Like this study set? Create a free account to save it.

Sign up for an account

Already have a Quizlet account? .

Create an account

Aquatic Biodiversity

barrier islands

Long, thin, low offshore islands of sediment that generally run parallel to the shore along some coasts


Bottom-dwelling organisms

coastal wetland

Land along a coastline, extending inland from an estuary, that is covered with salt water all or part of the year

coastal zone

Warm, nutrient-rich, shallow part of the ocean that extends from the high-tide mark on land to the edge of a shelflike extension of continental land masses known as the continental shelf

coral reef

Formation produced by massive colonies containing billions of tiny coral animals, called polyps, that secrete a stony substance (calcium carbonate) around themselves for protection. When the corals die, their empty outer skeletons form layers and cause the reef to grow. They are found in the coastal zones of warm tropical and subtropical oceans.

cultural eutrophication

Overnourishment of aquatic ecosystems with plant nutrients (mostly nitrates and phosphates) because of human activities such as agriculture, urbanization, and discharges from industrial plants and sewage treatment plants


Organism that digests parts of dead organisms and cast-off fragments and wastes of living organisms by breaking down the complex organic molecules in those materials into simpler inorganic compounds and then absorbing the soluble nutrients. Producers return most of these chemicals to the soil and water for reuse. Decomposers consist of various bacteria and fungi


Partially enclosed coastal area at the mouth of a river where its fresh water, carrying fertile silt and runoff from the land, mixes with salty seawater

euphotic zone

Upper layer of a body of water through which sunlight can penetrate and support photosynthesis

eutrophic lake

Lake with a large or excessive supply of plant nutrients, mostly nitrates and phosphates

freshwater life zones

Aquatic systems where water with a dissolved salt concentration of less than 1% by volume accumulates on or flows through the surfaces of terrestrial biomes

inland wetlands

Land away from the coast, such as a swamp, marsh, or bog, that is covered all or part of the time with fresh water

intertidal zone

The area of shoreline between low and high tides


Large natural body of standing fresh water formed when water from precipitation, land runoff, or groundwater flow fills a depression in the earth created by glaciation, earth movement, volcanic activity, or a giant meteorite

mangrove swamps

Swamps found on the coastlines in warm tropical climates. They are dominated by mangrove trees, any of about 55 species of trees and shrubs that can live partly submerged in the salty environment of coastal swamps

mesotrophic lake

Lake with a moderate supply of plant nutrients


Strongly swimming organisms found in aquatic systems

oligotrophic lake

Lake with a low supply of plant nutrients

open sea

The part of an ocean that is beyond the continental shelf


Small, drifting plants, mostly algae and bacteria, found in aquatic ecosystems


Small plant organisms (phytoplankton) and animal organisms (zooplankton) that float in aquatic ecosystems


Fresh water from precipitation and melting ice that flows on the earth's surface into nearby streams, lakes, wetlands, and reservoirs

surface water

Precipitation that does not infiltrate the ground or return to the atmosphere by evaporation or transpiration


Photosynthetic bacteria no more than 2 micrometers wide


Land area that delivers water, sediment, and dissolved substances via small streams to a major stream (river).


Animal plankton. Small floating herbivores that feed on plant plankton (phytoplankton

Please allow access to your computer’s microphone to use Voice Recording.

Having trouble? Click here for help.

We can’t access your microphone!

Click the icon above to update your browser permissions and try again


Reload the page to try again!


Press Cmd-0 to reset your zoom

Press Ctrl-0 to reset your zoom

It looks like your browser might be zoomed in or out. Your browser needs to be zoomed to a normal size to record audio.

Please upgrade Flash or install Chrome
to use Voice Recording.

For more help, see our troubleshooting page.

Your microphone is muted

For help fixing this issue, see this FAQ.

Star this term

You can study starred terms together

Voice Recording