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Marine Biome: Estuaries
Transcript of Marine Biome: Estuaries
Estuary By Lisa Illgen Biome Distribution Climate Factors Threats to Estuaries Food Web Species Interesting Facts Citations One way humans threaten estuaries is through the way they destroy them for development for housing and industrial purposes. It is estimated that 215 million acres of estuarine habitat has been lost this way worldwide. Human activities Soil Erosion Dammed Rivers/Use of Water for Irrigation or Industry Estuaries are threatened by soil erosion because soil eroded from badly farmed or overgrazed lands washes into estuaries after heavy rains. This excessive silt load has the effect of filling up the estuary and, in some cases, resulting in the estuary mouth closing. Silt smothers animals and reduces light penetration so that plants are unable to grow, except in very shallow water. They are also threatened by dammed rivers and the use of water for irrigation or industry because it can lead to freshwater starvation of an estuary. It upsets the ratio of freshwater to seawater in the estuary which, in turn, affects the plants and animals living there. Includes:
microflora (like algae) and macroflora (like seaweeds, marsh grasses, mangrove trees, eelgrass and smooth cordgrass) a variety of worms, oysters, crabs, waterfowl, fish, lobsters, marine mammals, marine worms, fiddler crabs, mud snails, ribbed mussels, seals, zooplankton, phytoplankton, predatory fish, clams, birds, jelly fish, reef fish, turtles and crocodiles temporary residents: flounder, eels, striped bass, sticklebacks, silversides, and mummichogs The smooth cordgrass (Spartina alterniflora) has adapted to estuary life by having special filters on its roots to remove salts from the water it absorbs. It also expels excess salt through its leaves. Mangrove trees have adapted in many ways to live in estuaries, For instance, some species remove salt from brackish estuarine waters through ultra-filtration in their roots, while others have special glands on their leaves that secrete salt. Because the soil in shallow areas of mangal forests is typically flooded during high tides, many of them have aerial roots (pneumatophores) that take up oxygen from the air for the roots. Some species also have prop roots (stilt roots extending from the trunk or other roots that help them withstand the destructive action of tides, waves, and storm surges). Additionally, instead of forming seeds that fall to the soil below and begin growing, mangrove seeds begin growing while still attached to the parent plant. These seedlings, called propagules, even grow roots. After a period of growth, these seedlings drop to the water below and float upright until they reach water that is shallow enough for their roots to take hold in the mud. Eelgrass has adapted to estuaries in many ways. For instance, like other sea grasses, eelgrass has salt glands on its leaves to remove sodium and chlorine ions from its cells. Also, the roots of eelgrass may become so thick that they tightly bind sediments to the extent that they can withstand severe storms with little erosion. In addition, the leaves of eelgrass slow down currents, allowing the water to deposit sediment loads. To adapt to living in an estuary, oysters, during low tides when they are exposed to low-salinity water, close up their shells and stop feeding. Isolated in their shells, they switch from aerobic respiration (breathing oxygen through their gills) to anaerobic respiration, which doesn't require oxygen. However, hours later, when the high tides return and the salinity and oxygen levels in the water are much higher, the oysters open their shells and return to feeding and breathing oxygen. Blue crabs have adapted different parts of their life to estuary living. To illustrate, adult male blue crabs live in the low-salinity waters upstream, while adult female crabs live in the higher-salinity waters near the mouth of the estuary. During the crabs' mating season, the high-salinity preference of the female overlaps with the lower-salinity preference of the male. After mating, female crabs migrate offshore to incubate their eggs. The females release their larvae during spring high tides. They develop in the coastal waters. Winds and coastal currents keep the larvae near the ocean shore, until they return to the estuary as young crabs. When they return and take up life on the bottom of the estuary, they seek out shallow-water habitats to feed and gain protection from predators. To adapt to living in an estuary, the fiddler crab breathes air and lives in a burrow in the mud. The crab enters the burrow and plugs the entrance with mud as the tide rises. This traps air in the burrow, allowing the crab to breathe during high tide. phytoplankton
trophic level 1 shrimp
primary consumer trophic level 2 salmon
trophic level 3 great blue heron
trophic level 4 freshwater mullosc
P.C. and TL2 small fish
S.C. and TL3 zooplankton
P.C. and TL2 mussels
P.C. and TL2 crab
S.C. and TL3 seal
T.C. and TL4 The higher salinity of an estuary helps protect some young creatures from predators. Humans rely on estuaries for food, recreation, commerce and jobs; most of the large cities in the world are located on them. Estuaries and coastal waters provide essential habitat for over 75 percent of the commercial fish catch and 80-90% of the recreational catch of fish. Estuaries are so productive because the water brings in nutrients from the watershed upstream, which support plant and animal growth in the estuary. There are 102 estuaries in the U.S., according to the EPA. Of these, 28 have been designated by their states and the federal government to be of national importance. Estuaries help protect shorelines from flooding and erosion. Estuaries are found anywhere where the ocean meets a freshwater river or stream.
Specific places include British Columbia, Alaska, Scandinavia, along the United States coasts (southern Florida coast, Pacific Coast, Gulf of Mexico), and New England. "The Marine Biome." UCMP. N.p.. Web. 31 Oct 2012. <http://www.ucmp.berkeley.edu/exhibits/biomes/marine.php "Estuaries." Biomes of the World. N.p.. Web. 31 Oct 2012. <http://www.thewildclassroom.com/biomes/estuaries.html>. "Estuaries." . N.p.. Web. 1 Nov 2012. <http://core.ecu.edu/geology/woods/estuariesI.htm>. "Top 10 Estuary Facts." Restore America's Estuaries. N.p.. Web. 1 Nov 2012. <http://www.estuaries.org/top-10-estuary-facts.html>. "Estauries." Envirofacts. N.p.. Web. 1 Nov 2012. <http://deltaenviro.org.za/resources/envirofacts/estuaries.html>. "Estuaries Adaptations." NOAA National Ocean Service Education. N.p.. Web. 3 Nov 2012. <http://oceanservice.noaa.gov/education/kits/estuaries/estuaries07_adaptations.html>. "Adapting to Estuaries." . New York Government. Web. 3 Nov 2012. <http://www.dec.ny.gov/docs/remediation_hudson_pdf/hrlpadapt2es.pdf>. "Material for Estuaries." . N.p.. Web. 3 Nov 2012. <http://conservation.ky.gov/2011 Envirothon Registration Materials/Study Material for Estuaries.pdf>. Fairy Shrimp. N.d. n.p. Web. 3 Nov 2012. <http://islandwood.org/kids/stream_health/Images/fairy_shrimp.jpg>. Chinook Salmon. N.d. n.p. Web. 3 Nov 2012 <http://fish.dnr.cornell.edu/nyfish/Salmonidae/chinook_salmon.jpg>.
Great Blue Heron. N.d. n.p. Web. 3 Nov 2012 <http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_ZaAtUy028z4/S8OfHmaYDnI/AAAAAAAAANg/-cl1R6gW7RI/s1600/great-blue-heron-797050.jpg>.
Zebra mullosc. N.d. n.p. Web. 3 Nov 2012 <http://www.tulane.edu/~mrbc/2001/MRB%20Project/mo_zebra.jpg>. Estuaries do not have specific climate regions; they are found in both temperate and tropical regions. Types of Estuaries
Coastal Plain - low-lying coasts with drowned river systems, like Chesapeake and Delaware Bays. Georgia, South Carolina and Ireland.
Fjord - glaciated valleys that are U-shaped with steep walls, like Scandinavia, Canada and New Zealand
Bar-built - shallow estuaries separated from the open ocean by bars composed of sand deposited parallel to the coast by wave action. Lagoons separating barrier islands form the mainland are bar-built estuaries, like Laguna Madre, Texas, Mobile Bay, Alabama and Pamlico-Albemarle Sound, which is a combination of a bar-built estuary and a coastal plain estuary.
Tectonic - produced by faulting or folding which causes a restricted down-dropped area into which rivers flow, like San Francisco Bay and the Juan de Fuca Strait. For example:
San Francisco Bay Estuary (US)
Temperature Range: 46°-73° F
Morecambe Bay Estuary (UK)
Temperature Range: 43°-55° F Estuaries have very great ranges in temperature on a yearly (or daily) basis because of the shallow water. In fact, in high altitudes, sea ice forms in many estuaries in high latitudes. Seasonal changes in temperature can be most easily detected in the coastal regions of the mid-latitudes because surface temperatures are at a minimum in winter and reach maximum values in late summer. In areas where mixing does not occur, strong thermoclines may develop. Very high-temperature surface water may form a relatively thin layer because mixing reduces the surface temperature by distributing the sun's heat through a greater vertical column of water, pushing the thermocline deeper. Both tidal currents and prevailing winds can have a significant effect on surface temperatures because they have closer contact with the surface than the deeper parts of the estaury. Stenstrom, J. 2009. "Estuaries Biome" (OnLine) UntamedScience. Accessed Nov 01, 2012 at http://www.untamedscience.com/biology/world-biomes/estuaries-biome Judith S. Weis (Lead Author);J. Emmett Duffy (Topic Editor) "Estuary". In: Encyclopedia of Earth. Eds. Cutler J. Cleveland (Washington, D.C.: Environmental Information Coalition, National Council for Science and the Environment). [First published in the Encyclopedia of Earth May 20, 2008; Last revised Date March 29, 2011; Retrieved October 31, 2012 <http://www.eoearth.org/article/Estuary> "Ecology and Nature Conservation." . N.p.. Web. 6 Nov 2012. <http://www.halite-energy.co.uk/images/documentdec2011/5.0 Environmental Statement/5.2 Environmental Statement Vol 1B/5.2. ES Vol 1B (Binder 3) - Appendix 9.17 Ecology and Nature Conservation Statutory Designated Site Citations.pdf>.
"San Francisco Bay." . Wikipedia. Web. 6 Nov 2012. <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/San_Francisco_Bay>. Aquatic Biomes. N.d. n.p. Web. 6 Nov 2012. <http://bio1152.nicerweb.net/doc/class/bio1152/Locked/media/ch50/50_15AquaticBiomes.jpg>. Estuaries are shown by the yellow symbol.