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Estuary Biome

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Claire Halloran

on 12 September 2012

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Transcript of Estuary Biome

Ashe Island, North Carolina Estuary 34°28’N 77°27W Estuaries can also be found along the Eastern Seaboard of the US, throughout Mexico, in parts of the Caribbean, northern South America, mid- and southern Africa, southern Asia, and Northern Australia. Rainfall Abiotic Factors Temperature Salt Concentration Tides Biome When tides are low during the day creatures must hide to protect themselves from preditors. Many preditors are active during this time because food is easier to get to. Many animals become active at night when the high tide offers protection from preditors. Plants and animals that inhabit estuaries are adapted to live in saltly water, so the salt concentration of the water limits the types of plants and animals that can inhabit the estuary. If the salt concentration in an estuary becomes too high, it can be fatal for the species living there. Dissolved Oxygen Concentration Dissolved oxygen is needed by fish and marine heterotrophs for survival. If the concentration of dissolved oxygen in the water becomes too low, these species will begin to die out. Rainfall affects the growth of plants outside of the water in the estuary. The amount of rainfall can also affect the current of the river that flows into an estuary, affecting whether marine plants can grow without drifting away. Estuary Food Chains Sun Sea Grass Detritus Oyster Drill Oystercatchers Sun Phytoplankton Zoo plankton Snapping Prawns Mud Crab Sun Mangrove
Detritus Mud Crab Snapper Fish Snooks The air and water temperatures dictate which animals can survive in an estuary biome. If temperatures become too extreme, they can threaten estuary inhabitants' homeostasis and even cause them to die. Warmer weather often coincides with increased sunlight, which is vital to the many plant species found in estuaries. Biotic Factors Bacteria Algae Mangrove Humans Migratory Birds The various species of algae are the main producers of the estuary. Almost every species depends, either directly or indirectly, on the sustainability of algae so that they can consume the necessary amount of food. However, a large increase in the algal population or an algal bloom, causes an increase in the detritus that bacteria consume, spawning a dramatic increase in the bacteria population. Certain species of bacteria found in estuaries require a high amount of oxygen, which they obtain from the dissolved oxygen in the water. If these species become too abundant, they will use too large a portion of the dissolved oxygen in the water, causing other species to die out. Various species of fish lay their eggs in the mangrove tree and a few even live amongst its roots. Mangrove trees also trap soil in their roots, allowing other plants to live in areas covered with low levels of water. Estuaries are popular places for people to build homes. However, the expansion of real estate causes competition for space within estuaries. This has caused the population many species that inhabit estuaries to dwindle. Many migratory birds stop at estuaries along their migration paths. They eat fish, crabs, worms and other invertebrates during their stay, which helps reduce direct competition in the estuary by controlling these populations.
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