Presentation on theme: "Salt Marsh Habitats. The grasses of a coastal lagoon or marsh serve as a habitat, providing food and shelter to a diverse array of organisms including."— Presentation transcript:
Salt Marsh Habitats
The grasses of a coastal lagoon or marsh serve as a habitat, providing food and shelter to a diverse array of organisms including insects, birds, and fish.
Roots and plant fibers of salt marsh grasses also stabilize bottom sediments which greatly decrease the rate of erosion.
Damage to the salt marsh can cause problems throughout the larger wetland ecosystem.
When people use fertilizers on their lawns or farms that are located near streams or rivers that empty into the wetlands, too many nutrients may be dumped into the wetland area.
This buildup of nutrients is called eutrophication. When eutrophication occurs, large algae and phytoplankton grow better than the sea grasses. These other organisms block sunlight from sea grasses.
The sea grass beds may get much smaller or be completely destroyed.
When sea grass beds are damaged, the availability of the marsh/lagoon to provide shelter and food for the many organisms that grow in that habitat. Erosion is more likely without the sea grasses to stabilize the sediment.
Natural events like hurricanes can also damage salt marsh ecosystems.
Hurricanes and the accompanying storm surge can tear up the marshes and lagoons, ripping up sea grass beds.
This may overload the resulting area with a mass of nutrients that then cause growth of algae or other organisms that disallow re-growth of sea grasses.
If salt marshes are damaged, many insects, birds, fish, plants, and even gators will have to find a new place to live! It is important for us to work to preserve our salt marsh wetlands!
Salt Marsh Habitats Quiz
What is a salt marsh? A: an inland swamp with lots of dissolved minerals in the water B: a wetland dominated by sea grasses at the edge of a body of saltwater C: an island habitat in the center of the ocean D: a desert oasis habitat
Sea grasses do NOT provide which of the following A: a food source for birds, fish, insects B: shelter for young fish C: protection from lightening D: reduced levels of erosion
Sea grasses help prevent erosion by A: slowing water flow B: mixing nutrients with sediment C: sending roots into the sediment D: providing shade for insects
Damage to the salt marsh can cause problems throughout the larger wetland ecosystem. A: True B: False
Having extra nutrients in the water from fertilizer runoff helps sea grasses grow. A: True B: False
Which of the following is NOT a problem of eutrophication? A: algae grow more easily B: sea grasses lose the competition for nutrients C: sea grasses have stronger growth D: phytoplankton overgrowth prevents sunlight reaching sea grasses
Eutrophication means A: an abundance of large animals in an ecosystem. B: a lack of nutrients in water ecosystems C: an overgrowth of insects D: an overabundance of nutrients in water that upsets the ecosystem.
If sea grasses are destroyed, other plants are able to grow that are more suitable to the health of the ecosystem. A: True B: False
Hurricanes can help the salt marsh ecosystem by cleaning out old growth. A: True B: False
Which of the following is NOT an organism that is commonly found in a salt marsh? A: blue heron B: spartina grass C: oak tree D: periwinkle snail