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Long, thin, low offshore islands of sediment that generally run parallel to the shore along some coasts
Land along a coastline, extending inland from an estuary, that is covered with salt water all or part of the year
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
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.
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
Upper layer of a body of water through which sunlight can penetrate and support photosynthesis
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
Land away from the coast, such as a swamp, marsh, or bog, that is covered all or part of the time with fresh water
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
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
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
Precipitation that does not infiltrate the ground or return to the atmosphere by evaporation or transpiration
Land area that delivers water, sediment, and dissolved substances via small streams to a major stream (river).
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