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Ecosystems This Essay Covers Every Major Biome In Biology, Addresses Every Key Term In Enviromental Biology, And Gives Great Illistrations Of Each Biome.

6053 words - 24 pages

There are several large categories of living communities called biomes. The biomes are made up of ecosystems. The living parts of an ecosystem, like the plants, animals, and bacteria found in soil, are known as a community. The physical surroundings, or biotic components, such as the minerals found in the soil, are known as the environment or habitat.The major parts of an ecosystem are the producers (green plants), the consumers (herbivores and carnivores), the decomposers (fungi and bacteria), and the nonliving, or abiotic, component, consisting of dead organic matter and nutrients in the soil and water.I. EstuariesThe Webster's dictionary defines estuaries as "a water passage where the tide meets a river current; an arm of the sea at the lower end of a river." (1)An estuary is simply a partly-enclosed coastal body of water that a river dumps into an ocean. A delta, or the mouth of the river is essentially the same thing (2). It has a free connection with the open sea but its salty sea water is diluted with fresh water from inland rivers and creeks. The normally narrow and ribbon-like patterns of estuaries , sand dunes, salt marshes, and flats allows the estuary to act as a "trap" for nutrients washed down towards the sea. This mix of nutrients provides a home to many very different kinds of plants and animals. All of them must be able to adapt to an environment that change by the hour. The ocean tides push salty sea water in and out of estuaries constantly. So this causes water in the morning that may be dry and hot in the afternoon to change to salty in the afternoon, and by nightfall, as ocean water flows out, may return to fresh water as river water rushes in.In the United States, 40 percent of our rivers and streams are too polluted for swimming and fishing, and 44 percent of U.S. estuaries are degraded. Because of the pollution, states have started to limit the amount of fishing licenses issued to commercial fisheries.As estuaries become more polluted, the deposit feeders and filter feeders are at risk because the food they eat tends to accumulate chemical pollution. These poisons will accumulate in their bodies and be passed on to shore birds, animals, and humans that eat them. In addition, pollution tends to reduce the amount of light that can penetrate the water. This reduction in light decreases the growth of aquatic plants and limits sea grass to shallower regions, diminishing an important habitat for many species.Pollutants come in many forms. Many of the estuaries contain polluted sediment. Heavy metals, radioactive waste, and organic chemicals have been introduced intentionally and accidentally. Sometimes is comes as agricultural fertilizers (herbicides and pesticides), and urban runoff (human sewage). It's easy to blame industrial waste, but as much as 25 percent of toxic waste comes from homes (i.e. many cleaners, paints, antifreezes, solvents, and prescription drugs.Oil is a major problem for open oceans, coastal waters, and...

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