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Aquatic Biomes. 75% - 78% of the Earth’s surface is covered in water. Water on the Earth. 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.

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how much freshwater
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.
what factors influence the kind of life an aquatic biome contains
What factors influence the kind of life an aquatic biome contains?
  • Salinity
  • Depth (Sunlight)
  • Speed of water flow
  • Dissolved oxygen levels
major types of aquatic biomes
Salt Water



Coral Reefs

Coastal Marshes**

Mangrove Swamps**


** May be brackish

Fresh Water





Wetlands (inland)

Major types of aquatic biomes


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
Examples of Lentic Systems
  • Standing water
    • Lakes
    • Ponds
    • Wetlands
      • Marshes
      • Swamps
      • bogs
  • Oligotrophic: poorly nourished
  • Eutrophic: richly nourished
examples of lotic systems
Examples of Lotic Systems
  • Moving water
    • Rivers
    • Streams
  • “Plant Plankton”
  • Free Floating
  • Microscopic
  • Cynobacteria or algae
  • Producers
  • Contain cholorphyll - photosynthetic
  • Support most aquatic food chains and food webs
did you know
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.
  • “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


Strong Swimmers


Fish, turtles, Whales

  • 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
  • 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 biome27
Characteristics of an Aquatic Biome
  • Have more complex and longer food chains and food webs

High tide


Open Sea

Coastal Zone

Sea level

Low tide


Euphotic Zone

Estuarine Zone

Continental shelf

Bathyal Zone


Abyssal Zone


Fig. 6-5, p. 130

biological zones in the open sea light rules
Biological Zones in the Open Sea:Light Rules
  • Euphotic zone: brightly lit surface layer.
    • Nutrient levels low, dissolved O2 high, photosynthetic activity.
  • Bathyal zone: dimly lit middle layer.
    • No photosynthetic activity, zooplankton and fish live there and migrate to euphotic zone to feed at night.
  • Abyssal zone: dark bottom layer.
    • Very cold, little dissolved O2.
physical support from water buoyancy
Physical support from water buoyancy

Organisms take advantage of water's buoyancy to transport themselves to nearby or distant habitats with little energy expenditure

areas of pronounced upwelling
Areas of pronounced upwelling
  • -Deep oceanic currents colliding with sharp coastal shelves
  • Temperature differences / changes
  • Surface Winds
water availability
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
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.
  • Less exposure to harmful radiation
  • Dilution and dispersion of pollutants
  • Can tolerate a narrow range of temperatures
  • Exposure to dissolved pollutants
  • Fluctuating populations size for many species
  • Dispersion separates many aquatic offspring from parents
why are oceans important
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 services48
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 (Forest)
  • Mangrove swamps are found along tropical seacoasts on both sides of the equator

Algae: Astaxanthin is a powerful

natural antioxidant / dietary supplement

what is a coastal zone
What is a coastal zone?
  • The coastal zone is the warm, nutrient rich, shallow water from high tide area on land to the edge of the continental shelf.
    • Contains 90% of all marine species
    • Site of most commercial fisheries
  • Ample supply of sunlight and nutrients
estuaries coastal wetlands
Estuaries / Coastal Wetlands
  • Part of coastal zone
  • Brackish (mixture of salt and freshwater)
    • Usually due to the movement of the tides
    • Salinity and temperature vary due to
      • Daily tides
      • Seasonal variations and its affect of water flow
      • Unpredictable flows of water from flooding or storms
  • Constant movement of nutrients due to flow of water
estuaries coastal wetlands62
Estuaries / Coastal Wetlands
  • Covered with water all or part of the year
    • River mouths (delta’s)
    • Inlets
    • Bays
    • Sounds
    • Mangrove forest swamps
    • Salt marshes