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Aquatic Biomes
Aquatic Biomes
The limiting factors in aquatic
biomes are:
– Amount of salt (salinity)
– Amount of dissolved oxygen
– Sunlight
2 Types of Aquatic Biomes
• Freshwater
– Rivers and Streams
– Lakes and Ponds
• Saltwater
– Ocean
– Estuaries
– Seashores (tidal areas)
Freshwater Biomes
Freshwater contains little or no salt, so
it has a LOW salinity.
Flowing freshwater = rivers and streams
Still Freshwater = lakes and ponds
Flowing Freshwater
• Streams
– The faster a stream flows the
greater the amount of dissolved
oxygen in it.
Faster water flows =
Flowing Freshwater
• Streams
– The fish that live in streams are
adapted to fast moving water
Flowing Freshwater
• Rivers
– Water moves slower in a river and
debris settles on the bottom.
– Because of this, rivers tend to have
more nutrients and less dissolved
nutrients and
Flowing Freshwater
– Rivers
• Ponds
– Small, shallow bodies of water
– Sunlight penetrates all the way to
the bottom
– Most completely filled with plant
– Very high amount of nutrients
• Ponds
• Lakes
– Larger and deeper than ponds
– Plant growth is limited to the
– Sunlight does NOT penetrate to
the bottom= no plants after a
certain depth!
• Lakes
Lakes and Ponds: Littoral Zone
• Topmost zone near the
shore of a lake.
• Diverse community of
plants and animals
including many small
insects, fish, and larvae.
• These smaller creatures
are food for larger
creature like turtles and
• Where the “litter” would
Lakes and Ponds: Limnetic Zone
• Well lit central area water.
• Dominated by plankton and a variety of fish.
• Plankton are a group of tiny organisms that play
crucial roles in aquatic and terrestrial food
Lakes and Ponds: Profundal Zone
• Deep water part of
• Colder and darker
than the previous
• Mostly
heterotrophs that
eat dead organisms
that collect on the
Ponds/Lakes: Temperature
• Temperature varies seasonally in ponds and
lakes, warmer in the summer colder in the
• Surface water is generally warmer than deeper
• Between these two layers is the thermocline, an
area of rapid temperature change.
Ponds/Lakes: Temperature
• Under the right circumstances, the
top and bottom layers will mix. This is
known as “turning over” and helps
circulate oxygen through the lake.
• Areas of standing water that support a
variety of plants and animals.
• Examples include:
– Marshes
– Swamps
– Bogs
• Not all wetlands are considered
freshwater, i.e. salt marshes.
Aquatic Biomes
Plankton are microscopic algae,
plants, and other organisms that
float on the surface of water
They need
sunlight to
Aquatic Biomes
Phytoplankton are important
producers in water biomes.
They are
the first
step in many
aquatic food
Marine (Saltwater) Biomes
About 95% of the water on Earth
has a high concentration of salt.
(High salinity)
• Estuaries
– Area where a river meets an ocean
– Mix of salt and freshwater
– Located near coastlines, border
– Extremely fertile
– Nutrient levels are higher than
both salt and freshwater
• Estuaries
– Savannah River Estuary
• Seashores
– Tides have a huge influence on life
– INTERTIDAL ZONE- portion of
the shoreline that is covered with
water at high tide and exposed to
the air at low tide.
Intertidal Zone
• Can be sandy or rocky
• Small fish, clams, crabs, other
mussels are trapped in the
TIDAL POOLS during low tide
Intertidal Zone
• Oceans
– Can be divided into 2 main life
1. Photic zone- sunlight
2. Aphotic zone- NO sunlight
Photic Zone- above 200m
• Made up of the
euphotic &
disphotic zones
• Sunlight penetrates
• Plant life and animal
life is abundant
Aphotic Zone- below 200m
• Sunlight DOES
NOT penetrate
• There are no plants
• Animal life is highly
Aphotic Zone- below 200m
• Many of the
denizens of the
deep ocean have
a special
adaptation known
Coral Reefs
• Found in warm waters along the coasts
of most continents.
• Corals are actually made up of tiny
animals called polyps.
• Areas of high animal diversity.
Coral Reefs
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