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Elements of Ecology, 8e (Smith/Smith)

Chapter 26 Coastal and Wetland Ecosystems

26.1 Short Answer Questions

1) All coastal shores have one feature in common: they are alternately exposed and submerged
by the ________.
Answer: tides
Topic: Section 26.1

2) The ________ fringe occurs above the ocean along a rocky shoreline and is contacted by salt
water only once every two weeks during spring tides.
Answer: supralittoral
Topic: Section 26.2

3) The ________ zone of a rocky shoreline is submerged and exposed by tides daily.
Answer: littoral
Topic: Section 26.2

4) Organisms living on the sediment surface of sandy and muddy beaches are collectively
referred to as ________.
Answer: epifauna
Topic: Section 26.3

5) Tiny organisms living between the particles of sand and mud on beaches are collectively
referred to as ________.
Answer: meiofauna
Topic: Section 26.3

6) Bacterial decomposition on sandy beaches is most rapid at ________ tide.


Answer: low
Topic: Section 26.3

7) A salt ________ refers to a herbaceous plant community thriving in the intertidal zone,
typically along the fringe of estuaries and islands along the coast at temperate latitudes.
Answer: marsh
Topic: Section 26.4

8) ________ forests typically grow in the intertidal zone of tropical coasts where wave action is
absent, sediments accumulate, and the muds are anoxic.
Answer: Mangrove
Topic: Section 26.5

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9) The root extensions of mangroves are called ________.
Answer: pneumatophores
Topic: Section 26.5

10) Mangroves forests cover up to ________ percent of the Earth's coastlines.


Answer: 70
Topic: Section 26.5

11) ________ plants are adapted to grow in water or on soil that is periodically anaerobic
because of excess water.
Answer: Hydrophytic
Topic: Section 26.6

12) Seasonally flooded, forested wetlands along river systems are referred to as bottomlands or
________ woodlands.
Answer: riparian
Topic: Section 26.6

13) Wetlands in which considerable amounts of water are retained by an accumulation of


partially decayed organic matter are referred to as ________.
Answer: mires
Topic: Section 26.6

14) The duration, frequency, depth, and season of flooding of a freshwater period are collectively
referred to as the ________.
Answer: hydroperiod
Topic: Section 26.7

26.2 Multiple-Choice Questions

1) The part of a rocky shore in which barnacles, oysters, mussels, limpets, and brown algae are
most common is called the
A) littoral or intertidal zone.
B) infralittoral or subtidal zone.
C) supralittoral or supratidal zone.
D) superlittoral or supertidal zone.
Answer: A
Topic: Section 26.2

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2) In tidal pools,
A) oxygen concentrations are usually higher during the day than during the night.
B) carbon dioxide concentrations are usually higher during the day than during the night.
C) salinity is usually higher during the night than during the day.
D) temperature is usually higher during the night than during the day.
Answer: A
Topic: Section 26.2

3) In comparison to rocky coasts, intertidal organisms living on sandy or muddy beaches


A) experience greater variability in salinity.
B) experience greater variability in temperature.
C) are more likely to be attached to the substrate.
D) are more likely to move back and forth with the tides.
Answer: D
Topic: Section 26.3

4) ________ are the detrital-feeding organisms responsible for the conspicuous coiled and cone-
shaped casts found on sandy beaches.
A) Gastropod mollusks
B) Lugworms
C) Nematodes
D) Polychaete worms
Answer: B
Topic: Section 26.3

5) The major food sources for both deposit-feeding and filter-feeding organisms are
A) zooplankton.
B) zooanthellae.
C) phytoplankton.
D) bacteria.
Answer: D
Topic: Section 26.3

6) Salt marshes
A) occur mostly in temperate latitudes.
B) are inhabited by plants that often have root extensions rising above the water.
C) are always submerged, except during the lowest of low tides.
D) are important nurseries for fishes.
Answer: A
Topic: Section 26.4

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7) Cordgrass (Spartina), glassworts (Salicornia), and spearscale (Atriplex) are types of plants
commonly found in
A) bogs.
B) salt marshes.
C) mangroves.
D) riparian forests.
Answer: B
Topic: Section 26.4

8) In salt marshes, predatory fish move in when


A) the tide is high.
B) migratory fishes are spawning.
C) the sun goes down.
D) salinity is low.
Answer: A
Topic: Section 26.4

9) Compared to low tidal marshes, high tidal marshes are characterized by


A) lower salinity.
B) decreased input of nutrients.
C) higher tidal exchange rates.
D) a phenotypically taller, greener cordgrass (Spartina)
Answer: B
Topic: Section 26.4

10) The ability to live in a semi-submerged state, have a high salinity tolerance, and possess
hollow tubes for root oxygenation best describes the dominant eastern North American tidal
plant
A) bald cypress (Taxodium distichum).
B) bayberry (Myrica pensylvanica).
C) cordgrass (Spartina alterniflora).
D) rockweed (Fucus spp.).
Answer: C
Topic: Section 26.4

11) Intertidal mud flats in tropical regions are typically composed of


A) salt marshes.
B) peatlands.
C) mangrove forests or mangals.
D) oysterbeds.
Answer: C
Topic: Section 26.5

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12) Mangrove swamps
A) are formed by a single species of tree adapted to variable salinities.
B) have relatively anoxic soils.
C) occur mostly in temperate latitudes.
D) typically occur along rocky coastlines subjected to heavy wave action.
Answer: B
Topic: Section 26.5

13) Herbaceous vegetation such as reeds, sedges, grasses, and cattails typically grow in
freshwater
A) marshes.
B) swamps.
C) riparian woodlands.
D) peatlands or mires.
Answer: A
Topic: Section 26.6

14) Freshwater wetlands dominated by woody vegetation are referred to as


A) swamps.
B) marshes.
C) mangrove forests or mangals.
D) prairie potholes.
Answer: A
Topic: Section 26.6

15) Bogs formed when a lake basin fills in from above rather than from below, creating a floating
mat of peat over open water, are called
A) fens.
B) blanket mires.
C) moors.
D) quaking bogs.
Answer: D
Topic: Section 26.6

16) Which of the following mismatches a wetland with its location?


A) the Everglades–Florida
B) the Fens–England
C) the Okavango–Egypt
D) the Pantanal–Brazil
Answer: C
Topic: Section 26.6

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17) The hydroperiod of a wetland is longest for
A) riverine wetlands.
B) basin wetlands.
C) fringe wetlands.
D) coastal wetlands.
Answer: B
Topic: Section 26.7

18) Peatlands differ from other wetlands in that


A) the rate of organic production exceeds the rate of decomposition.
B) there is no outflow of water, resulting in increasing salinities.
C) they are seasonal, filling with water during the wet season and drying out during the dry
season.
D) they have a two-way flow of water due to tidal action.
Answer: A
Topic: Section 26.7

19) Peat bogs and mires generally form under ________ conditions.
A) only dystrophic
B) only eutrophic
C) both dystrophic and oligotrophic
D) both oligotrophic and eutrophic
Answer: C
Topic: Section 26.7

26.3 True/False Questions

1) Shoreline communities exhibit strong zonation.


Answer: TRUE
Topic: Section 26.1

2) On rocky shores, shallow pools produced by ebbing tides maintain the same temperature and
salinity as the open ocean.
Answer: FALSE
Topic: Section 26.2

3) In tidal pools, carbon dioxide concentrations are higher during the day than during the night.
Answer: FALSE
Topic: Section 26.2

4) Most organisms in the intertidal zone of sandy shores burrow into the sand.
Answer: TRUE
Topic: Section 26.3

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5) The diversity of organisms is greater in the intertidal zone of rocky shores than in sandy and
muddy shores.
Answer: TRUE
Topic: Section 26.3

6) Salinity is more variable in the intertidal zone of rocky shores than in sandy and muddy
shores.
Answer: TRUE
Topic: Section 26.3

7) The meiofauna of a sandy beach refers to organisms living on the surface of sediments.
Answer: FALSE
Topic: Section 26.3

8) Salt marshes occur mostly below the intertidal zone and are exposed only during very low
tides.
Answer: FALSE
Topic: Section 26.4

9) Bird and mammal predators are more common in salt marshes during low tide than during
high tide.
Answer: TRUE
Topic: Section 26.4

10) Cordgrass (Spartina alterniflora) can be found in different forms, such as tall in the low
marsh environment and short in the high marsh environment. This response to environmental
conditions is an example of genotypic plasticity.
Answer: FALSE
Topic: Section 26.4

11) Ribbed mussels (Modiolus demissus), fiddler crabs (Uca spp.), and marsh periwinkles
(Littorina spp.) are the dominant animals of a high salt marsh.
Answer: FALSE
Topic: Section 26.4

12) The roots of mangrove trees often have extensions called pneumatophores that facilitate
oxygen absorption by the roots.
Answer: TRUE
Topic: Section 26.5

13) The environment surrounding the roots of mangrove trees provides a sheltered nursery for
the larvae and juvenile crabs, shrimp, and fish.
Answer: TRUE
Topic: Section 26.5

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14) Because bogs depend on precipitation for nutrient inputs, they are highly deficient in mineral
salts and are low in pH.
Answer: TRUE
Topic: Section 26.6

15) Riverine wetlands usually have a longer hydroperiod than basin wetlands.
Answer: FALSE
Topic: Section 26.7

16) Wetlands subjected to a long hydroperiod support more submerged and deep-water
emergents than wetlands with a shorter hydroperiod.
Answer: TRUE
Topic: Section 26.7

17) The dominant herbivore in prairie marshes is the muskrat (Ondatra zibethicus).
Answer: TRUE
Topic: Section 26.8

18) Riverine wetlands act as natural flood-control reservoirs.


Answer: TRUE
Topic: Ecological Issues: The Continuing Decline of Wetlands

19) The Everglades National Park is one of the smallest natural wetlands in the world.
Answer: FALSE
Topic: Ecological Issues: The Continuing Decline of Wetlands

26.4 Essay Questions

1) Name three ecological zones within a rocky shore and discuss the different forms of life that
occur in each.
Topic: Section 26.2

2) Compare the physical conditions to which intertidal organisms must adapt in sandy and rocky
shores.
Topic: Sections 26.2 and 26.3

3) Describe the effects of tides on the composition of animal communities in salt marshes.
Topic: Section 26.4

4) Describe how tides and salinity dictate the structure of salt marshes.
Topic: Section 26.4

5) Discuss the adaptations of mangrove trees to their environment.


Topic: Section 26.5

6) Discuss the flow of water and nutrients in three topographic types of wetlands.
Topic: Section 26.6

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7) For what reasons have humans drained wetlands in the past, and what valuable services are we
losing when we drain a wetland?
Topic: Ecological Issues: The Continuing Decline of Wetlands

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