Aquatic: The Wild Blue Yonder
a picture of a reef Water is the common link among the five biomes and it makes up the largest part of the biosphere, covering nearly 75% of the Earth’s surface. Aquatic regions house numerous species of plants and animals, both large and small. In fact, this is where life began billions of years ago when amino acids first started to come together. Without water, most life forms would be unable to sustain themselves and the Earth would be a barren, desert-like place. Although water temperatures can vary widely, aquatic areas tend to be more humid and the air temperature on the cooler side.

The aquatic biome can be broken down into two basic regions, freshwater (i.e, ponds and rivers) and marine (i.e, oceans and estuaries).

Freshwater Regions
Freshwater is defined as having a low salt concentration—usually less than 1%. Plants and animals in freshwater regions are adjusted to the low salt content and would not be able to survive in areas of high salt concentration (i.e, ocean). There are different types of freshwater regions: ponds and lakes, streams and rivers, and wetlands. The following sections describe the characteristics of these three freshwater zones.

Marine Regions
Marine regions cover about three-fourths of the Earth’s surface and include oceans, coral reefs, and estuaries. Marine algae supply much of the world’s oxygen supply and take in a huge amount of atmospheric carbon dioxide. The evaporation of the seawater provides rainwater for the land.

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