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AQUATIC ECOLOGY. Welcome Envirothon Students!. Envirothon 2010 Aquatic Ecology. Water Cycle: 200. 97% of the earth’s water is_____________. 3% of the earth’s water is _____________. What is saltwater ? What is freshwater ? 2.997% of the freshwater is ice and 0.003% is

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welcome envirothon students


Welcome Envirothon Students!

water cycle 200
Water Cycle: 200
  • 97% of the earth’s water is_____________.
  • 3% of the earth’s water is _____________.
  • What is saltwater?
  • What is freshwater?

2.997% of the freshwater is ice and 0.003% is

available for use by organisms.


water cycle 400
Water Cycle: 400
  • Condensation and evaporation are parts of the __________ _________, also called the hydrologic cycle.
  • What is the watercycle?
  • Click for Illustration ->


water cycle 600
Water Cycle: 600
  • We are located in the ____-________River Basin. NC is divided into 17 river basins (also called Watersheds/Drainage basins) that is based upon topography or shape of the land.
  • What is the Tar-Pamlico River Basin?


water cycle 800
Water Cycle: 800
  • Water is comprised of two ________ atoms and one ________ atom that bond asymmetrically by sharing electrons forming a polar molecule.
  • What is hydrogen and oxygen? The hydrogen bonding and polarity of water are responsible for many of water’s unique characteristics and physical properties that make it important for life.
  • Click for illustration ->


water cycle 1000
Water Cycle: 1000
  • The dissolving ability of water makes water a_____________ _____________. This dissolving ability makes nutrients and gases available to aquatic organisms.
  • What is a“universalsolvent”?

Water dissolves gases,

minerals, and organic

compounds easily, making

them available to aquatic



ecology 200
Ecology: 200
  • These organisms make their own food using sunlight, CO2, water, and minerals.
  • What are producers? Producers are at the base of the food chain and are the most numerous or all organisms


ecology 400
Ecology: 400
  • This diagram outlines the flow of energy from the most plentiful organisms to the least numerous organisms. ->
  • What is the Aquatic Energy

Pyramid? 10% of the energy

from the organisms are

passed onto the next

trophic level.


ecology 600
Ecology: 600
  • Name up to three types of biotic interactions that occurs between living organisms within an ecosystem.
  • What are:

(1) Predator-Prey relationship

(2) Competition

(3) Symbiosis


ecology 800
Ecology: 800
  • A tree uses carbon dioxide to produce oxygen, a process called ______________ and a cow uses oxygen to produce carbon dioxide, a process called ___________.
  • What is photosynthesis and

what is respiration?


ecology 1000
Ecology: 1000
  • Name the process where physical, chemical, and biological changes occur when an excess amount of nutrients or organic matter is added to the Tar-Pamlico River.
  • What is eutrophication?

Click 3x to see what

changes may result

from adding excess

nutrients to the river ->


wildlife 200
Wildlife: 200
  • Is this fish an example of Plankton, Nekton, or Benthos?
  • What is Nekton?

This menhaden swims

freely in the water.


wildlife 400
Wildlife: 400
  • What is the difference between these two snails besides that one on the left is highly tolerant to pollution (usually indicative of poor water quality) and the one on the right is intolerant to pollution or pollution sensitive ( indicative of good water quality)?
  • What is the snail on the left is

“left handed” (operculum opens to

left) and the one on the right

is “right handed”?

Two types of snails that have two different

water quality requirements. These types of

organisms are called “Indicator Species”.


wildlife 600
Wildlife: 600
  • This local seafood is Plankton, Nekton, or Benthos?
  • What is Benthos? These oysters

are attached to the bottom and

move very little.


wildlife 800
Wildlife: 800
  • Name these fish which can be caught in the

Pamlico River when the salinity

of the water is half salt and half

fresh (brackish water).

  • What is speckled (or spotted)

seatrout and Flounder?


wildlife 1000
Wildlife: 1000
  • This locally caught seafood item is considered Plankton, Nekton, or Benthos?

What is benthos and nekton?

Blue crabs are benthos since

they live on the bottom but are nekton since

they are able to swim freely.


ecosystems 200
Ecosystems: 200
  • This ecosystem is where saltwater and freshwater mix. The Pamlico Sound is an example of this type of ecosytem.
  • What is an estuary?


ecosystems 400
Ecosystems: 400
  • The _____________ zone is the expanses of open water of our oceans, also called the open ocean.
  • What is the pelagic zone? The abyssal zone is the dark extreme depths of our oceans.


ecosystems 600
Ecosystems: 600
  • A marsh is dominated by ____________ plants that have soft stems.
  • What is herbaceous plants? Some examples are cattail, bulrush, sedge, and sawgrass. North Carolina marshes, or coastal wetlands, are regulated by the State’s Division of Coastal Management.


ecosystems 800
Ecosystems: 800
  • The temperature layering of lakes and rivers is called ___________ ______________.
  • What is thermalstratification? As lake water is

warmed in the summer, the water in deeper lakes forms three

distinct temperature layers:

1) warmer (less dense) epilimnion

layer at the surface

2) the thin thermocline (transition) layer

3) the cold and deep hypolimnion layer


ecosystems 1000
Ecosystems: 1000
  • This ecosystem is a boggy shrub wetland that has spongy ground, peat deposits, and evergreen trees such as hollies, bays, and stunted pond pines.
  • What is Pocosin?


pollution 200
Pollution: 200
  • What is the number one water pollutant in North Carolina?
  • What is sediment?

Sediment clogs gills of fish

and covers their eggs. Sediment

blocks sunlight and prevents

beneficial SAV from growing.


pollution 400
Pollution: 400
  • Pollution that enters the river from a source that can be identified is called __________ source pollution.
  • What is point source


Non-point source pollution

comes from various sources

and cannot be traced.


pollution 600
Pollution: 600
  • What are the two substances we think of most when we talk about nutrient pollution in local waters?
  • What is nitrogen and phosphorous? Common sources are agricultural and urban fertilizers, sewage, and manure.

Click for 2x for Illustrations->


pollution 800
Pollution: 800
  • What is the name of the federal legislation aimed at making all of the surface waters safe for fishing and swimming?
  • What is the Federal

Clean Water Act of 1977?


pollution 1000
Pollution: 1000
  • What is the name of the practices, management, and conservation techniques that are used to effectively control nutrient pollution?
  • What are

Best Management

Practices (BMP’s)?


bonus question 5000 pts
Bonus Question: 5000 pts.
  • Why are estuaries important?
  • 1. Marsh grasses control erosion, filter contaminants, and reduce flooding.
  • 2. Estuaries are important spawning, feeding, protection, and nursery (growing) areas for many species of aquatic vegetation, fish, turtles, and birds. More than 150 species of fish and invertebrates live in NC estuaries.
  • 3. 75% of fish caught commercially live in estuaries during part of their life cycle. Commercial and recreational fishing is important to many people in Eastern NC. About 30 commercial species live in NC estuaries. Can you name some?
  • 4. Estuaries support a large tourism industry-fishing, boating, birding, transportation-shipping.