which cracks their seed coats.
Most common annual vegetables have optimal germination temperatures between 75-90 F, though many species can germinate at lower temperatures, as low as 40 F, thus allowing them to be grown from seeds in cooler climates. Suboptimal temperatures lead to longer germination periods. Light or darkness can be an environmental trigger for germination and is a type of physiological dormancy. Most seeds are not affected by light or darkness, but many seeds, including species found in forest settings, will not germinate until an opening in the canopy allows sufficient light for growth of the seedling. Scarification mimics natural processes that weaken the seed coat before ger
The intertidal zone known as the foreshore and seashore and sometimes referred to as the littoral zone, is the area, above water at low tide and underwater at high tide. This area can include many different types of habitats, with many types of animals, such as starfish, sea urchins, numerous species of coral; the well-known area includes steep rocky cliffs, sandy beaches, or wetlands. The area can be a narrow strip, as in Pacific islands that have only a narrow tidal range, or can include many meters of shoreline where shallow beach slopes interact with high tidal excursion. Peritidal zone is similar but a somewhat wider zone, extending from above the highest tide level to below that of the lowest tide level. Organisms in the intertidal zone are adapted to an environment of harsh extremes; the intertidal zone is home to many several species from different taxa including Porifera, Coelenterates, crustaceans, etc. Water is available with the tides but varies from fresh with rain to saline and dry salt with drying between tidal inundations.
Wave splash can dislodge residents from the littoral zone. With the intertidal zone's high exposure to the sun, the temperature range can be anything from hot with full sun to near freezing in colder climates; some microclimates in the littoral zone are ameliorated by local features and larger plants such as mangroves. Adaptation in the littoral zone allows the use of nutrients supplied in high volume on a regular basis from the sea, moved to the zone by tides. Edges of habitats, in this case land and sea, are themselves significant ecologies, the littoral zone is a prime example. A typical rocky shore can be divided into a spray zone or splash zone, above the spring high-tide line and is covered by water only during storms, an intertidal zone, which lies between the high and low tidal extremes. Along most shores, the intertidal zone can be separated into the following subzones: high tide zone, middle tide zone, low tide zone; the intertidal zone is one of a number of marine biomes or habitats, including estuaries, neritic and deep zones.
Marine biologists divide the intertidal region into three zones, based on the overall average exposure of the zone. The low intertidal zone, which borders on the shallow subtidal zone, is only exposed to air at the lowest of low tides and is marine in character; the mid intertidal zone is exposed and submerged by average tides. The high intertidal zone is only covered by the highest of the high tides, spends much of its time as terrestrial habitat; the high intertidal zone borders on the splash zone. On shores exposed to heavy wave action, the intertidal zone will be influenced by waves, as the spray from breaking waves will extend the intertidal zone. Depending on the substratum and topography of the shore, additional features may be noticed. On rocky shores, tide pools form in depressions. Under certain conditions, such as those at Morecambe Bay, quicksand may form; this subregion is submerged - it is only exposed at the point of low tide and for a longer period of time during low tides. This area is teeming with life.
There is a great biodiversity. Organisms in this zone are not well adapted to periods of dryness and temperature extremes; some of the organisms in this area are abalone, sea anemones, brown seaweed, crabs, green algae, isopods, mussels, sculpin, sea cucumber, sea lettuce, sea palms, sea urchins, snails, surf grass, tube worms, whelks. Creatures in this area can grow to larger sizes because there is more available energy in the localized ecosystem. Marine vegetation can grow to much greater sizes than in the other three intertidal subregions due to the better water coverage; the water is shallow enough to allow plenty of light to reach the vegetation to allow substantial photosynthetic activity, the salinity is at normal levels. This area is protected from large predators such as fish because of the wave action and the shallow water; the intertidal region is an important model system for the study of ecology on wave-swept rocky shores. The region contains a high diversity of species, the zonation created by the tides causes species ranges to be compressed into narrow bands.
This makes it simple to study species across their entire cross-shore range, something that can be difficult in, for instance, terrestrial habitats that can stretch thousands of kilometres. Communities on wave-swept shores have high turnover due to disturbance, so it is possible to watch ecological succession over years rather than decades; the burrowing invertebrates that make up large portions of sandy beach ecosystems are known to travel great distances in cross-shore directions as beaches change on the order of days, semilunar cycles, seasons, or years. The distribution of some species has been found to correlate with geomorphic datums such as the high tide strand and the water table outcrop. Since the foreshore is alternately covered by the sea and exposed to the air, organisms living in this environment must have adaptions for both wet and dry conditions. Hazards include being smashed or carried away by rough waves, exposure to dangerously high temperatures, desiccation. Typical inhabit
Gulf of Maine
The Gulf of Maine is a large gulf of the Atlantic Ocean on the east coast of North America. It is bounded by Cape Cod at the eastern tip of Massachusetts in the southwest and by Cape Sable Island at the southern tip of Nova Scotia in the northeast; the gulf includes the entire coastlines of the U. S. states of New Hampshire and Maine, as well as Massachusetts north of Cape Cod, the southern and western coastlines of the Canadian provinces of New Brunswick and Nova Scotia, respectively. The gulf was named for the adjoining English colonial Province of Maine, in turn named by early explorers after the Province of Maine in France. Massachusetts Bay, Penobscot Bay, Passamaquoddy Bay, the Bay of Fundy are included within the Gulf of Maine system; the Gulf of Maine is a rectangular depression with a surface area of around 36,000 square miles, enclosed to the west and north by the North American mainland and communicating with the Atlantic Ocean to the southeast. The region's glaciation by the Laurentide Ice Sheet stripped sedimentary soil away from the coastline, leaving a shore, predominantly rocky and scenic, lacking the sandy beaches found to the south along the Eastern Seaboard.
The only significant coastal developments are located in the Boston, Portsmouth and Saint John metropolitan areas. The underwater features of the seabed sculptured during the lower sea levels of the ice ages make the gulf a semi-enclosed sea bounded to the south and east by underwater banks. Georges Bank in particular, on its southern end, shelters the gulf from the Gulf Stream. Gulf of Maine waters are more influenced by the Labrador Current, making the gulf waters colder and more nutrient-rich than those found to the south. Undersea valleys in the central basin can reach depths of 1,500 feet while undersea mountains rise up 800 feet from the sea floor reaching the surface in some locations, or exceeding it, creating islands. There are three major basins contained within the Gulf of Maine: Wilkinson Basin to the west, Jordan Basin in the northeast, Georges Basin in the south, which are isolated from each other beneath the 650 foot isobath. Georges Basin, just north of Georges Bank, is the deepest of the three at just over 1200 feet and generates a pocket at the end of the Northeast Channel, a deep fissure between Georges Bank and Browns Bank, the southwestern edge of the Nova Scotian Shelf.
The Northeast Channel is the rest of the Northwest Atlantic. A secondary, shallower connection to the rest of the Atlantic is the Great South Channel, located between Georges Bank and the Nantucket Shoals; the cold waters, extreme tidal mixing, diverse bottom of the Gulf make it one of the most productive marine environments in the North Atlantic, it furnishes habitat for many diverse species including most notably haddock, the Acadian redfish, the Atlantic herring and the American lobster, which grows to famously large sizes in the Gulf. The waters of the Gulf of Maine system at the boundary with the Bay of Fundy are home to the summering grounds for many different bird and whale species, most notably the endangered North Atlantic right whale; the gulf was home to the sea mink until its extinction in the late 1800s. Due to rapid warming of the Gulf of Maine, the water has become too hot for cod. This, along with past overfishing, has helped pushed stocks towards collapse and hampered its recovery despite deep reductions in the number of fish caught, according to a study conducted by the Gulf of Maine Research Institute.
Traditional calculations "consistently over-estimated the abundance of cod." From 2004, temperatures rose by more than 0.4 °F per year, culminating in an ocean heat wave in the northwest Atlantic in 2012-13. The watershed of the gulf encompasses an area of 69,000 sq mi, including all of Maine, 70% of New Hampshire, 56% of New Brunswick, 41% of Massachusetts, 36% of Nova Scotia; the watershed includes a small southern portion of the Canadian province of Quebec. Significant rivers that drain into the Gulf include, from east to west, the Annapolis, Salmon, Saint John, Magaguadavic, St. Croix, Kennebec, Piscataqua and Charles rivers; the gulf's relative proximity to Europe made it an early destination for European colonization. French settlers founded a settlement on St. Croix Island in 1604. English settlers founded the Popham Colony on an island in the Kennebec River in 1607, the same year as the Jamestown settlement, followed by the Plymouth Colony on the shores of Massachusetts Bay in 1620. In the 1960s and 1970s there was a dispute between Canada and the United States over fishing and other resource rights in the Gulf of Maine the Georges Bank region.
This dispute was taken to the International Court of Justice, which delineated a maritime boundary through the Gulf in 1984. Canada and the U. S. continue to disagree on the sovereignty of Machias Seal Island and the waters surrounding it in the northeastern part of the gulf. In recognition of the Gulf's importance to marine habitat, both nations maintain complementary embargoes against offshore oil and gas exploration activities on Georges Bank in the southern part of the gulf. British colonization of the Americas French colonization of the Americas Gulf of Maine Research Institute Gulf of Maine Research Institute Gulf of Maine Council on the Marine Environment