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Climate and Biomes IV. Aquatic Systems. Climate and Biomes IV. Aquatic Systems A. Overview. Characterized by physical characteristics and general biological parameters like productivity, not plant growth form (algae). IV. Aquatic Systems B. Freshwater Habitats

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Climate and Biomes IV. Aquatic Systems

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Climate and biomes iv aquatic systems

Climate and Biomes

IV. Aquatic Systems


Climate and biomes iv aquatic systems

Climate and Biomes

IV. Aquatic Systems

A. Overview

Characterized by physical characteristics and general biological parameters like productivity, not plant growth form (algae)


Climate and biomes iv aquatic systems

IV. Aquatic Systems

B. Freshwater Habitats

1. Lotic Systems (moving waters)

  • Headwater Streams

Where precip > evaporation, excess soil water runs to water table. Where water table is expressed above land = stream.


Climate and biomes iv aquatic systems

IV. Aquatic Systems

B. Freshwater Habitats

1. Lotic Systems (moving waters)

  • Headwater Streams

  • - High gradient


Climate and biomes iv aquatic systems

IV. Aquatic Systems

B. Freshwater Habitats

1. Lotic Systems (moving waters)

  • Headwater Streams

  • - High gradient

  • - low primary productivity; no upstream source of

  • nutrients, organics from riparian zone (allochthonous)


Climate and biomes iv aquatic systems

IV. Aquatic Systems

B. Freshwater Habitats

1. Lotic Systems (moving waters)

  • Headwater Streams

  • - High gradient

  • - low primary productivity; no upstream source of

  • nutrients, organics from riparian zone (allochthonous)

  • - usually with a complete canopy that reduces photosynthesis


Climate and biomes iv aquatic systems

IV. Aquatic Systems

B. Freshwater Habitats

1. Lotic Systems (moving waters)

  • Headwater Streams

  • - High gradient

  • - low primary productivity; no upstream source of

  • nutrients, organics from riparian zone (allochthonous)

  • - usually with a complete canopy that reduces photosynthesis

  • - sequence of riffle (production) and pool (decomposition)


Climate and biomes iv aquatic systems

IV. Aquatic Systems

B. Freshwater Habitats

1. Lotic Systems (moving waters)

  • Headwater Streams

  • - High gradient

  • - low primary productivity; no upstream source of

  • nutrients, organics from riparian zone (allochthonous)

  • - usually with a complete canopy that reduces photosynthesis

  • - sequence of riffle (production) and pool (decomposition)


Climate and biomes iv aquatic systems

- Communities driven by detritivores consuming allochthonous inputs, not aquatic primary productivity


Climate and biomes iv aquatic systems

IV. Aquatic Systems

B. Freshwater Habitats

1. Lotic Systems (moving waters)

  • Headwater Streams

  • Rivers

Rivers = order 6-12

Ohio = 8

Mississippi = 10

Amazon = 12


Climate and biomes iv aquatic systems

IV. Aquatic Systems

B. Freshwater Habitats

1. Lotic Systems (moving waters)

  • Headwater Streams

  • Rivers

  • - lower gradient; more volume and force


Climate and biomes iv aquatic systems

IV. Aquatic Systems

B. Freshwater Habitats

1. Lotic Systems (moving waters)

  • Headwater Streams

  • Rivers

  • - lower gradient

  • - Higher productivity, fed by nutrients from upstream

  • - wider waterway allows sunlight to feed local productivity and

  • decomposition (autochthonous)


Climate and biomes iv aquatic systems

IV. Aquatic Systems

B. Freshwater Habitats

1. Lotic Systems (moving waters)

  • Headwater Streams

  • Rivers

  • - lower gradient

  • - Higher productivity, fed by nutrients from upstream

  • - wider waterway allows sunlight to feed local productivity and

  • decomposition (autochthonous)

  • - meanders dominate, creating lateral habitats from cut bank and pool to sand bar and riffle across the course of the river.


Climate and biomes iv aquatic systems

Oxbow Lake


Climate and biomes iv aquatic systems

IV. Aquatic Systems

B. Freshwater Habitats

1. Lotic Systems (moving waters)

  • Headwater Streams

  • Rivers

  • - lower gradient

  • - Higher productivity, fed by nutrients from upstream

  • - wider waterway allows sunlight to feed local productivity and

  • decomposition (autochthonous)

  • - meanders dominate, creating lateral habitats from cut bank and pool to sand bar and riffle across the course of the river.

  • - in large, deep rivers, the amount of sediment carried in the river, coupled with water depth, may reduce algal photosynthesis at depth and decrease productivity.


Climate and biomes iv aquatic systems

IV. Aquatic Systems

B. Freshwater Habitats

1. Lotic Systems (moving waters)

  • Headwater Streams

  • Rivers


Climate and biomes iv aquatic systems

  • Headwater Streams

  • Rivers

  • River Continuum Concept

  • Moving downstream:

  • NPP increases, changes from periphyton (attached algae) to phytoplankton (floating).

  • Proportional E input by CPOM declines, shredders decline.

  • FPOM and UFPOM increase, and collectors (filterers) increase

  • “downstream succession” of increasing productivity

  • Upstream, P/R < 1

  • Downstream, P/R > 1


Climate and biomes iv aquatic systems

IV. Aquatic Systems

B. Freshwater Habitats

1. Lotic Systems (moving waters)

  • Headwater Streams

  • Rivers

  • Marshes and Swamps

  • - these are habitats that are flooded periodically, either by rainfall, rivers, or tidal inundation (though these would be saline salt marshes).


Climate and biomes iv aquatic systems

IV. Aquatic Systems

B. Freshwater Habitats

1. Lotic Systems (moving waters)

  • Headwater Streams

  • Rivers

  • Marshes and Swamps

  • - They are highly productive habitats, receiving nutrients from both aquatic and terrestrial sources. They are often shallow, also, so there are high autochthonous productivity. This high biological productivity can reduce oxygen levels in the water and sediment, however. Also, the high biological activity serves to detoxify and filter surface and ground water.


Climate and biomes iv aquatic systems

IV. Aquatic Systems

B. Freshwater Habitats

1. Lotic Systems (moving waters)

2. Lentic Systems

a. Lakes

- temporary habitats, as they will eventually fill with sediment carried by stream inputs or surface runoff.

- formed by natural dams (beaver, mudslide), glacial retreat, limestone erosion, changes in river channels (oxbows), continental drift (rift lakes), and man-made dams


Climate and biomes iv aquatic systems

IV. Aquatic Systems

B. Freshwater Habitats

1. Lotic Systems (moving waters)

2. Lentic Systems

a. Lakes

  • - Littoral Zone: edge with rooted plants

  • - Limnetic/Pelagic Zone: no rooted plants; in

  • deep lakes this may be further subdivided

  • subdivided by temperature stratification: epilimnion

    • thermocline

    • hypolimnion

  • subdivided by light penetration:

  • euphotic zone

  • compensation depth

  • aphotic zone

  • - Benthic zone: sediments where decomposition occurs and nutrients accumulate


Climate and biomes iv aquatic systems

Lentic Systems: Ponds and Lakes


Climate and biomes iv aquatic systems

IV. Aquatic Systems

B. Freshwater Habitats

1. Lotic Systems (moving waters)

2. Lentic Systems

a. Lakes

- In deep lakes, the spatial separation of nutrients beneath the photic zone means that algae are nutrient limited until turnover occurs in fall and spring.

- Deep lakes often have low productivity = oligotrophic. Shallow lakes have more productivity = eutrophic.

The release of nutrient limitation – eutrophication.


Climate and biomes iv aquatic systems

IV. Aquatic Systems

B. Freshwater Habitats

1. Lotic Systems

2. Lentic Systems

b. Ponds and bogs

  • A smaller water body, often later in lake succession:

  • Lake

  • Pond

  • Bog

  • Marsh

  • Meadow


Climate and biomes iv aquatic systems

IV. Aquatic Systems

C. Marine Habitats

1. Estuaries

- Place where rivers meet the ocean; often made discrete by barrier islands offshore.


Climate and biomes iv aquatic systems

IV. Aquatic Systems

C. Marine Habitats

1. Estuaries

- Place where rivers meet the ocean; often made discrete by barrier islands offshore.

- direction of water flow, depth, and salinity changes with the tides


Climate and biomes iv aquatic systems

IV. Aquatic Systems

C. Marine Habitats

1. Estuaries

- highest productivity aquatic habitat; nutrients accumulate and feed surrounding salt marshes or mangroves, which add nutrients to the estuary. Truly a highly connected mix of terrestrial, marine, and aquatic habitats.


Climate and biomes iv aquatic systems

IV. Aquatic Systems

C. Marine Habitats

1. Estuaries

2. Intertidal (littoral)

- habitat between high and low tide

- zonation of organisms based on desiccation tolerance and frequency and length of exposure.


Climate and biomes iv aquatic systems

IV. Aquatic Systems

C. Marine Habitats

1. Estuaries

2. Intertidal (littoral)

3. Neritic Zone (Cont. Shelf)

- usually to a depth of 200m

- productive because benthic nutrients are close to the photic zone

and the habitat is well mixed.


Climate and biomes iv aquatic systems

Marine Systems


Climate and biomes iv aquatic systems

IV. Aquatic Systems

C. Marine Habitats

1. Estuaries

2. Intertidal (littoral)

3. Neritic Zone (Cont. Shelf)

4. Oceanic (Pelagic)

- open ocean to depth of 5 miles in trenches.

- photic and aphotic zones

- very low productivity except in upwelling areas where nutrients are brought up into the photic zone, or hydrothermal vent communities where chemosynthetic bacteria are the primary producers.


Climate and biomes iv aquatic systems

IV. Aquatic Systems

C. Marine Habitats

1. Estuaries

2. Intertidal (littoral)

3. Neritic Zone (Cont. Shelf)

4. Oceanic (Pelagic)

5. Coral Reefs

- typically shallow, tropical habitats with high productivity of algal symbiots in coral polyps.

- also, structural complexity of the reef increases habitat variation and diversity.

- most diverse marine systems.


Climate and biomes iv aquatic systems

IV. Aquatic Systems

C. Marine Habitats

1. Estuaries

2. Intertidal (littoral)

3. Neritic Zone (Cont. Shelf)

4. Oceanic (Pelagic)

5. Coral Reefs

6. Hydrothermal Vent Communities

- primary producers are chemosynthetic sulphur bacteria; some of which have become endosymbionts of giant polychaete worms (Riftia sp.).


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