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By the end of this section, you will be able to:
  • Describe the effects of abiotic factors on the composition of plant and animal communities in aquatic biomes
  • Compare the characteristics of the ocean zones
  • Summarize the characteristics of standing water and flowing water in freshwater biomes

Like terrestrial biomes, aquatic biomes are influenced by abiotic factors. In the case of aquatic biomes the abiotic factors include light, temperature, flow regime, and dissolved solids. The aquatic medium—water— has different physical and chemical properties than air. Even if the water in a pond or other body of water is perfectly clear (there are no suspended particles), water, on its own, absorbs light. As one descends deep enough into a body of water, eventually there will be a depth at which the sunlight cannot reach. While there are some abiotic and biotic factors in a terrestrial ecosystem that shade light (like fog, dust, or insect swarms), these are not usually permanent features of the environment. The importance of light in aquatic biomes is central to the communities of organisms found in both freshwater and marine ecosystems because it controls productivity through photosynthesis.

In addition to light, solar radiation warms bodies of water and many exhibit distinct layers of water at differing temperatures. The water temperature affects the organisms’ rates of growth and the amount of dissolved oxygen available for respiration.

The movement of water is also important in many aquatic biomes. In rivers, the organisms must obviously be adapted to the constant movement of the water around them, but even in larger bodies of water such as the oceans, regular currents and tides impact availability of nutrients, food resources, and the presence of the water itself.

Finally, all natural water contains dissolved solids, or salts. Fresh water contains low levels of such dissolved substances because the water is rapidly recycled through evaporation and precipitation. The oceans have a relatively constant high salt content. Aquatic habitats at the interface of marine and freshwater ecosystems have complex and variable salt environments that range between freshwater and marine levels. These are known as brackish water environments. Lakes located in closed drainage basins concentrate salt in their waters and can have extremely high salt content that only a few and highly specialized species are able to inhabit.

Marine biomes

The ocean is a continuous body of salt water that is relatively uniform in chemical composition. It is a weak solution of mineral salts and decayed biological matter. Within the ocean, coral reefs are a second type of marine biome. Estuaries, coastal areas where salt water and fresh water mix, form a third unique marine biome.

The ocean is categorized by several zones ( [link] ). All of the ocean’s open water is referred to as the pelagic realm    (or zone). The benthic realm    (or zone) extends along the ocean bottom from the shoreline to the deepest parts of the ocean floor. From the surface to the bottom or the limit to which photosynthesis occurs is the photic zone    (approximately 200 m or 650 ft). At depths greater than 200 m, light cannot penetrate; thus, this is referred to as the aphotic zone    . The majority of the ocean is aphotic and lacks sufficient light for photosynthesis. The deepest part of the ocean, the Challenger Deep (in the Mariana Trench, located in the western Pacific Ocean), is about 11,000 m (about 6.8 mi) deep. To give some perspective on the depth of this trench, the ocean is, on average, 4267 m or 14,000 ft deep.

Questions & Answers

a perfect square v²+2v+_
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algebra 2 Inequalities:If equation 2 = 0 it is an open set?
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or infinite solutions?
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y=10×
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Differences Between Laspeyres and Paasche Indices
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No. 7x -4y is simplified from 4x + (3y + 3x) -7y
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J, combine like terms 7x-4y
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f(n)= 2n + 1
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. After 3 months on a diet, Lisa had lost 12% of her original weight. She lost 21 pounds. What was Lisa's original weight?
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At high concentrations (>0.01 M), the relation between absorptivity coefficient and absorbance is no longer linear. This is due to the electrostatic interactions between the quantum dots in close proximity. If the concentration of the solution is high, another effect that is seen is the scattering of light from the large number of quantum dots. This assumption only works at low concentrations of the analyte. Presence of stray light.
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Source:  OpenStax, Wbrown dacc life science. OpenStax CNX. Aug 18, 2014 Download for free at http://legacy.cnx.org/content/col11694/1.2
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