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What is an Estuary?

An estuary is a partially enclosed body of water formed where fresh water flows into the ocean, mixing with salty sea water. Estuaries can be found where fresh water and salt water combine, particularly along coastlines. Estuaries usually contain varying amounts of sediment due to the river dropping off deposits where the two bodies of water meet.


Fish, shellfish, and migratory birds are some of the few animal species that can live in an estuary biome. The animals of this biome have to adapt to the fresh water and the salt water as the salinity changes with incoming tides.


Estuary biomes tend to have higher air pressure due to the colliding air currents. Estuaries have seasonal cycles that bring varying amounts of rainfall, sunlight, and changing temperatures. Due to things such as the greenhouse effect, water levels are constantly rising, which will ultimately result in the loss of many estuaries.


The blue crab depends on the catfish to be their main food source, and to keep them alive in an estuary.

Food Pyramid

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Food Web

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Exotic Species

If we were to add the bull shark species to an estuary biome, what would happen? We predict that the bull shark would become the top predator, or quaternary consumer. He would be the biggest threat in the biome, and would be the highest predator in the ecological pyramid.
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Removing a Native Species

If we were to remove the salmon from an estuary biome, what would happen? If the salmon were to be removed from an estuary biome, shrimp, larva, mollusks, and other small fish would overpopulate, for the salmon is the main predator of these animals. Heron population would slowly die down, salmon isn't their only food source. Eventually the small fish will all die, because the heron will now only eat them. This will mess up the balance in the ecosystem, and cause it to be completely terminated.
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