Aquatic Ecosystems

Aquatic Ecosystems

AQUATIC ECOSYSTEMS Determined by the salinity of water 2 types: Freshwater & Marine CHARACTERISTICS

TEMPERATURE

SUNLIGHT OXYGEN NUTRIENTS Determines which organisms live

where Three types of organisms based on location & adaptations Plankton Phytonplankton

zooplankton Nekton Benthos Plankton microscopic drifters

Nekton free-swimming Benthos bottom dwelling FRESH WATER

LAKES, PONDS, RIVERS, STREAMS, & WETLANDS Littoral zone = nutrient rich, near shore diverse & abundant life. Plants rooted here with leaves that float or extend above water Open water = no rooted plants. Phytoplankton

Benthic zone = bottom. Decomposers , may be little light How nutrients affect lakes Eutrophication= an increase in the amount of

nutrients in an aquatic ecosystem. Plants & algae grow Bacteria feeding on decaying plants grow Bacteria use oxygen in water

Reduced oxygen levels kills fish Run-off increase nutrients Freshwater Wetlands Swamps woody

plants Poorly drained land, near streams Marshes nonwoody plants (cattails,

grasses) Little water movement Function of Wetlands Trap & filter sediments, nutrients,

pollutants Reduce flooding Buffer shoreline against erosion Spawning grounds & habitat for fish & shellfish Provide habitat for rare, threatened,

endangered species Recreation Human Impact Considered wasteland & breeders of disease carrying insects. Drained,

cleared & developed. Now we recognize importance as water purifiers & flood prevention. Rivers Headwaters origin may be

snowmelt or rain Full of oxygen, runs swiftly through shallow riverbed Becomes wider, warmer, slower, contains more vegetation & less oxygen

Communities & industries affect health of rivers. MARINE ECOSYSTEMS Coastal Wetlands 6% of land surface covered by wetland

Land covered by saltwater for all or part time Provide habitat & nesting areas for fish & wildlife Absorb excess rain to prevent flooding, filters pollutants & sediments, &

provides recreation Prevents coastal erosion Estuaries An area where fresh water from a river mixes with salt water

Becomes a nutrient trap- are very productive because receives constant supply of nutrients Support many marine organisms due to large supply of light for photosynthesis & nutrients

Provide protected harbors & access to rivers Threats to Estuaries Used as solid waste landfills Used as building sites

Traps run-off from land and industry OCEANS

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