The Effect Of Water Temperature On The Health Of An Estuary

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What is it? Water temperature is a measure of the degree of hotness/coldness in a body of water. In countries that use the metric system (eg. Australia) temperature is measured in degrees Celsius (C.) Why is it important? The temperature of a water body is important for a number of reasons. water temperature affects many biological,physical and chemical characteristics, thus playing a major role in the health of an estuary. Water temperature greatly influences estuarine processes such as plant photosynthesis, metabolic rates of aquatic animals, rates of development and reproduction, mobility, migration and distribution patterns, and the response of organisms to toxins,parasites and disease. Water temperature can also have major effects on water chemistry. Long-term temperature changes may have a considerable impact on estuarine ecosystems. Warmer water temperatures encourage rapid growth of heat-tolerant organisms, which often include introduced species brought in on ships from tropical ports. As an example, Pacific Oysters, introduced for aquaculture, will often reproduce in the warm sheltered waters of estuaries, where they settle on rocky shores and reduce the space available for native species. Water temperature is a key factor controlling the rate of biological processes, such as algal growth. For every 10 degrees Celsius (°C) increase in temperature, the rate of biological processes almost doubles. This is why algal blooms and deoxygenation are much more likely to

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