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Exploring The Underwater Ecosystem

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An ecosystem is an environment where plants and animals live together. The Earth is comprised of over 70% water and so there are many underwater ecosystem examples available to study and explore.

The underwater ecosystem is one that is vast, exciting and ever changing. There are a couple different types of underwater ecosystems such as marine ecosystems, fresh water ecosystems.

The Different Types of Marine Ecosystems

There are many different marine ecosystems in the world including:

• Oceans
• Estuaries
• Salt marshes
• Lagoons
• Mangrove forests
• Coral reefs
• Shores

There are a wide assortment of plants and animals in an underwater ecosystem. The oceans are teaming with life and all of the different species live together in an environment that requires them to depend upon each other for survival. Star fish, and coral can be found growing side by side in the ocean along with a large variety of other invertebrates. Large schools of fish swim around in the salty seas with sea turtles, sharks, whales, dolphins, lobsters and crabs. The huge variety of animals that live in the underwater ecosystem is impressive.
Plants live primarily in the shallower area of an underwater ecosystem where they are able to get more sun light. The plants are a source of food for many small animals and micro organisms in the seas

Freshwater Ecosystems Are Very Diverse

Fresh water ecosystems consist of:

• Lakes
• Streams
• Ponds
• Rivers


Marine ecosystems are different from freshwater ecosystems because they contain salt. These two ecosystems sustain different types of plants, micro organisms, fish and animals. In any underwater ecosystem the plants and animals are dependent upon each other for survival.

Freshwater ecosystems are classified according to temperature, light penetration, and vegetation.

One great example of an underwater ecosystem that consists of fresh water is the Chesapeake Bay. The Chesapeake Bay is a very large ecosystem that houses over 3600 species of plants, fish and animals. The Chesapeake Bay is a very important underwater ecosystem that supports much life on the land as well as in the water. Many of the plants that grow in the Chesapeake Bay are entirely underwater and provide food for fish, birds and shellfish. They are also used as breeding grounds and provide vital oxygen to help keep the underwater ecosystem of the Chesapeake Bay thriving.

Some of the other animals that can be found in a freshwater ecosystem or rely on the animals that belong in it include trout, bass, catfish, bald eagles, geese, swans, ducks, gulls, and many other beautiful creatures.



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