Texas’ Aquatic Ecosystems: Texas Aquatic Science- Chapter 6

Fish, bugs, turtles, birds and plants. Aquatic
ecosystems are teeming with life. There are actually six major aquatic ecosystems in Texas,
providing us with a diversity of biological life. Aquifers and springs contain and channel groundwater.
Underground reservoirs and rivers form the aquifers, while springs are the points where
groundwater travels to the surface. Rivers and streams are flowing water with
a measurable current. They also contain fish, attract wildlife, and carry freshwater to
the ocean. Lakes and ponds are bodies of standing water,
many of which have been built by placing dams across rivers or streams. They are used to
hold water for people to drink, production of electric power, recreation, and for use
in agriculture. Wetlands are the places where water meets
land, and are among the most productive ecosystems in the world. A majority of Texas’ saltwater
and freshwater fish species depend on wetlands for food, spawning, and aquatic nurseries
for their young. Bays and estuaries hold a dynamic mix of freshwater
and saltwater, that supports 90% of the commercial and recreational fish and shellfish in the
Gulf of Mexico. And the Gulf of Mexico, is the 9th largest
body of water in the world, providing over 1.5 billion pounds of food collected by commercial
fisheries every year. Protecting and restoring Texas aquatic habitats
helps maintain biodiversity, which is good for fish, birds, bugs, plants-and people!

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