Chapter 8 Aquatic Biodiversity 1 2 What Is the General Nature of Aquatic Systems? Most of the Earth Is Covered with Water
Saltwater life zones (marine life zones) Oceans and estuaries Coastlands and shorelines Coral reefs Mangrove forests Freshwater life zones Lakes Ponds Rivers & streams Creeks & bayous Inland wetlands
3 Aquatic Species Tend to Live in Either the Top, Middle, or Bottom Layers of Water (rarely all 3) Plankton: free floating Phytoplankton Primary producers for most aquatic food webs Zooplankton Primary and secondary consumers Single-celled to large invertebrates like jellyfish Ultraplankton Tiny photosynthetic bacteria 4
Aquatic Species Tend to Live in Either the Top, Middle, or Bottom Layers of Water (rarely all 3) Nekton Strong swimmers: fish, turtles, whales Benthos Bottom dwellers: oysters, sea stars, clams, lobsters, crabs Decomposers Mostly bacteria 5 Aquatic Species Tend to Live in Either the Top, Middle, or Bottom Layers of Water (rarely all 3)
Key factors in the distribution of organisms Temperature Dissolved oxygen content Availability of food Availability of light and nutrients needed for photosynthesis in the euphotic (photic) zone Turbidity: degree of cloudiness in water Inhibits photosynthesis 6 7
Marine Aquatic Systems Oceans Provide Vital Ecological and Economic Resources Estimated $12 trillion per year in goods and services Reservoirs of diversity in three major life zones 1. Coastal zone Warm, nutrient rich, shallow Shore to edge of continental shelf Usually high NPP from ample sunlight and nutrients 2. Open sea
3. Ocean bottom 8 Major Life Zones and Vertical Zones in an Ocean 9 Estuaries and Coastal Wetlands Where rivers meet the sea Very productive ecosystems: high nutrient levels River mouths, Inlets, Bays, Sounds Salt marshes, Mangrove forests
Important ecological and economic services Coastal aquatic systems maintain water quality by filtering Toxic pollutants Excess plant nutrients Sediments Provide food, timber, fuelwood, and habitats Reduce storm damage and coast erosion 10 View of an Estuary from Space 11 Fig. 8-7, p. 173
The Three Vertical Zones of the Open Sea Euphotic Zone Bathyal Zone Phytoplankton Nutrient levels low Dissolved
oxygen levels high Dimly lit Zooplankton and smaller fishes Abyssal Zone
Dark and cold High levels of nutrients Little dissolved oxygen Deposit feeders Filter feeders 12 13
Littoral zone Near shore where rooted plants grow High biodiversity Turtles, frogs, crayfish, some fish Limnetic zone Open, sunlight area away from shore Main photosynthetic zone Some larger fish 3.
Profundal zone Deep water too dark for photosynthesis Low oxygen levels Some fish 4. Benthic zone Decomposers
Detritus feeders Some fish Nourished primarily by dead matter 16 There are Distinct Zones of Life in Deep Temperate Zone Lakes 17
Fig. 8-16, p. 182 Some Lakes Have More Nutrients Than Others Oligotrophic lakes Low levels of nutrients and low NPP Very clear water Eutrophic lakes High levels of nutrients and high NPP Murky water with high turbidity Often happens due to natural events Mesotrophic lakes Somewhere between the 2 above
Cultural eutrophication Eutrophication of lakes from human input of nutrients 18 Freshwater Streams/Rivers Carry Water from the Mountains to the Oceans Surface water Runoff Watershed, drainage basin Rivers have three aquatic
life zones Source zone Transition zone Floodplain zone 19 Freshwater Inland Wetlands Are Vital Sponges Marshes Swamps Prairie potholes Floodplains Arctic tundra in summer
Provide free ecological and economic services Filter and degrade toxic wastes Reduce flooding and erosion Help to replenish streams and recharge groundwater aquifers Biodiversity Food and timber Recreation areas 20
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