Marine Ecosystems

Chapter 7 Section 2
 Estuary – an area in which fresh water from a river
mixes with salt water from the ocean
 Nutrients and minerals fall to the bottom
 Estuaries act as a “nutrient trap”
 When the two waters meet the difference in
temperatures create currents and this cause the
nutrients and minerals to fall to the bottom
 Protected from ocean waves by the surrounding land
This estuary is the
Salmon River
estuary in
Klamath River
estuary which is
also found in
Estuaries - Animals
 Right here in our own
Delaware Bay something
happens one week every
 Horseshoe crabs crawl
out of the ocean to the
shallows of the estuary
the bay creates (or the
estuary created?)
Estuaries - Animals
 Horseshoe crabs come to
mate and lay eggs
 Migrating shore birds
depend on these eggs for
Estuaries - Animals
Red Knot
Estuaries - Animals
 Red Knots are one of the
most common birds that
feed on the eggs
Estuaries - Animals
 The Red Knot is
currently listed as a
“threatened” species
Chapter 7 Section 2
Marine Ecosystems
 Are identified by the presence of salt water
Salt marshes
 Develop in estuaries
 Because mineral-rich
mud is deposited here
 Act as a nursery which
many species find
protection when they are
 When they mature they
migrate to the sea
Mangrove swamps
 Swamps located around
coastal areas of tropical
 Mangrove trees
dominate these swamps
 Are salt-tolerant
 Protect the coastline
from erosion and storms
 Are breeding and
feeding grounds
 More plants and
animals than sandy
 Rocks anchor seaweed,
sea anemones, muscles,
sponges, etc.
Shores cont.
2. Sandy
 Dry out when tide goes
in stranding plankton
 Tiny organisms eat the
plankton which are then
in turn eaten by birds
Shores cont.
 Barrier islands
 Act as barriers that
protect the mainland
and coastal wetlands
 Typically run parallel to
the shore
Coral Reefs
 Limestone ridges built by
tiny animals called coral
 The coral is the polyps’
“skeleton” it secretes
 The coral relies on
photosynthetic algae
 Must be in warm, clear, salt
 Therefore they are only
found in shallow, tropical
 Reefs are among the most
diverse ecosystems in the
 Sunlight that is usable for
plants only penetrates 330
ft into the ocean
 Most life concentrated in
shallow coastal areas
 In the open ocean,
plankton are the most
prevalent form of life
Computer Lab
 On a sheet of paper I need by the end of class:
 The name of a:
Salt marsh
Mangrove swamp
Sandy shore
Coral reef
Rocky shore (just the name and location of one)
 The location of it
 And three facts or bits of information on the following
 USE bullet points
It should look like
 Salt Marsh
 Name: Salty Pete’s Bog
 Location: Sand Iago, North Carolina
Highest concentration of salt in any body of water
2. Smallest marsh in the world
3. Is foggy every day of the year except for Memorial Day
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