23 terms

Georgia Virtual Learning: Coastal Ecosystems Terms

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Barrier island
A long narrow island which runs parallel to and provides a measure of protection for the mainland
Longshore drift
Generated by waves and currents that move sediment along the beach shore
Wetlands
An area of land that has soil saturated with moisture, such as a swamp, marsh, or bog
Estuary
Semi-enclosed coastal body of water where fresh water form rivers or streams meets the open sea
Detritivores
Organisms that feed on detritus (decomposing organic matter)
Anaerobic respiration
Cellular metabolism in which oxygen is not used
Coral reef
A reef composed of coral and the organic matter
Apron reef
Short reef resembling a fringing reef, but more sloped; extending out and downward from a point or peninsular shore.
Fringing reef
Reef that is directly attached to shore or borders it with an intervening shallow channel or lagoon.
Barrier reef
Reef separated from a mainland or island shore by a deep lagoon.
Patch reef
An isolated, often circular reef, usually within a lagoon or embayment.
Ribbon reef
Long, narrow, and somewhat winding reef, usually associated with an atoll lagoon.
Table reef
Isolated reef, approaching an atoll type, but without a lagoon.
Atoll reef
A more or less circular or continuous barrier reef surrounding a lagoon without a central island.
Grass community
Nursery community of flowering plants that live underwater.
Sandy beach
Community along the foreshore where large animals burrow into the sand
Backshore
The region of beach from beyond the waves to the vegetation line
Foreshore
Sloping part of the beach. The low and hide tides (internal zone)
Inshore
The area seaward of the foreshore
Rocky shore
Sometimes referred to as the internal community, where organism live within the extreme condition between the high and low tide line
Mangrove community
Communities of trees that grow in shallow marine waters
Fouling community
Communities of organisms found on the sides of docks, marinas, harbors, and boats
Kelp forest
A forest of giant kelp which grows in cool, clear costal waters
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