Aquatic and Terrestrial ecosystems - Research Paper Example

Comments (0) Cite this document
Aquatic and Terrestrial ecosystems Name: Institution: Aquatic and Terrestrial ecosystems River systems essentially channel the world’s precipitation into surface water systems like lakes and seas. These river systems provide habitats for a vast range of biota, which often culminate in floodplain wetlands that are also regions of astonishing diversity…
Download full paperFile format: .doc, available for editing
GRAB THE BEST PAPER92.9% of users find it useful
Aquatic and Terrestrial ecosystems
Read TextPreview

Extract of sample "Aquatic and Terrestrial ecosystems"

Aquatic and Terrestrial ecosystems Aquatic and Terrestrial ecosystems River systems essentially channel the world’s precipitation into surface water systems like lakes and seas. These river systems provide habitats for a vast range of biota, which often culminate in floodplain wetlands that are also regions of astonishing diversity. River systems are critical to most marine, and coastal environments, organisms and processes. Their fresh waters allow humans to infiltrate and dwell in the world’s most inhabitable regions such as deserts. Rivers are the pathways that exemplify ecological landscapes. The climate, as well as the characteristics of land surfaces, determines the hydrology, size, ecology and geomorphology of river systems. For instance, the Amazon River that accounts for at least 20 percent of the entire global river flow is an expansive river system that originates from regions with extremely high rates of rainfall. The contrast of such systems is rivers from desert regions, which receive less than 500 mm of rainfall per annum and which are mostly exceeded by the rate of evaporation. Within these regions (deserts) rivers sometimes stop flowing for long durations, in some instances even years. This paper will describe the river system in desert ecosystems, describing some notable plant and animal species within both ecosystems, as well as endangered species in the ecosystems. River systems in deserts have distinctive intrinsic properties such as variability and scarcity (Alexander, 1999). Description of the Ecosystems Deserts refer to terrestrial ecosystems that experience less than 500 mm of precipitation every year. These regions encompass arid, as well as semiarid regions in the world. At least 47 percent of the entire global land surface comprises of desert ecosystems such as dry humid areas, semiarid regions, arid and hyperarid zones. Many streams, as well as large rivers flow, either partly or wholly through arid regions. River systems within their dependent desert ecosystems create a gamut of variability. River systems within desert ecosystems have peculiar characteristics that make them quite fascinating. These properties include among others elements such as variability, scarcity and their intrinsic flood marked ecosystems. River systems within desert ecosystems demand attention because poor knowledge, as well as increasing human demands continues to demand attention with regard to river systems in deserts. The nature of Desert Rivers encompasses attributes such as constant change as humans continually apply pressure on the ecosystems. Desert Rivers do not bear exceptional landforms although their hydrology is more unpredictable than the hydrology of mesic rivers. In fact, most rivers that flow through desert ecosystems, for instance, Murray, Okavango and the Nile, stem from mesic regions (Barange, Field, Harris, Eileen, Hofmann, Perry & Werner, 2010). Species within the Ecosystems The Great Basin is the biggest enorheic watershed in the US and is renowned for its arid and wet conditions. The basin and range topography encompasses lakes, basins, rivers and the desert ecoregion of North America. The semi-arid region boosts of a range of plant and animal species. The most notable species in the desert ecosystem of the Great Basin include Pronghorns, desert cottontails and Single-leaf Pinyon. Pronghorns largely live in brush land and deserts and consume a wide array of plants, which mostly include toxic plants to domestic animals. Pronghorns or Antilocapra americana are artiodactyls mammals, which are endemic to the western and central regions of North America. Pronghorns significantly resemble antelopes and are the sole surviving member of the Antilocapridae family. Desert cottontail or Sylvilagus audubonii belongs to the Leporidae family and lives in relatively dry regions of the western US. The species is endemic in the dry semi-desert grasslands of the Great Basin and leads a social life among its peers. The desert cottontail lives in burrows constructed by other rodents instead of creating its own borrow. Single-leaf Pinyon or Pinus monophylla is a member or the pinyon pine group endemic to the Great Basin. Single-leaf Pinyon is the only one-needled pine in the world and occurs at moderate altitudes or semi-arid ecosystems (Keddy, 2010). The Batrachoseps campi or Inyo Mountain salamander is an endangered species endemic to the Great Basin regions of California. The Inyo Mountain salamander preys on small insects and is a member of the Plenthodontidae family found in temperate deserts such as Mojave Desert. The American White Pelican or Pelecanus erythrorhynchos is a massive aquatic bird found within the river systems of the Great Basin. The pelican is a member of the Pelecaniformes order and breeds in the interior of North America and moves to the southern coasts of Central America during winter. American White Pelicans live in colonies of hundreds of pairs and may exist for nearly 16 years. Chasmistes cujus or the cui-ui is a massive sucker fish found in the Great Basin and feeds on zooplankton. The life span is approximately 40 years. Although the cui-uis are not endangered, they are some of the few members of the genus in existence. Cui-uis are potamodromous and ascend the Truckee River in April to spawn. Curly-leaf pondweed or Potamogeton crispus refers to a species of aquatic plants introduced to the Great Basin. The rhizomatous herb produces flattened stems branching approximately one meter long. The plant’s turions and fruits develop and germinate creating new plants in winter (Barange, Field, Harris, Eileen, Hofmann, Perry & Werner, 2010). The Lahontan cutthroat trout or Oncorhynchus clarki henshawi is the largest cutthroat subspecies in the Great Basin water system. The endangered species is a member of the Salmonidae family and is protected by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. In summary, since climate dictates river flow, desert ecosystems influence the responses of dependent ecosystems such as rivers. Rivers, on the other hand, relatively alter the features of deserts by creating water masses in conventionally dry regions. This relationship ensures that although deserts are harsh regions, they are not necessarily inhabitable (Keddy, 2010). Since hydrology also plays a critical role in the character rivers, desert ecosystems dictate river flow by influencing hydrology. References Alexander, D. E. (1999). Encyclopedia of environmental science. New York: Springer. Barange, M., Field, J. G., Harris, R. P., Eileen, E., Hofmann, E. E., Perry, R. I., & Werner, F. (2010). Marine ecosystems and global change. New York: Oxford University Press.  Keddy, P. A. (2010). Wetland ecology: Principles and conservation. New York: Cambridge University Press. Read More
Cite this document
  • APA
  • MLA
(“Aquatic and Terrestrial ecosystems Research Paper”, n.d.)
Retrieved from
(Aquatic and Terrestrial Ecosystems Research Paper)
“Aquatic and Terrestrial Ecosystems Research Paper”, n.d.
  • Cited: 0 times
Comments (0)
Click to create a comment or rate a document

CHECK THESE SAMPLES OF Aquatic and Terrestrial ecosystems

Principle Terrestrial Biomes

...?Bawa, Kamajlit S. and S. Dayanandan. “Global Climate Change and The Tropical Rain Forest” Northeastern Naturalist 6.4 (1999 473-485. This is a journal article that covers the Tropical Rain Forests Biome. The article begins by explaining how incredibly important the genetic density of the tropical rain forests, not just for ecological and conservation purposes, but for humans as well. The authors argue that the genetic diversity of trees, for instance, is “vital for the continued flow of goods and services from forests ecosystems to meet present and human needs” (473). The authors also stress that tropical rain forests have a level of genetic density unseen in other parts of the world, and there are many specific niches...
9 Pages(2250 words)Annotated Bibliography

Environments and Ecosystems

...?RUNNING HEADER: Environments and Ecosystems Environments and Ecosystems: New Orleans, Louisiana and Surrounding Ecology BY YOU YOUR SCHOOL INFO HEREDATE HERE Environments and Ecosystems New Orleans, Louisiana is a blend of two different ecosystems, this being Eastern Temperate Forest influenced by subtropical vegetation and wildlife. New Orleans is surrounded by the Gulf of Mexico, which maintains many different aquatic species that contribute to ecological diversity in the region. The city is also adjacent to the Mississippi River, which maintains regular outflow into the Gulf of Mexico. Most interesting to the ecological properties of the Gulf of...
4 Pages(1000 words)Essay

Aquatic and Terrestrial Ecosystems

...?Aquatic and Terrestrial ecosystems Part 2 An aquatic ecosystem is the ecosystem which is made up of water bodies like oceans, seas, rivers, ponds etc. aquatic ecosystems has two main forms- the marine or saltwater ecosystems and the freshwater ecosystems (Miller & Spoolman, 61). Approximately 71% of the surface of the earth is composed of the Marine ecosystems and it contains almost 97% of the total amount of water available in the planet. 32% of the net primary production of the world is generated from here. It is different from the freshwater...
6 Pages(1500 words)Essay

M2 Ecosystems

...? Macro and Micro Ecosystems Effects of Changes in the Macro-Ecosystem Surrounding a Micro-Ecosystem The micro-ecosystem under discussion is Hyde Park located in Boston which comprises native forest vegetation as the ecological dominant. This micro-ecosystem comprises of several biotic and abiotic components which interact in different ways to make the micro-ecosystem self-sustainable. Changes in the macro-ecosystem surrounding a micro-ecosystem can influence the latter including effects on the micro- ecosystem’s capacity to support and maintain a balanced, integrated adaptability to prevailing changes diversity and functional organization (Nadakavukaren, 2011). One of the factors in the micro-ecosystem likely to be influenced... by the...
4 Pages(1000 words)Assignment

The impacts of oil spills on marine and terrestrial ecosystems

...? The Impacts of Oil Spills on Marine and Terrestrial Ecosystems Effects of oil spills on marine andterrestrial ecosystems are long-term, and the deaths caused they these effects are not desirable along with other results in the aftermath of oil spills. However, some other effects are not immediate given that there have a potential effect of polluting the entire surrounding of the marine and terrestrial ecosystems. Moreover, these impacts have remained hidden for a long period and the results have been a disruption of food chain among organisms in the areas where the incidence has occurred. In this case, the paper will focus on discussing effects of oil...
4 Pages(1000 words)Research Paper


...Ecosystems part 2 Natural ecosystems supply many resources to human society. These products and processes are known as ecosystem services. There are five categories of service, provisioning, regulating, supporting, cultural and preserving services (Daily, 2000). One such ecosystem is the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem which provides services from all five categories. One of these categories will be discussed here. 1. What is the ecosystem service The cultural service, in this case the sport fishing of Yellowstone cutthroat trout which are members of the salmon family. 2. What ecosystem provides it The Yellowstone...
2 Pages(500 words)Essay

Adapting to terrestrial living

...Plant adaptation to terrestrial living Plants have evolved from aquatic life to terrestrial forms; while earlier algae forms could survive only in water and died upon exposure to air, they later evolved into variants that could endure short term water deprivation and exposure to air (Niklas, 253). Further genetic variations led to more and more adaptations that produced the first bona fide plants. One of the first problems terrestrial plants faced was the requirement for mechanical support, since they were no longer supported by water as in aquatic life forms and had to deal with less dense air, which could not support their weight...
2 Pages(500 words)Essay

Healthcare ecosystems influences

...Healthcare Ecosystems Influences John Hopkins is one of the leading hospitals in the world. Opened in 1889, the hospital has undergone tremendous improvements in its operations in an attempt to realize its strategic goals. Introduction of the School of medicine proved pivotal in combining teaching, patient care, and research in disseminating its services to the populace. Such a model, being one of its kind, enhanced the worldwide reputation of the hospital’s discovery and excellence in the medical field. Currently, John Hopkins have relied heavily on its overarching brand name—John Hopkins Medicine—when identifying the whole medical institution. In addition, the $5 billion system has managed to unite scientists and physicians... Ecosystems...
3 Pages(750 words)Research Paper

Aquatic environmetal toxicology

...Aquatic environmental toxicology Cost-effective estimation of bioaccumulation potential There are various methods of determining the bioaccumulation potential including, laboratory test, field monitoring and use of models. Among the three methods, the most easily and least expensive is the laboratory test. This method is simple in such a way that the organisms are placed in vessels that contain sediments and superimposing water, and then they are allowed to accrue contaminants from the sediments for a specific period of time. Chemical analysis is usually done on the sediments to establish a chemical data that will be used to compare the toxicity of the result with any other result. It can be said that the method is...
2 Pages(500 words)Assignment

Threats to Forest Ecosystems 10% of world’s species. Colombia is blessed with variety of ecosystem that includes rich tropical rain forests, coastal cloud forests and open savannas. The country has 51, 220 species of plants of which 30% are endemic. Only 10% of the country’s area comes under protected areas. Forests in Colombia are under threat of extinction due to human development. As estimated by the UN in 2003 approximately 200,000 hectares of natural forests are lost annually. This figure does not include the 100,000 hectares lost illegally by poor people. Approximately 80% of the country is covered with primary forests and a large portion of it has already been lost. The major reasons of deforestation are agricultural activities, mining,...
6 Pages(1500 words)Assignment
sponsored ads
We use cookies to create the best experience for you. Keep on browsing if you are OK with that, or find out how to manage cookies.

Let us find you another Research Paper on topic Aquatic and Terrestrial ecosystems for FREE!

Contact Us