Lesson 4: Marine Ecosystems and Estuaries

Wrapping Up


Think about your answer to this topic and then discuss the question below with your parent:

Keep in mind that mass extinction has occurred before in Earth's history. With the way the ecosystems are, it is highly likely that nature would adapt to those circumstances. The ecosystems would adjust to the conditions and by adjusting, they could survive. Adjustments might include numbers of offspring, changes in nutritional habits, or growth of different species. What are some changes you think might happen in estuaries due to pollution runoff?

Questions to Discuss

  • Briefly describe plankton. (Marine organisms that drift with the currents; not capable of swimming, such as one-celled organisms like jellyfish.)
  • Briefly describe nekton. (Organisms like tuna or sea turtles that actively swim rather than float with the oceans currents.)

Things to Review

There are a variety of marine ecosystems, and each one has properties that make it distinct from the others. Estuaries play a significant role in the continuation of life in marine/aquatic ecosystems. The presence of nutrients/minerals in an estuary makes it ideal as a nursery for marine organisms; the contents of the water in estuaries influence life.