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Aquatic Ecology

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Title: Aquatic Ecology


1
Aquatic Ecology
2
  • Saltwater (Marine) Ecosystems
  • Ocean
  • estuaries coastal wetlands
  • barrier islands
  • coral reefs
  • mangroves
  • Freshwater Ecosystems
  • lakes
  • rivers streams
  • wetlands

3
NATURAL CAPITAL
Marine Ecosystems
Economic Services
Ecological Services
Climate moderation
Food
CO2 absorption
Animal and pet feed
Nutrient cycling
Pharmaceuticals
Waste treatment
Harbors and transportation routes
Reduced storm impact (mangroves, barrier islands,
coastal wetlands)
Coastal habitats for humans
Recreation
Habitats and nursery areas
Employment
Oil and natural gas
Genetic resources and biodiversity
Minerals
Scientific information
Building materials
4
Factors Affecting Aquatic Ecosystems
  • Light (solar radiation)decreases with depth
    because of absorption by water, suspended
    materials, phytoplankton essential for
    photosynthesis
  • Turbidity (cloudiness) effects light
  • Temperaturedecreases with depth because of
    decreasing energy input from sun affects
    dissolved gases, rates of chemical reactions,
    where organisms can live

5
Factors Affecting Aquatic Ecosystems Cont.
  • Dissolved oxygen- factors that affect DO
  • Temperature less dissolved gasses at warmer
    temperatures.
  • Rate of production through photosynthesis
  • Rate of consumption through cellular respiration
  • Pressure
  • Nutrient availability most limiting
    macronutrients are phosphorus (P) nitrogen (N)
    limiting micronutrients include iron (Fe)
    essential for growth of phytoplankton.

6
High tide
Sun
Low tide
Depth in meters
Open Sea
Coastal Zone
Sea level
0
50
Photosynthesis
Euphotic Zone
Estuarine Zone
100
Continental shelf
200
500
Bathyal Zone
Twilight
1,000
1,500
2,000
Abyssal Zone
Water temperature drops rapidly between the
euphotic zone and the abyssal zone in an area
called the thermocline .
3,000
Darkness
4,000
5,000
10,000
0
5
10
15
20
25
30
Water temperature (C)
7
Changes in Temp., O, N with Depth in Ocean
8
Nitrate Concentrations
  • High concentrations of nitrates found in areas
    of
  • low productivity (in areas of high productivity-
    nutrients are quickly utilized by living things)
  • High upwellings- upwellings bring cold, nutrient
    rich H2O

How do areas of high nitrates along coast of
South America relate to weather unit?
9
Surface Ocean Topography
  • Created by prevailing wind directions and ocean
    temperature

10
Life zones of the Ocean
Vertical Zones Euphotic Zone 0 - 200
m Greatest amount of light. (Eu good, photo
light) Bathyl Zone 200 - 4500 m Abyssal
Zone 4500 - 11,000 marine snow dead
organisms from above (Abyss the deep) Hadal
Zone gt 6000m
11
Benthic Zone Region along bottom of
sea Benthos bottom dwelling sea creature.
Pelagic Zone open sea Region that is not near
the shore or close to the bottom.
12
Coastal Zone of the Ocean
  • extends from hightide mark to edge of
    continental shelf
  • entirely within the euphotic zone includes
    estuaries, wetlands, mangroves, barrier islands,
    coral reefs
  • nutrientrich the site of most commercial
    fisheries
  • high primary productivity sunlight nutrients
    from land ocean currents

13
Estuaries Coastal Wetlands
Estuary where seawater mixes with freshwater
from land, generally at the mouth of a river
Coastal wetland areas of coastal land covered
all or part of the year with salt water Brackish
mix of salt water and fresh
  • Importance
  • nutrient rich and high primary productivity
  • nurseries for fish other aquatic animals
  • waterfowl shorebird breeding areas
  • filter water pollutants

14
Estuaries Coastal Wetlands
Human Impacts
  • world has lost over half of its estuaries
    coastal wetlands
  • percentage lost in the U.S. even higher. Most
    lost to coastal development
  • causes of degradation urban runoff, sewage
    treatment plant effluent, sediment chemical
    runoff from agricultural lands

15
Barrier Islands
Barrier Islands long, thin, low offshore islands
of sand that run parallel to the shore. They do
not remain stationary over time.
  • Importance
  • protect mainland from offshore storms
  • shelter inland bays, estuaries, wetlands

16
Barrier Islands
  • Human Impacts
  • Development on barrier islands
  • destroys dunes dune
  • vegetation
  • causes beach erosion
  • (through trying to keep
  • islands in place)
  • destroys or disturbs wildlife habitat (e.g., some
    endangered birds nest on barrier islands)
  • Protecting barrier islands
  • jetties seawalls
  • beach replenishment
  • replanting dune vegetation, controlling
    development

Ocean City, MD
17
Coral Reefs
  • reefs formed by mutualism between polyps algae
  • reefs built as colonies of polyps secrete
    limestone hard deposits remain when the polyps
    die
  • reefs located in coastal zones of tropical oceans

18
Coral Reefs
  • Importance
  • high biodiversity tropical rain forests of the
    ocean
  • protect coastlines from storms high waves
  • nurseries for many fish species
  • disappearing
  • Human Impacts
  • sediment runoff effluent
  • increased UV radiation (ozone depletion)
  • fishing with cyanide dynamite
  • Vulnerability
  • slow growing
  • easily disturbed
  • thrive only in clear water

19
Mangrove Swamps
  • Salt-tolerant trees shrubs
  • Warm tropical coastal areas
  • Too silty for coral reefs
  • Protect coastlines from
  • erosion, especially during
  • typhoons floods
  • Trap nutrient-rich sediments
  • Provide habitat for fish, birds,
  • invertebrates, and plants

20
NATURAL CAPITAL
Freshwater Systems
Ecological Services
Economic Services
Climate moderation
Food
Nutrient cycling
Drinking water
Waste treatment
Irrigation water
Flood control
Hydroelectricity
Groundwater recharge
Transportation corridors
Habitats for many species
Genetic resources and biodiversity
Recreation
Employment
Scientific information
21
Freshwater Ecosystems
Lakes Littoral zone shallow area near the shore,
to the depth at which rooted plants stop
growing. Limnetic zone open, sunlit, surface
layer away from the shore. Depth is the limit of
light penetration. Profundal zone deep, open
water where there is no light penetration. Benthic
zone the bottom of a lake inhabited by insect
larvae, decomposers, clams.
22
Sunlight
Blue-winged teal
Painted turtle
Green frog
Muskrat
Pond snail
Littoral zone
Plankton
Limnetic zone
Profundal zone
Diving beetle
Northern pike
Benthic zone
Yellow perch
Bloodworms
23
LAKES
Thermal stratification during summer
(temperate lakes)
  • epilimnion warm, upper layer of water
  • thermocline zone of lake where temperature
    changes rapidly with depth
  • hypolimnion colder, denser lower layer of water
    can be depleted of oxygen in eutrophic lakes

24
LAKES
Overturn spring fall (temperate zone lakes)
  • upper layer of water cools and sinks,
  • winds mix layers
  • redistributes oxygen temperature evenly
  • redistributes nutrients from the lower layers

25
Streams Rivers
  • Watershed the land area that delivers water,
    sediment, dissolved substances to a water body.
  • Zones
  • source zone cold, clear, fastrunning streams in
    upper watershed (headwaters)
  • transition zone middle part of watershed, where
    streams widens join, flow slows, water
    temperature increases
  • flood plain zone many streams join to form a
    broad, slowmoving, meandering river in lower
    watershed

26
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27
Riparian Zone is the zone along a stream or river.
28
Wetlands
  • Lands covered with fresh water all or part of the
    time (excluding lakes).
  • Wetland functions
  • wildlife habitat, especially for waterfowl
    amphibians
  • filter sediments pollutants from runoff ,
    natures kidneys
  • flood attenuation
  • Human impacts
  • some states have lost over 90 of their wetlands
    by filling or draining.
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