Aquatic Biomes Environmental Science Instructor: E. Ennis
75% - 78% of the Earth’s surface is covered in water Water on the Earth Land 22 % Water 78%
What factors influence the kind of life an aquatic biome contains? • Salinity • Depth • Speed of water flow
How much freshwater? • Of all the water available on Earth… • Only 3% is freshwater • Of the 3% freshwater, 2% is tied up in glaciers and icebergs… • Only leaving less than 1% available to humans.
Salt Water Estuaries** Coastlines Coral Reefs Coastal Marshes** Mangrove Swamps** Oceans ** May be brackish Fresh Water Streams Rivers Lakes Ponds Wetlands (inland) Major types of aquatic biomes
Limnology The study of fresh water and its ecosystems The study of freshwater ecosystems can be divided into 2 systems 1. Lentic – standing water (little or no current) 2. Lotic – flowing water
Examples of Lentic Systems • Standing water • Lakes • Ponds • Wetlands • Marshes • Swamps • bogs
Phytoplankton • “Plant Plankton” • Free Floating • Microscopic • Cynobacteria or algae • Producers • Contain cholorphyll - photosynthetic • Support most aquatic food chains and food webs
Did you know???? • Plants in the ocean produce over half the world's oxygen. • The most important plants in the ocean are too small to be seen without a microscope. • They float near the surface and drift with the currents, so they have been named phytoplankton (phyto=plant, plankton=drifter). • Phytoplankton are the 'grass' of the sea. Where they grow there is food for marine animals. • Ocean color tells you how much phytoplankton there is in the water.
How do plankton stay afloat? Empty cavities Increase buoyancy Flagella allow weak Swimming or movement Spines – increase Surface area Chains or linking increases Surface area
Zooplankton • “Animal Plankton” • Non-photosynthetic • Consumers (herbivores) • Feed on phytoplankton • Single Celled Protozoa to larger invertebrates such as jellyfish • Many zooplankton are larval stages of familiar animals
Adult Stages Larval Stages
Nekton Strong Swimmers Consumers Fish, turtles, Whales
Benthos • Bottom Dwellers • Anchor to one spot: barnacles, oysters • Burrow in mud or sand: worms • Walk on bottom: Lobsters, crabs • Habitats: • Intertidal zones, rocky shores, tide pools • Muddy Sandy communities • Deep ocean/ coral reefs • Hydrothermal vent areas • archaebacteria
Decomposers • Break down organic compounds into simple nutrients that can be used by producers • Break down dead bodies and waste
Have less pronounced and fixed physical boundaries • Makes it difficult to count and manage populations • due to the size of the ocean and many organisms are largely hidden from view
Catch and release Tagging with electronic monitors Acoustics used to measure Krill Populations
Characteristics of an Aquatic Biome • Have more complex and longer food chains and food webs
Physical support from water buoyancy Organisms take advantage of water's buoyancy to transport themselves to nearby or distant habitats with little energy expenditure
A fish will float on top of the water if it weighs less than the amount of water it displaces (pushes away). • Most fish weigh more than the water they displace and would sink to the ocean floor. But, most fish do not spend their lives on the ocean floor.
They can do this because of an organ called a swim-bladder ( a built-in gas filled chamber) that helps the fish get off the ground and up in the water. • Some fast-moving fish and sharks do not have a swim bladder and therefore must keep moving or they will sink.
Areas of pronounced upwelling • -Deep oceanic currents colliding with sharp coastal shelves • Temperature differences / changes • Surface Winds
Water Availability • Oceans cover 139,400,000 square miles of the Earth’s surface • The average depth of the oceans is 12,238 feet
Easy dispersement of organisms, larvae and eggs Water propulsion Water propulsion
Hydrofoils - use of flippers Up/Down movement of pectoral fins
A big difference between fish and dolphins is that a fish's tail moves from side to side and a dolphin's moves up and down.
Advantages • Less exposure to harmful radiation • Dilution and dispersion of pollutants
Disadvantages • Can tolerate a narrow range of temperatures • Exposure to dissolved pollutants • Fluctuating populations size for many species • Dispersion separates many aquatic offspring from parents
Un-level Lithosphere Rain (static electricity) Erosion , Mass wasting Salts from Rock formations How Oceans were Formed
Why are oceans important? • Covers 71-75% of earth’s surface • Make up 99.5% of earth’s habitable volume • Contain 250,000 known species of plant and animals • Provide important and ecological and economic services
Ecological Services • Climate moderation • Carbon dioxide absorption • Nutrient cycling • Reduced storm impact (mangrove swamps, estuaries, barrier islands) • Habitats and nurseries for species (shrimp, crab, oysters, clams, fish) • Genetic resources and biodiversity
Mangrove Swamps (Forest) • Mangrove swamps are found along tropical seacoasts on both sides of the equator