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Aquatic Ecosystem

Science Vocabulary

aquatic life zones aquatic equivalents of biomes
salinity amounts of various salts
marine estuaries, coastlines, coral reefs, coastal marshes, mangrove swamps, oceans
freshwater lakes, ponds, streams, rivers, inland wetlands
plankton 1 group of weakly swimming, free-floating carried by currents
phytoplankton plant plankton
zooplankton animal plankton
nekton 2nd group of organisms strongly swimming consumers (fish, turtles, whales)
benthos 3rd group dwells on bottom (barnacles, oysters)
decomposers 4th group that break down organic compounds in dead bodies and wastes of aquatic organisms
euphotic zone upper layer through which sunlight can penetrate
coastal zone warm, nutrient-rich, shallow water that extends from the high-tide mark on land to gently sloping, shallow edge of continental shelf
continental shelf submerged par of the continents
estuary partially enclosed area of coastal water where salt water mixes with freshwater and nutrients from rivers, streams, and runoffs from land
coastal wetlands land covered with water all/part of the year
intertidal zone area of shore line between low and high tides
barrier islands low, narrow, sandy islands that form offshore from a coastline
open sea sharp increasing in water depth at the edge of the continental edge separates the coastal zone from vast volume of ocean
bathyal zone dimly lit middle zone that doesn't contain photosynthesizing producers because lack of sunlight
abyssal zone lowest zone, dark and very cold and has little dissolved oxygen
lakes large natural bodies of standing freshwater formed when precipitation, runoff, or ground water seepage filled depressions in earth's surface
littoral zone shallow sunlight waters near shore to depth at which rooted plants stop growing and has high biological diversity
limnetic zone open sunlit water surface layer away from shore that extends to depth penetrated by sunlight
profundal zone deep, open water where it's too dark for photosynthesis
benthic zone bottom of lake, mostly decomposes and detritus feeders and fish that swim 1 zone to other inhabit it
Created by: ConcreteAngel