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What is the difference between a freshwater and marine ecosystem?

Freshwater ecosystems are found in bodies of water with low salt content, while marine ecosystems are found in saltwater environments.

Freshwater ecosystems include rivers, lakes, and ponds. They are characterized by their low salt content, which is typically less than 1%. This low salt content affects the types of organisms that can survive in these ecosystems. For example, freshwater fish have adapted to the low salt content by developing specialized kidneys that allow them to excrete excess water. Freshwater ecosystems are also affected by factors such as temperature, pH, and nutrient levels. For more information on how populations adapt to their environments, see adaptive features of organisms.

Marine ecosystems are found in saltwater environments such as oceans, seas, and estuaries. They are characterized by their high salt content, which is typically around 3.5%. This high salt content affects the types of organisms that can survive in these ecosystems. For example, marine fish have adapted to the high salt content by developing specialized gills that allow them to excrete excess salt. Marine ecosystems are also affected by factors such as temperature, salinity, and nutrient levels. To understand the broader context of these ecosystems, explore the definition of ecology.

Both freshwater and marine ecosystems are important for maintaining biodiversity and providing ecosystem services such as water purification and carbon sequestration. However, they face threats such as pollution, habitat destruction, and climate change. For a deeper look into how pollution impacts aquatic ecosystems, see aquatic ecosystem pollution. Understanding the differences between these ecosystems is important for developing effective conservation and management strategies. Additionally, learning about population definition and growth can provide insight into how species interact within these ecosystems.

A-Level Biology Tutor Summary: Freshwater ecosystems, found in lakes and rivers, have low salt levels and unique organisms like fish with special kidneys. Marine ecosystems, in saltwater areas like oceans, have higher salt levels and creatures with adapted gills. Both types are crucial for biodiversity and face threats like pollution. Understanding their differences helps in their conservation and management.

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