ESTUARIES (ECOSYSTEM)

The area where a freshwater stream or river merges with the ocean is called an estuary. It is composed of intertidal salt marshes. Salinity varies within estuaries from fresh water to ocean. It varies on a daily cycle with the rise and fall ,of the tides. Nutrients from the river enrich estuarine. Thus the estuaries are the nne of the most biologically active environments on the earth.

1. importance of estuaries

‘ . Salt marsh grasses, algae and phytoplankton are major producers in estuaries. This environment supports a variety, of worms, oysters, crabs, and of the fish species. Humans consume these animals.

2. Many invertebrates and fish use estuaries as a breeding ground. Some fishes migrate through them to freshwater.

. Estuaries are also important feeding areas for many semi aquatic vertebrates. 4. The areas of estuaries are important locations for commercial and residential developments. But estuaries are receiving a large amount of pollutants


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