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Unformatted text preview: benthic and pelagic . Benthic communities (bottom dwellers) are subdivided by depth: the shore/shelf and deep sea. Pelagic communities (swimmers or floaters suspended in the water column) include planktonic (floating) and nektonic (swimming) organisms. The upper 200 meters of the water column is the euphotic zone to which light can penetrate. Coastal Communities Estuaries are bays where rivers empty into the sea. Erosion brings down nutrients and tides wash in salt water; forms nutrient trap. Estuaries have high production for organisms that can tolerate changing salinity. Such organisms are shown in Figure 14. Estuaries are called "nurseries of the sea" because many young marine fish develop in this protected environment before moving as adults into the wide open seas....
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- Fall '10