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Aquatic Ecosystems

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Amanda Hoover

on 16 February 2012

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Transcript of Aquatic Ecosystems

Characteristics of Aquatic Biomes salinity: amount of dissolved salts sluggish or moving water temperature, sunlight, oxygen, and nutrients determine what organisms live in which areas of the ecosytem 3 groups of organisms -
differ in location and adaptation PLANKTON float near surface of water phytoplankton - autotrophic - produces food for themselves and other organisms zooplankton - OMNIVOROUS - consumes phytoplankton and other zooplankton microscopic - cannot usually be seen without a microscope NEKTON free-swimming organisms turtles fish whales do not actively move - float along with current can move independently of the water current BENTHOS bottom-dwelling mussels barnacles often live attached to solid surface coral oysters anemones crayfish clams determines organisms that can survive in that ecosystem freshwater ecosystems: salt water ecosystems: lakes
freshwater wetlands
rivers coastal wetlands
salt marshes
mangrove swamps
rocky & sandy shores
coral reefs
oceans Freshwater Biomes Lakes & Ponds natural or man-made humans create lakes for energy, irrigation, storage, and recreation Zones Eutrophication Littoral Benthic nutrient-rich abundant and diverse life Plants some are rooted underwater, and have leaves & stems above the water - or floating leaves underwater plants utilize sunlight to perform photosynthesis bottom of pond or lake bacteria decompose dead plants & animals inhabited by bacteria, larvae, clams, etc. remember algal bloom??
same idea. large plant growth due to high nutrient availability nutrients may be from runoff - precipitation that carries sewage, fertilizer, or manure eventually the plant & algae growth chokes underwater of oxygen, killing other organisms Freshwater Wetlands filter or sponge of the ecosystem areas of land covered with freshwater for long periods of time Marshes non-woody plants Swamps woody plants absorbs and removes pollutants - improve water quality Rivers many originate from snow melt in the mountains headwaters: cold, full of oxygen, runs swiftly, shallow riverbed downstream: broad, warmer, slower, less oxygen changes with land & climate Marine Biomes Coastal Wetlands land areas covered by salt water for long periods of time provide habitat for wildlife & recreation areas absorb excess rain, decrease flooding, filter pollutants and sediment Estuaries fresh water from a river mixes with salt water from an ocean currents meet and cause minerals & nutrients to fall; called a "nutrient trap" productive ecosystems because they receive fresh nutrients from river and ocean surrounding mainland or penninsula protect them from harsh ocean waves plentiful light & nutrients allow estuaries to support many diverse organisms animals & plants adapted to varying salinity threatened by waste dumping, pollution, and development Salt Marshes develop in 'nutrient traps' of estuaries clams fish birds shrimp absorbs pollutants protects inland areas mineral-rich Mangrove Swamps located along tropical & subtropical coasts mangrove trees dominate the area trees grow partially submerged, partially above water warm, shallow salt water protect coastline from erosion, reduce damage & impact of storms breeding & feeding ground for animals kleptoplasty sea slugs retain chloroplats from algae and can photosynthesize Rocky & Sandy Shores Rocky shores have more plants & animals than sandy shores rocks provide anchorages for seaweed anemones mussels sponges shorebirds sandy shores dry when tide goes out plankton & other small animals stuck on beach; food for birds seaweed Coral Reefs limestone ridges of tiny coral animals coral polyps secrete skeletons of limestone - these accumulate to form reefs only live in clear & warm salt water with light for photosynthesis shallow, tropical seas only outer layer is alive predator, but doesn't chase prey use stinging tentacles to capture zooplankton reefs form habitats for variety of other animals productive but fragile coral may die if water is too hot, too cold, salinity is too low, too much algae, overfishing, shipwrecks......... Oceans much ocean life concentrated in shallow coastal waters sunlight only penetrates ~330 feet open ocean = least productive ecosystem Aquatic Biomes deep ocean animals depend on food that drifts down - usually decaying organisms threatened by: pollution - runoff - sewage discharge - fishing lines & nets - etc.
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