Aquatic Ecosystems

Aquatic Ecosystems
Freshwater Ecosystems – ponds, lakes, wetlands, rivers, streams,
Ponds and lakes
o Surrounded by land
o Organisms you find near the shore are algae, cattails, water
lilies, snails, insects, frogs, turtles and fish.
o Organisms you find in deeper, cooler parts – large fish such
as catfish, carp, bass
o snails - decomposers
Wetland – an area of land such as a marsh or swamp that is flooded
with water at least part of the year
o A wetland that is usually partly covered in water and is full of
woody plants (shrubs and trees).
o Often near rivers or streams. These rivers and streams
sometimes flood, and the water from the flood carries
nutrients to the swamp.
Saltwater Ecosystems (marine ecosystems) – located mostly in
coastal areas and in the open ocean - estuaries, salt marsh,
mangrove swamp, coral reef
Estuaries – an area in which fresh water from a river mixes with salt
water from the ocean. Other names: bay, sound, lagoon, harbor
o Water is brackish - mixture of freshwater and saltwater
o Very nutrient rich ecosystem – great place for plants to grow
o Estuaries help purify water, control floods from upstream,
and buffer land from hurricanes
o Located on the coast
o Organisms that live in estuaries are shrimp, crabs, clams,
reeds, grasses and turtles
Salt Marshes – a low area that is subject to regular, but gentle tides.
o Very grassy; no trees
o Located on the coast
Mangrove Swamps – coastal wetlands that have salt-tolerant trees
and shrubs such as mangrove trees
Coral reefs –
o Built by animals called corals.
o When corals die, they leave behind their shells. Over
time, the leftover shells form a reef.
o Found In shallow parts of the ocean that are very warm
and receive plenty of sunlight.
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