Flash Cards

Estuary Ecology

Question Answer
estuary the areas of water and shoreline where a freshwater stream or river merges with the ocean
Salt-Wedge Estuaries when the mouth of a river flows directly into salt water (Mississippi, Columbia and Hudson rivers)
Fjord characterized by a deep elongated basin that is U-shaped and a ledge or barrier that separates the basin from the sea. Found along glaciated coasts–Alaska, Norway
Slightly Stratified or Partially Mixed Estuary have a tidal flow that provides a means of erasing the salt wedge–Puget Sound, San Francisco Bay
Vertically Stratified or Well Mixed Estuaries have strong tidal mixing and low river flow that mix the sea water throughout the shallow estuary–Delaware Bay
Freshwater Estuaries occur where massive freshwater systems, as the Great Lakes, are diluted by river or stream waters draining from adjacent lands
Common Estuarine Habitats oyster reefs
? kelp forests
? rocky and soft shorelines
? submerged aquatic vegetation
? coastal marshes
? mangroves forests
? mud flats
? tidal streams
? barrier beaches
? salt marshes
? deepwater swamps and riverine forests
Salt pannes and pools water retaining depressions located within salt and brackish marshes
Invasive species species that do not naturally live in an estuary, but were introduced, often accidentally, by humans
Kelp Forests occur in cold, nutrient-rich water of shallow open coastal waters
Rocky Shorelines and Bottoms have hard surfaces made of stones, boulders and bedrock
Soft Shores and Bottoms low-lying sand beaches, muddy shores and mudflats made of sediments that have mixed with detritus (think of muck or ooze)
Submerged Aquatic Vegetation also called SAV, are beds of leafy rooted, grass-like plants with tiny flowers, found in shallow waters where light can penetrate
Coastal Marshes composed of upright plants that live above the water surface, often with their roots submerged
Mangroves trees that can survive in very salty areas
Deepwater Swamps and Riverine Forests flooded, forested wetlands growing near edges of lakes, rivers and sluggish streams
Mud Flats and Sand Flats part of benthic (bottom) zone exposed at low tide and comprised of extremely fine sediments
Tidal Streams highly productive transitional areas between the freshwater of rivers and the salt water of bays
Barrier Beaches spits of sand that form parallel to the shore
Salt Marshes wetland flooded regularly by tidal, brackish water


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