Aquatic Ecosystem

9195 Words Sep 22nd, 2010 37 Pages
Aquatic ecosystem

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
…show more content…
• Lotic: rapidly-moving water, for example streams and rivers. • Wetlands: areas where the soil is saturated or inundated for at least part of the time.
Lake ecosystems can be divided into zones: pelagic (open offshore waters); profundal; littoral (nearshore shallow waters); and riparian (the area of land bordering a body of water). Two important subclasses of lakes are ponds, which typically are small lakes that intergrade with wetlands, and water reservoirs. Many lakes, or bays within them, gradually become enriched by nutrients and fill in with organic sediments, a process called eutrophication. Eutrophication is accelerated by human activity within the water catchment area of the lake.
[pic]

Freshwater ecosystem.
The major zones in river ecosystems are determined by the river bed's gradient or by the velocity of the current. Faster moving turbulent water typically contains greater concentrations of dissolved oxygen, which supports greater biodiversity than the slow moving water of pools. These distinctions forms the basis for the division of rivers into upland and lowland rivers. The food base of streams within riparian forests is mostly derived from the trees, but wider streams and those that lack a canopy derive the majority of their food base from algae. Anadromous fish are also an important source of nutrients. Environmental threats to rivers include loss of water, dams, chemical pollution and introduced species.
Open Document