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Estuaries and Coral Reefs. Chapters 3.4 and 3.5. Estuaries. Estuaries are formed where a freshwater river empties into an ocean. The resulting water is brackish – a mixture of fresh and saltwater 3 main types: 1. salt marsh or wetland , 2. mud flat or 3. mangrove swamp .

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estuaries and coral reefs

Estuaries and Coral Reefs

Chapters 3.4 and 3.5

estuaries
Estuaries
  • Estuaries are formed where a freshwater river empties into an ocean.
  • The resulting water is brackish – a mixture of fresh and saltwater
  • 3 main types: 1. salt marsh or wetland, 2. mud flat or 3. mangrove swamp.
  • May form what we call a bay.
wetlands salt marsh
Wetlands (Salt Marsh)
  • May be protected by barrier beaches which were formed by the retreat of glaciers.
    • Barrier beaches protect the bay from ocean winds and waves. Ex. LBI, Seaside, Brigantine, Wildwood, etc.
  • “Nurseries of the sea”
wetlands con t
Wetlands (con’t)
  • Grasses, like cordgrass, are specially adapted to the salt – glands that excrete salt
  • Some marsh grasses actually filter pollution
  • Crabs, fish, mussels, barnacles live here
mudflats
Mudflats
  • “Graveyards of the sea”
  • Very stinky mud caused by bacteria breaking down dead and decaying material and releasing SO2 – which smells like rotten eggs.
  • Very rich, dark sand because there is little flushing (water moving in and out).
  • This is where clams come from
mangroves
Mangroves
  • Tropical bays and inlets covered by a thick growth of mangrove trees.
    • Red, white and black mangrove trees
  • Prop roots stick above water during low tide.
mangroves con t
Mangroves (con’t)
  • Roots trap lots of nutrients making the mangroves a very rich environment
  • Natural buffer to weather disasters
coral reefs
Coral Reefs
  • Contain more biodiversity of any other marine ecosystems
  • Found 30 degrees North and 30 degrees South of the equator
  • Very sensitive to human influence
    • Cloudy water, increased or decreased water temperature could kill the reef animals
unique adaptations of reef animals
Unique Adaptations of Reef Animals
  • Camouflage
  • Color contrast – confuses predators
  • Disruptive coloration – breaks up the outline of the fish
  • Territoriality