What is a STERUS - Definition and Characteristics

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You have probably heard or read the word estero more than once. It can have several meanings, but usually, speaking in terms of ecology and environment, this word refers to areas with swampy conditions, which share a series of geographical and ecological characteristics.

If you want to learn more about what is an estuaryContinue reading this article by Green Ecologist in which we tell you that and everything about its characteristics and more.

What is an estuary - definition

¿What does estero mean? When referring to an estuary, the most common is that we are talking about some flat geographical area, that because of the inability of the terrain to drain the water completely, is partly bogged down. However, swampy areas that are flooded due to rain or flooding are also called estuaries.

These are areas with a high biodiversity, with depths usually below three meters and in subtropical or tropical regions. They also tend to show very oxygen-poor waters, a large amount of vegetation, both below and above the water level, and a large amount of decaying sediment.

In Spain, in addition, artificially formed salt water lakes are also called estuaries, almost always to exploit the salt itself. There are several that are no longer used for exploitation and have become nature reserves for local birds and fauna.

As estuaries are one of the lentic ecosystems, here we explain everything about what lentic ecosystems are, their characteristics and examples.

Examples of estuaries

There are a good number of estuaries throughout the world, especially if we take into account the different characteristics that are attributed to the term according to the geographical area. But nevertheless, the best known estuaries are as follows:

  • Esteros del Iberá, in Argentina.
  • Esteros del Guadalquivir, in Doñana, in Spain.
  • Esteros de Camaguán, in Venezuela.
  • Esteros between the Arauca River and the Meta River, in Colombia.

Estuary animals

Estuaries tend to be areas with a great biodiversity. Here we detail the fauna of the estuaries from different parts of the world:

Animals of the estuaries of Argentina

In the Iberá estuaries, species such as:

  • The deer of the pampas.
  • The deer of the marshes.
  • He will water guazú.
  • The capybara or capybara.
  • Howler monkeys.
  • The curiyú boa.
  • The alligators or alligators overo and black
  • Many birds, like the pirincho.

In addition, fish such as:

  • Golden.
  • Pacús.
  • Armed.
  • Tarariras.
  • Poppet.
  • Surubís.
  • Mojarras.

Jaguars, collared peccaries, choker wolves, anteaters and tapirs also inhabited this environment, although all these species disappeared from this area and are considered extinct there since the first half of the 20th century. These are thus areas of great environmental importance, vital for the subsistence of a large number of species.

Estuary animals in Spain

In Spain, on the other hand, these areas are exploited to obtain food in a regular but controlled way. The estuary fishing in the Bay of Cádiz it is a common practice in each season. It is called harvest season, in fact, and it was traditionally done when the areas were used for saline exploitation. When the salt extraction work ended in the season, the fish trapped in the rafts were removed. Thus, a whole festival was organized in honor of the end of the salt campaign, in which the collected fish was consumed and the surplus was sold or distributed.

Today, there are estuaries in the area that produce fish and seafood throughout the year thanks to the fish that are raised and reproduced there naturally. In Spain, these products are increasingly valued by restaurants, since they are fish and shellfish of higher quality and unique flavor. Among the most common fish of the fisheries or estuary fishing is:

  • The estuary seabass.
  • The golden one.
  • The smooth.
  • The flounder.
  • Eel.

Sometimes, you can also catch bream, croaker and king fish, small fish that bear a great resemblance to the anchovy. Regarding the shellfish, which is raised in the areas around the salt flats, in the limo, there are:

  • Coquinas.
  • Clams
  • Crabs
  • Muergos.
  • Cockles

These products are of higher quality thanks to the fact that both fish and shellfish feed naturally on what they find in the environment, unlike farmed fish, which is raised with feed. They are also particularly known estuary shrimp, which feed on plankton and microalgae and with which the well-known shrimp omelettes are made, and the estuary prawns, whose commercialization is booming and are eaten cooked.

If you want to read more articles similar to What is an estuary, we recommend that you enter our Ecosystems category.

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