BIOL 150 Chapter 3 .docx - Types of Aquatic Ecosystems...

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Types of Aquatic Ecosystems Physical Attributes of Aquatic Systems that affect distribution & abundance of organisms: Nutrient Availability – nutrient levels limit growth rates in photosynthetic organisms that provide food for other species o Ocean Upwelling – nutrients in the sunlit surface waters are constantly lost in the form of dead organisms that rain down into the depths in coastal regions nutrients are brought up to the surface by currents that cause upwelling As surface water moves away from the coast, it is steadily replaced by water moving up form the ocean bottom o Lake Turnover – Contain spring and fall turnovers that occur in responses to change in air temperature Winter – water at the surface is locked up in ice at (0 degrees) - oxygenated Water under the ice is slightly warmer and oxygen rich Water is most dense at 4 degrees which is at the bottom of the lake – nutrient rich o Water at the bottom of the lake is oxygen poor because organisms that decompose falling organic material used up available oxygen in the process Thermocline – a gradient in temperature that creates a heat slope Spring – Ice begins to melt the temperature of the water on surface rises until it reaches 4 degrees Water at the surface becomes heavier than the water beneath it which results in surface water sinking oxygenated water carried down Spring turnover completes when water at the bottom of the lake displaces the surface water o Water at the bottom contains rich nutrients and trigger rapid increase in the growth of photosynthetic algae and bacteria spring bloom Summer – Dense 4 degrees’ water at the bottom becomes nutrient rich while warmer water at the surface becomes oxygenated
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