clear dot banner blue space
       Home | Contact Us | Español  
Advanced Search Search
blue space
An Estuary Is...   |    Interactions   |    Estuarine Dynamics   |    Life in an Estuary   |    Estuaries & You   |    Studying Estuaries   |    Our Estuaries
Overview   |    High School   |    Middle School   |    Tutorials   |    Teacher Training   |    Lessons & Activities
Meet an Expert   |    Take a Quiz   |    Fun & Games   |    "Muddy" Opportunities   |    Glossary
Volunteer   |    National Estuaries Day   |    News   |    Make a Difference
Species Factsheets   |    Publications   |    Educators Directory   |    Presentations   |    Visualizations   |    Log On
background space space space background
About Estuaries Logo Life in an Estuary
What Types of Plants and Animals Live in Estuaries?     

left line Estuary Photos
  • Estuaries are some of the most productive ecosystems in the world.
  • Estuaries can have many different types of habitat. Some common estuarine habitats are: the water column, oyster reefs, coral reefs, kelp and other macroalgae, rocky shores and bottoms, soft shores and bottom, submerged aquatic vegetation, coastal marshes, mangroves, deepwater swamps and riverine forests. 
  • Estuaries can also be divided into tidal zones (supratidal, intertidal and subtidal zone) subject to changing water levels, temperature, oxygen content and levels of light.
  • Energy is cycled through the estuarine food web from producers and autotrophs to consumers and decomposers.
  • Invasive species are those that do not naturally live in an estuary, but were introduced, often accidentally, by humans. Invasive species compete with native plants and animals for shelter and food and weaken the ecosystem.

What to Learn More?

  1. Productive Ecosystems
  2. Estuarine Habitats
  3. Tidal Zones
  4. Cycle of Life
  5. Unwanted Visitors 
  6. Fish fact sheets on a select group of Endangered Species and Species of Concern who make their home in an estuary


Last Updated on: 02-28-2011


NOAA | National Ocean Service | Web Site Owner: Ocean and Coastal Resource Management |
About | Site Map | Acknowledgements | Disclaimer | Privacy Policy | How to Use This Site | Webmaster