Aquatic habitats are the refuge of a great diversity of living beings. However, due to the difficulties it represents, life under water has not been as studied as life on land. Certainly, studying and characterizing the variety of aquatic habitats and ecosystems that exist will allow us to better understand aquatic life.
Therefore, in this interesting article by Green Ecologist, we will dive into the water and tell you all about what is the aquatic habitat, its characteristics, types and examples. Continue reading!
We will start this topic with the definition of aquatic habitat. This is any physical space located above the hydrosphere that is inhabited by a particular species. By hydrosphere we understand the portion of the Earth occupied by oceans, seas, rivers, lakes and other types of water masses.
Regarding the characteristics of the aquatic habitat, stable temperature is essential for the survival of water-adapted biota. This differs widely with terrestrial habitat, which is characterized by sudden changes in temperature.
Within the components of the aquatic habitat that make life in water possible, we can distinguish between:
As you may know, not all aquatic ecosystems are the same and, precisely, existing habitats in marine ecosystems differ widely in their characteristics, with respect to the habitats of river, lake and lagoon ecosystems. Therefore, there are different types of aquatic habitats that, in this particular article, we will differentiate them into two types:
These habitats include oceans, seas, and salt marshes. Most of the species that live in these habitats develop practically in darkness, because the light only penetrates up to 100 meters deep. In addition, another main characteristic is the presence of concentrations of salts to which the biota is adapted to live.
This includes habitats within bodies of water that are remote from seas or oceans, such as rivers, lakes, ponds, and more. Depending on the speed of the water flow and the amount of suspended sediment, the water can be more or less cloudy. Precisely the turbidity and also the depth, determine the clarity and luminosity of the habitat.
In this section we will mention different examples of aquatic habitats. All of them present biotic and abiotic factors that together enable the development of aquatic biodiversity.
Examples of habitats within marine or saltwater ecosystems differ from each other by depth and the characteristics it determines. Among them we find:
With regard to habitats within freshwater ecosystems, we can distinguish them according to the movement of their currents, such as:
In addition, here below we leave you several images of the aquatic habitat, both salt water and fresh water, in the same order in which we have mentioned them.
As we mentioned at the beginning, aquatic habitats are home to a great diversity of species. Here, in particular, we will mention some aquatic habitat animals.
Vertebrate animals are defined by having a backbone. Many vertebrates have both terrestrial and aquatic life, such as aquatic birds, which nest and spend most of the time on land, but often dive in the water in search of food. However, in this section we will focus only on vertebrates that have a completely aquatic life.
In contrast to vertebrates, invertebrates do not have a backbone. This group is megadiverse and many of them are of aquatic habits such as mollusks (such as snails or octopuses), crustaceans (such as crabs), echinoderms (among them the starfish and the urchin), poriferous (such as sea sponges) and many more.
If you want to read more articles similar to Aquatic habitat: what is it, characteristics, types and examples, we recommend that you enter our Ecosystems category.