Estuarine Ecosystem Analysis

819 Words 4 Pages
An ecosystem is a natural system where living, or biotic, and nonliving, abiotic, factors function together in an environment. There are several types of ecosystems, but I will be explaining what an Estuary is, the biotic and abiotic factors that can be influenced by natural and human-caused disturbances, natural resources Estuaries provide and how as good stewards we can sustain or assist in this invaluable ecosystems recovery.
Estuaries are semi-closed bodies of water where freshwater meets with salt water in places such as inlets, bays, or flood river valleys. They help filter out sediment and pollution before going out to the ocean. In addition, they provide natural habitats for animals and sea creatures, as well as providing protection
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In addition, the health or biogeochemical cycle of an estuary can be determined by abiotic and biotic factors. Abiotic factors include salinity, water depth, air and water temperature. Biotic factors include plants to provide base for food, shade or habitats, bacteria or decomposers which break down the dead to recycle matter back to soil and water, and competition of prey for food availability (NOAA, 2008) Because of this natural circulation of abiotic and biotic factors, nutrients are constantly recycled back into the environment to start the process all over …show more content…
The pounding of waves along a coastline can erode or destroy beaches, salt marshes, and other inland habitats, as well as dislodging or burying indigenous plants and animals with other sediment permanently damaging them. Human-caused disturbances include pollution from dumping chemicals, heavy metals and other wastes into the water causing the largest decrease in water quality (NOAA, 2007). Organisms must adapt to the abiotic changes such being to withstand the harsh environments whether caused by natural or human-caused disturbance. Shellfish, barnacles, or mussels latch on with strong appendages to surfaces, or ghost crabs bury themselves in the sand (MarineBio, 2016). The biotic changes are what species or organisms remain after a natural or human-caused disturbance; the species diversity such as fish, shellfish, and bird that can be measured. In addition, vegetation such as algae that produces chlorophyll E can determine how much algae is the water (NOAA, 2011). Unfortunately, whether it is a natural or human-caused disturbance, it can result in complete destruction and loss of an estuary habitat permanently disrupting abiotic and biotic

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