An estuary mouth and coastal waters, part of an aquatic ecosystem.
An aquatic ecosystem is an ecosystem located in a body of water. Communities of organisms that are dependent on each other and on their environment live in aquatic ecosystems. The two main types of aquatic ecosystems are marine ecosystems and freshwater ecosystems.
What is an aquatic ecosystem?
Aquatic systems are those that contain plants and animals that predominantly depend on a significant amount of water to be present for at least part of the year. But a perfect definition is tough to make. How many weeks a year does an area need to show standing water in order to be a pond? How about a bird bath or dog water dish, as both can breed aquatic insects if left undisturbed for a few days? For our purposes, we have a number of aquatic systems that hold water all year (in most cases) and are impacted to different degrees by activities on the surrounding landscape.
What are a few components of an aquatic ecosystem?
pond layers - Like in a forest, the top, middle, and bottom of a pond can be vastly different from each other, and even the layers in between. Under different temperature or light conditions the water in a pond can vary greatly in oxygen, clarity, and other factors that effect were plants and animals might live. The air above the pond and the land below the pond are important as well, as those provide space for animals to live, plants to root, and predators and prey to interact.
diversity - while many people think of a pond as just a small lake with frogs and fish, there are thousands of differents species of plants and animals living together in a natural pond. The more diverse a pond is (more species that it has) the stronger and healthier it is.
micro-organisms - some of the most imortant plants and animals in a pond are so small they are difficult to see without a microscope. They are called "micro-organisms" (micro=small, organism=life form) and while... [continues]
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