Aquatic Ecosystem – Definition and its Types

Introduction to Aquatic Ecosystem 

An ecosystem termed is a natural unit of living and nonliving parts that interact to produce a stable system. Furthermore, habitat is an important part of such an ecosystem. Primarily ecosystem has two domains such as terrestrial ecosystem and aquatic ecosystem.

Water certainly supports many lives. Moreover, the organisms which survive in water are aquatic organisms. Furthermore, they thus depend on water for their food, shelter, reproduction and many other life activities.

aquatic ecosystem

Definition of Aquatic Ecosystem

First of all, an ecosystem is a community of living organisms and their physical and chemical environment, linked with the help of flows of energy and nutrients. Furthermore, ecosystems function as an ecological unit and therefore can be defined at a variety of scales.

Most noteworthy, the aquatic ecosystem includes freshwater habitats such as lakes, ponds, rivers, oceans and streams, wetlands, swamp, etc. Whereas marine habitats include oceans, intertidal zone, reefs, seabed and so on. Furthermore, the aquatic ecosystem is the habitat for water-dependent species like animals, plants, and microbes.

Living organisms in a particular environment are certainly affected by characteristics such as nutrient concentrations, temperature, water flow, and shelter. Furthermore, only those organisms can survive which are able to live in the conditions of a particular habitat and use the available resources.

Interactions between living organisms also affect the type of organisms which can be found in an aquatic ecosystem. Therefore, the understanding of the basic components of aquatic ecosystems and the related interactions can lead to better management of human impacts on these systems.

Types of Aquatic Ecosystem

Different types of aquatic ecosystems are as follows:

1. Freshwater Ecosystem:

These cover only a small portion of the earth which is nearly 0.8 percent. Freshwater means lakes, ponds, rivers and streams, wetlands, swamp, bog, and temporary pools.

2. Lotic Ecosystems:

These mainly refer to the rapidly flowing waters that move in a unidirectional way including the rivers and streams. Furthermore, these environments have numerous species such as beetles, mayflies, stoneflies and several species of fishes including trout, eel, minnow, etc.

3. Lentic Ecosystems:

They include all standing water habitats. Moreover, lakes and ponds are the primary examples of the Lentic Ecosystem.  Also, these ecosystems contain algae, crabs, shrimps, and amphibians such as frogs and salamanders.

4. Wetlands:

Wetlands are marshy areas and are sometimes covered in water which has a wide variety of plants and animals. Swamps, marshes, bogs, black spruce, and water lilies are the main examples in the plant species. The animal life of this ecosystem consists of dragonflies, damselflies, and various birds and fishes.

5. Marine Aquatic Ecosystem:

The marine ecosystem covers the largest surface on the earth. Two-thirds of the earth is covered by water which constitutes oceans, seas, intertidal zone, reefs, seabed, etc. Form of each life is unique and native to its habitat.

6. Ocean Ecosystems:

Our earth is having five major oceans. Moreover, these oceans are like a home to more than five lakhs aquatic species. Some species of this ecosystem include shellfish, Shark, Tube Worms, Crab Small, and large ocean fishes.

7. Coastal Systems:

These are the open systems of land and water, joined together to form the coastal ecosystems. A wide variety of species of aquatic plants and algae live at the bottom of it. The diverse fauna consists of crabs, fish, insects, lobsters snails, shrimp, etc.

Solved Question For You

Q. Why marine aquatic ecosystem species cannot survive in freshwater?

Ans: Body of the marine aquatic ecosystem species is adapted to live in saltwater. So, if they are in less salty water like freshwater in rivers, their bodies will swell due to the osmosis process.

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