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Unformatted text preview: Aquatic Ecosystems 09/11/2009 11:34:00 71% of the Earths surface is water, 69% saltwater the oceans distribute heat, feed the hydrologic cycle, and are critical to the worlds biogeochemical cycles about 250,000 species of plants and animals other resources: sand, gravel, phosphorous Marine Ecosystem Coastal zone high tide mark to the edge of the continental shelf Less than 10% of the area of the ocean is contained in the coastal zone, but > 90% of all plant and animal species are in the coastal zone. Fisheries Coastal wetlands occur in many shallow areas more later; lot of carbon fixation, tidal cycles Estuaries have reduced salinity and high nutrient levels with productive nurseries, access route for anadromous species (species that migrate from ocean into freshwater to spawn, i.e. salmon) Barrier beaches and barrier islands important reduce the effect of storms on coastal communities Some coastal zones support coral reefs ; coral bleaching is when several of the species are dying due to temperatures rising Open Ocean Oceanic habitats differ primarily in salinity, light levels, nutrient concentrations, and depth neritic zone shallow water habitat, phytoplankton and nutrients; felt the most impacts from human population and development oceanic zone broken up into layers, its the deep ocean euphotic zone primary production occurring, large number of animals (albatross, whales, jellyfish, tuna), less nutrients bathyl zone bathyl and euphotic are separated y the compensation depth which is where plant respiration = plant photosynthesis (aka no oxygen being produced); not a lot of primary production, animals sparse (arrow worms, hatchet fish, flashlight fish), relatively cold (6-8C) abyssal zone deepest part of the ocean, extremely cold (3-4C), high pressure (100-400 atmosphere of pressure), animals (gulper eels, jellyfish, angler fish) Upwelling Upwelling areas occur off the west coast of most continents, some in east coast warm water on coast that is pushed by wind (offshore winds) and turns right and cold water fills its place that is filled with nutrients normally stretches for a hundred miles, sometimes doesnt due to el nino which causes upwelling to stop/decrease Freshwater Ecosystems Lentic systems no flow o Distinct regions based on biotic and abiotic characteristics: o Littoral zone shallow part of the lake, emergent plants, fish, edge of littoral zone is where plants cant grow anymore due to lack of light...
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- Spring '08