oceanography 23

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land margin ecosystems

general features of land margin ecosystem

land meets water
sharp gradients
give rise to zonation

5 examples of LME

Estuaries, seagrass beds, salt marsh and mangroves, Rocky shores, Sandy shores

Estuary

semi-enclosed coastal body of water has free connection with the open sea and within which sea water is measurably dilued with freshwater derived from land drainage

birth and death of esutary

birth- sea levels rise and drowns low lying valleys near the sea
Death- filled with sediment and without sea-level rise

Estuarine circulation

salt wedge
partially mixed
well-mixed

seagrass

macrophytes (big plants) and submerged aquatic vegetation
not true plants and not kelp

Salt marsh

salt marshes are beds of intertidal rotted vegetation which are alternately inundated and drained by the tides

requirements for salt marsh and mangroves

protected shores with fine sediment
salt water
tides
temperature - marshes temperate
- mangroves tropical

Mangrove

ecological equivalent of salt marshes in tropical areas.
contains trees adapted to saline water

Rocky shore

supports a diverse and conspicuous assemblage of invertebrates and luxuriant macroalgal growth that produce more organic material than almost any other intertidal habitat

Rocky shore zones

splash zone
high
mid
low

3 main types of barriers

pebbles
sandy
sandy/mud

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