INTRODUCTION Aquaticecosystems is an ecosystem in a body of water. Aquatic ecosystems communitiesof organisms depend on each other and on their environment. There are two maintypes of aquatic ecosystems which are marine ecosystems and freshwater ecosystems.Marineecosystems cover 71% of Earth’s surface and 97% of the planet’s water. Itgenerate almost 35% of the world’s net primary production. Marine or seawaterare much different from freshwater by the presence of dissolved compound,especially salts, in the water.
85% of the dissolved materials are sodium andchlorine. Seawater, on average salinity, has 3.5% or 35 parts per thousand(ppt). Different marine ecosystems may have different salinity.
Marineecosystems can be divide into many zones, depend on water depth and shorelinefeatures. Oceanic zone is the vast open part of the ocean while benthic zone isthe lowest level of an ocean consists of substrate below water where manyinvertebrates live. The intertidal zone or littoral zone is the area betweenhigh and low tides.
Other near-shore zones can include estuaries, salt marshes,coral reefs, lagoons and mangrove swamps. In deep water, chemosynthetic sulfurbacteria might form the base of the food web since hydrothermal vents mayoccur. There are many type of classes found in marine ecosystems. Some of itare algae, dinoflagellates, corals, cephalopods and echinoderms.
Fisheriesactivity are the major source of food obtained from wild population.Environmental problems concerning marine ecosystems include unsustainableexploitation(overfishing), climate change, marine pollution and coastal areadeveloping.Freshwaterecosystems cover 0.78% of the Earth’s surface and generate nearly 3% of primarynets production. It contain 41% of theworld fish species that has been known. There are three types of basicfreshwater which are Lentic, Lotic and wetlands.LENTIC Lentic is a slow moving water such as pools, ponds andlakes. Lentic can be divide into three zones.
The first one is littoral zones. Littoralzones are the shallow zone near the shore where rooted wetland plant lives.Offshore (pelagic zone) can be divided into two zones which are open water zone(photic zone) and deep water zone (aphotic zone). Photic zone is the zone wherelight can penetrate through the water. It support photosynthesis process foralgae and other species of organisms that carry out photosynthesis process.Aphotic zone is the zone that light is not available and the food web is basedon detritus entering from the littoral zone and photic zone. The productionfrom plant growing in the littoral zone, combined with production from planktongrowing in the open water resulting the production of a lake as a whole Lenticecosystem.
Wetlands can be count as part of the Lentic ecosystem since theyform naturally along lake shore mostly. The width of wetland and littoral zoneis depend upon the slope of shoreline and amount of water level changesnaturally within years. Dead trees often accumulate on the shore, either fromwindfalls or drifted log during floods. Those debris provide habitat for manyspecies such as fish and birds and in the same time, it protecting shorelinesfrom erosion. Two important subclasses of lakes are ponds, which can be assumeas small lakes that integrate with wetlands, and water reservoirs. Pond is asmall bodies of freshwater that have marsh-like and contain aquatic plants.
Itcan be divided into four zones which are vegetation zone, open water, bottomand surface film. The size and depth are varies within years and depend to theriver since most of the ponds produce from river flooding. Food web are basedon algae and aquatic plants.
There are usually have a diverse of aquatic lifesuch as algae, snails, fish and many more. Since most ponds tend to dry duringhot season, it might affect the prey-predators interaction because most of theliving organisms might die. Only some species have chance to survive due totheir ability to adapt with their environment.LOTIC Lotic is a fast moving water, for example, streams andrivers. The major zones in these ecosystems determined by the river floor’sgradient or the current’s velocity.
The faster the water turbulent moves, thegreater concentration of dissolved oxygen contain. As the concentration ofdissolved oxygen high in an area, it can support greater biodiversity compareto low concentration of dissolved oxygen area. These distinctions form twodivision of rivers, which are upland and lowland basis. The food base ofriperian forests mostly come from the trees. The wider the streams, the lessdependent of food from riparian forests since they have lack of canopy in themiddle area and allow organisms such as algae to carry out photosynthesis andindirectly become source of food to other living organisms in the streams algaemanage to increase their population.
Environmental threads to rivers andstreams are like dams, chemical pollution and loss of water. Dams producenegative effects since it reduce the watershed area. The most negative effectis reduction of spring flooding, lead to damaging wetlands and cause the lossof deltaic wetlands.WETLANDS Wetland is an area dominated by plants that are vasculartissue type that have been adapted with saturated soil. Four main types ofwetlands are swamps, marsh, fen and bog ( fens and bogs are types of mire).Wetlands are the most productive ecosystems because the proximity of water andsoil are the most ideal. Due to their productivity, which they can supportlarge numbers of plant and animal species, wetlands often converted intodryland by build up dykes and drains to be used for agricultural purposes. Whenthe dykes and drains constructed, it may lead to many negative consequences forwetlands and watersheds.
Since lakes and rivers located nearby, there are highchances for developing human settlements. Once it constructed and protected bydykes, the settlements might have flooding problems since land subsidence arehighly chances to occur. ECOSYSTEMHEALTHEcosystemhealth is a term used to describe the ecosystem metaphorally. It can be vary asa result of natural disaster or man-made activity such as chemical spills.There is no specific reading or evaluating devices used to determine thecondition of ecosystems.
It is totally depend on individu that carry out theassessment. The ecosystem health metaphor has been apply to the environment inearly 1800s to describe the environment quality and then used to embrace somesuite of environment goals. Edward Grumbine (American scientist) carry out someresearch and survey about “ecosystem health” to encounter their goal statementsabout the real meaning of “ecosystem health”.One ofthe way to have preserve ecosystem health is by applying ecosystem engineering.
Ecosystem engineering is something that occur in any organisms that creates,modifies, maintain or destroy a habitat. There are two types of ecosystemengineering. First one is allogenic engineering. Allogenic engineering isactivity that modify environment by changing living or non-living materialsmechanically from one to another new materials. The best example are beavers.The construction of dam in the area will change the distribution and abundanceof organisms living in the area. They might give benefits to certain speciesand might harms the others. The second one is autogenic engineering.
Autogenicengineering means they change the environment by modifying themselves. Treesare the best example of autogenic engineering because as they grow, the trunksand branches create shelter and habitats for other species of organisms such asbirds, squirrels and insects. Ecosystem engineering is important since itinfluence other individuals habitat and source of food. Besides, ecosystemengineering has been linked to higher species richness at certain level.
Besides,we can preserve the ecosystem by maintaining the evolutionary and ecologicalprocesses or ecological succession. Ecological succession is the process of theevolution in the species structure in a community over times. Time consumed maybe decades or centuries, or even millions of years after huge change occur. Thecommunity begins when few relatively pioneer species develops from simple structureto complex one.
The changes occur so they can adapt to the new environmentuntil it reach the stable climax community. Evolution only occurs if there isany changes in the environment. French naturalist, Adolphe Dureau de la Mallewas the precursor of the ecological succession idea in early 19thcentury. The site condition can influence the track of successional changeswhen the character of the events start the interaction with species present andinitiate succession. More factors that affect the succession such as weathercondition on that time or availability of colonists.
In general, earlysuccession community will be dominated by strong characters community such asfast-growing or well-dispersed species. As the times flow, the new generationof species tend to be more competitive and replace the older generationcommunity.Lastly,we as the consumer, should know the right ways to accommodating human use andoccupancy within these constraints. Authorities should not allow catching someendangered species so they can reproduce and increase their population again.NGO also plays big role in this situation since they have influence towardssociety. They can educate people about the awareness for conserving the aquaticecosystem so they will know how important those ecosystems to human. People alsoget food source from aquatic ecosystems so they must know how to conserve thosefood sources.
They also should know that the source for their drinking watercame from nature, so that they will take care of the ecosystems from pollutionespecially from chemical waste because it contain highly harmful substances andmight destroy the ecosystems including those organisms in the ecosystems.In anutshell, those are some ways can be done to conserve the ecosystems. In orderto make things better, all parties should take responsibilities and involve in this conservation. One part wouldhardly make a change but if all parts involved, nothing is impossible.