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5 estuarine organisms

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  • 1. 5. Estuarine OrganismsWrite Down in Your Notes: “FW”=“freshwater”, “SW”=“saltwater”
  • 2. Estuarine Biodiversity• There are fewer species in estuaries than in Freshwater or Saltwater alone• Many species visit because of: – Feeding – Refuge – Reproduction – Nursery
  • 3. Primary Productivity in EstuariesTends to be high because of high nutrientlevels. From where? – Freshwater runoff from land – Decaying plant matter from marshes, algae – Sediments containing minerals trapped by surrounding calm waters
  • 4. Adaptations for Life in an Estuary• Stenohaline vs. Euryhaline• Catadromous vs. Anadromous• Osmoconformers vs. Osmoregulators
  • 5. Stenohaline vs. Euryhaline• Stenohaline – organisms that can’t tolerate wide salinity changes• Some can tolerate only high salinity -Examples – corals, reef fishes; prefer SW 30‰• Some can tolerate only low salinity -Examples – frogs, goldfish, prefer FW 0‰Neither can live in an estuary & are restricted to live in SW or FW (but NOT both)!!
  • 6. Stenohaline vs. Euryhaline cont.• Euryhaline – organisms that can tolerate wide salinity changes – these are best for an estuary, can live anywhere in it! -Examples – clams, oysters, crabs, some fish Reminder: Fewer species are found in estuaries, but there are MORE of the individual organisms
  • 7. Catadromous vs. Anadromous• Anadromous species – live in SW but breed in FW• Examples – salmon, striped bass, shad, sturgeon, alewife, lamprey – Atlantic salmon: Breed in FW from CT to Spain – Migrate to Greenland & Norway to feed – Return to stream of birth (using smell to navigate) – Dams sometimes block their progress home
  • 8. Catadromous vs. Anadromous continued• Catadromous species – live in FW but breed in SW• Examples – Eels – Live in N. American & European rivers – Migrate to Sargasso Sea - breed & die – Larvae drift – Gulf Stream & North Atlantic; drift 2 years to estuaries – Change to juveniles & migrate to hang out in estuaries – Live up to 10 years
  • 9. AnadromousCatadromous
  • 10. Osmoconformers vs. Osmoregulators• Osmoregulators – actively control amount of salt in their bodies, no matter what’s going on in water around them i.e. many estuarine fishes• Osmoconformers – pretty much match the salinity of their environment, don’t do much to change their own internal osmotic balance, i.e. most marine invertebrates