INTRODUCTION

           

Aquatic
ecosystems is an ecosystem in a body of water. Aquatic ecosystems communities
of organisms depend on each other and on their environment. There are two main
types of aquatic ecosystems which are marine ecosystems and freshwater ecosystems.

We Will Write a Custom Essay Specifically
For You For Only $13.90/page!


order now

Marine
ecosystems cover 71% of Earth’s surface and 97% of the planet’s water. It
generate almost 35% of the world’s net primary production. Marine or seawater
are much different from freshwater by the presence of dissolved compound,
especially salts, in the water. 85% of the dissolved materials are sodium and
chlorine. Seawater, on average salinity, has 3.5% or 35 parts per thousand
(ppt). Different marine ecosystems may have different salinity. Marine
ecosystems can be divide into many zones, depend on water depth and shoreline
features. Oceanic zone is the vast open part of the ocean while benthic zone is
the lowest level of an ocean consists of substrate below water where many
invertebrates live. The intertidal zone or littoral zone is the area between
high and low tides. Other near-shore zones can include estuaries, salt marshes,
coral reefs, lagoons and mangrove swamps. In deep water, chemosynthetic sulfur
bacteria might form the base of the food web since hydrothermal vents may
occur. There are many type of classes found in marine ecosystems. Some of it
are algae, dinoflagellates, corals, cephalopods and echinoderms. Fisheries
activity are the major source of food obtained from wild population.
Environmental problems concerning marine ecosystems include unsustainable
exploitation(overfishing), climate change, marine pollution and coastal area
developing.

Freshwater
ecosystems cover 0.78% of the Earth’s surface and generate nearly 3% of primary
nets production.  It contain 41% of the
world fish species that has been known. There are three types of basic
freshwater which are Lentic, Lotic and wetlands.

LENTIC

            Lentic is a slow moving water such as pools, ponds and
lakes. Lentic can be divide into three zones. The first one is littoral zones. Littoral
zones 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 where
light can penetrate through the water. It support photosynthesis process for
algae 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 based
on detritus entering from the littoral zone and photic zone. The production
from plant growing in the littoral zone, combined with production from plankton
growing in the open water resulting the production of a lake as a whole Lentic
ecosystem. Wetlands can be count as part of the Lentic ecosystem since they
form naturally along lake shore mostly. The width of wetland and littoral zone
is depend upon the slope of shoreline and amount of water level changes
naturally within years. Dead trees often accumulate on the shore, either from
windfalls or drifted log during floods. Those debris provide habitat for many
species such as fish and birds and in the same time, it protecting shorelines
from erosion. Two important subclasses of lakes are ponds, which can be assume
as small lakes that integrate with wetlands, and water reservoirs. Pond is a
small bodies of freshwater that have marsh-like and contain aquatic plants. It
can be divided into four zones which are vegetation zone, open water, bottom
and surface film. The size and depth are varies within years and depend to the
river since most of the ponds produce from river flooding. Food web are based
on algae and aquatic plants. There are usually have a diverse of aquatic life
such as algae, snails, fish and many more. Since most ponds tend to dry during
hot season, it might affect the prey-predators interaction because most of the
living organisms might die. Only some species have chance to survive due to
their ability to adapt with their environment.

LOTIC

            Lotic is a fast moving water, for example, streams and
rivers. The major zones in these ecosystems determined by the river floor’s
gradient or the current’s velocity. The faster the water turbulent moves, the
greater concentration of dissolved oxygen contain. As the concentration of
dissolved oxygen high in an area, it can support greater biodiversity compare
to low concentration of dissolved oxygen area. These distinctions form two
division of rivers, which are upland and lowland basis. The food base of
riperian forests mostly come from the trees. The wider the streams, the less
dependent of food from riparian forests since they have lack of canopy in the
middle area and allow organisms such as algae to carry out photosynthesis and
indirectly become source of food to other living organisms in the streams algae
manage to increase their population. Environmental threads to rivers and
streams are like dams, chemical pollution and loss of water. Dams produce
negative effects since it reduce the watershed area. The most negative effect
is reduction of spring flooding, lead to damaging wetlands and cause the loss
of deltaic wetlands.

WETLANDS

            Wetland is an area dominated by plants that are vascular
tissue type that have been adapted with saturated soil. Four main types of
wetlands are swamps, marsh, fen and bog ( fens and bogs are types of mire).
Wetlands are the most productive ecosystems because the proximity of water and
soil are the most ideal. Due to their productivity, which they can support
large numbers of plant and animal species, wetlands often converted into
dryland by build up dykes and drains to be used for agricultural purposes. When
the dykes and drains constructed, it may lead to many negative consequences for
wetlands and watersheds. Since lakes and rivers located nearby, there are high
chances for developing human settlements. Once it constructed and protected by
dykes, the settlements might have flooding problems since land subsidence are
highly chances to occur. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

ECOSYSTEM
HEALTH

Ecosystem
health is a term used to describe the ecosystem metaphorally. It can be vary as
a result of natural disaster or man-made activity such as chemical spills.
There is no specific reading or evaluating devices used to determine the
condition of ecosystems. It is totally depend on individu that carry out the
assessment. The ecosystem health metaphor has been apply to the environment in
early 1800s to describe the environment quality and then used to embrace some
suite of environment goals. Edward Grumbine (American scientist) carry out some
research and survey about “ecosystem health” to encounter their goal statements
about the real meaning of “ecosystem health”.

One of
the 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 ecosystem
engineering. First one is allogenic engineering. Allogenic engineering is
activity that modify environment by changing living or non-living materials
mechanically from one to another new materials. The best example are beavers.
The construction of dam in the area will change the distribution and abundance
of organisms living in the area. They might give benefits to certain species
and might harms the others. The second one is autogenic engineering. Autogenic
engineering means they change the environment by modifying themselves. Trees
are the best example of autogenic engineering because as they grow, the trunks
and branches create shelter and habitats for other species of organisms such as
birds, squirrels and insects. Ecosystem engineering is important since it
influence other individuals habitat and source of food. Besides, ecosystem
engineering has been linked to higher species richness at certain level.

Besides,
we can preserve the ecosystem by maintaining the evolutionary and ecological
processes or ecological succession. Ecological succession is the process of the
evolution in the species structure in a community over times. Time consumed may
be decades or centuries, or even millions of years after huge change occur. The
community begins when few relatively pioneer species develops from simple structure
to complex one. The changes occur so they can adapt to the new environment
until it reach the stable climax community. Evolution only occurs if there is
any changes in the environment. French naturalist, Adolphe Dureau de la Malle
was the precursor of the ecological succession idea in early 19th
century. The site condition can influence the track of successional changes
when the character of the events start the interaction with species present and
initiate succession. More factors that affect the succession such as weather
condition on that time or availability of colonists. In general, early
succession community will be dominated by strong characters community such as
fast-growing or well-dispersed species. As the times flow, the new generation
of species tend to be more competitive and replace the older generation
community.

Lastly,
we as the consumer, should know the right ways to accommodating human use and
occupancy within these constraints. Authorities should not allow catching some
endangered species so they can reproduce and increase their population again.
NGO also plays big role in this situation since they have influence towards
society. They can educate people about the awareness for conserving the aquatic
ecosystem so they will know how important those ecosystems to human. People also
get food source from aquatic ecosystems so they must know how to conserve those
food sources. They also should know that the source for their drinking water
came from nature, so that they will take care of the ecosystems from pollution
especially from chemical waste because it contain highly harmful substances and
might destroy the ecosystems including those organisms in the ecosystems.

In a
nutshell, those are some ways can be done to conserve the ecosystems. In order
to make things better, all parties should take responsibilities and  involve in this conservation. One part would
hardly make a change but if all parts involved, nothing is impossible.