The ecology of the planet is all interrelated and pollution and other disturbances that affect one area of the planet trickle down to affect other areas as well. The estuarine ecosystems have delicate balance that comprises the water of the planet. All living things, including mollusks that live in estuarine ecosystems are affected by changes in the water and environment.
Estuaries total over 4,541,666 acres of the coastlines in the United States and sustain life for a large variety of animals. An estuary is a semi-enclosed body of water where fresh water and the ocean tides connect. Some examples of estuaries are rivers, lakes and shorelines. Mollusks live in estuarine ecosystems along with many other living things and changes and disturbances in the ecological system can negatively effect there life cycles.
Mollusks are thin shelled invertebrates that include species such as squid, cuttlefish, and octopus as well as snails and clams. Mollusks live in estuarine ecosystems that include shallow sub tidal regions and along the continental shelf. There are over 100,000 extent species of mollusks and many are found in the inter-tidal region. The mollusks live in estuarine ecosystems that provide food for them as well as breeding grounds and a distinct habitat. Many endangered plants and animal species inhabit the estuarine ecosystem where mollusks live.
Mollusks live in estuarine ecosystems that provide the commercial fishing industries with the most productive and lucrative environments around in relation to their nutrients, temperatures and water levels. These estuarine ecosytems support a large part of the economy in coastal areas.
Mollusks live in estuarine ecosystems that inhabit different levels of depth. Mollusks must live in a certain depth that is right for them to survive. There are several different habitat classifications that determine where mollusks live in estuarine ecosystems.
- Fresh Water includes lakes and rivers and non salty bodies of water.
- Pelagic is near the surface of the ocean
- Littorial is a vast area that includes millions of miles extending along the coastlines and inter tidal areas from shallow water to as far down as algae can survive.
There are four defined planes of the Littorial area.
- The Superalittorial Plane is comprosed of the strip of beach above the high tide level.
- The Meslittoral Plane extends from the high tide mark to the low tide mark.
- The Infralittoral Plane goes from the low tide mark to shallow water depths.
- The Circumlittoral Plane encompasses down to the lowest level that green algae can survive.
Mollusks live in estuarine ecosystems that also include the abyssal which is where small colorless shells dwell in darkness with near freezing temperatures.