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349 MBCB  Challenge Questions

Chapter 8  Estuaries and Salt Marshes

Research the following questions and answer them thoroughly in complete sentences .


1.      What sorts of catastrophic events influence estuaries and how do they affect them?  Discuss.


2.      Discuss why benthic diatoms are more abundant in estuaries than planktonic diatoms.


3.      Explain why salt marshes tend to be species poor.


4.      What function can the open areas on pans and shallow pools serve in a salt marsh?


5.      Bacteria are very important in the intertidal community.  Name two different roles that bacteria play in the sand and mud off the intertidal shore line.


6.      Describe a salt-wedge estuary.  Why is it given an unusual name?


7.      What is an estuary?  Why are bodies such as Great Salt Lake ( Utah ) and Mono Lake ( California ) not considered estuaries?


8.      What are the major factors that limit algal primary production in an estuary?


9.      Distinguish among the origins and geomorphologies of the following estuaries:  coastal plain estuary, tectonic, semi-enclosed bay ( lagoon ), and fjord.


10.  How is the fiddler crab, Uca, like an earthworm?  Discuss.


11.  How does decomposition of salt marsh plants increase their food value to animals?


12.  What factors affect production in a salt marsh?


13.  Discuss factors that explain the migration of the marsh periwinkle (Littoraria irrorata ) on cordgrass blades.  How could you develop an experimental test ( s ) of your ideas?