Betancourt - Effects of Oil Spills on Mangrove Food Webs...

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Effects of Oil Spills on Mangrove Food Webs By: Amaury Betancourt Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Florida International University Mangrove Food Webs Mangroves are unique habitats for many organisms. According to Wolanski (2007), “Shallow-water habitats in estuaries, including tidal wetlands and seagrass beds, offer food and shelter from predators to juvenile fish” [2]. Many fish that live offshore may have grown up in estuaries. Primary producers are all the autotrophs in the ecosystem that synthesize the organic compounds of their bodies from inorganic precursors such as CO 2 , water, and NO 3 - using energy from an abiotic source (such as the sun) [1]. In the food web shown here, the primary producers include the mangroves, phytoplankton, and benthic algae. Estuaries and Mangroves An estuary is a place along a coastline, such as a bay, that is partially surrounded by land and in which fresh water from streams or rivers mixes with ocean water, creating intermediate (brackish) salinities [1]. Estuaries, besides being bodies of water, include intertidal marshes or swamps [1]. An intertidal habitat is an area that is exposed to air at low tide but under water at high tide [1]. Intertidal swamps called mangrove swamps (dominated by trees and bushes) occur in tropical and subtropical parts of the world [1]. References 1. Raven, Peter H., George B. Johnson, Jonathan B. Losos, Kenneth A. Mason, Susan R. Singer. Biology
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