Soft bottom shoreline habitats

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Soft bottom habitats include environments where the seabed consists of fine grain sediments, mud and sand. Their biodiversity and productivity vary depending upon depth, light exposure, temperature, sediment grain size and abundance of microalgae and bacteria. Intertidal or shallow soft bottom habitats include mudflats and seagrass meadows, which are economically and ecologically important, but in geographic terms comprise only a small part of this extensive habitat type.

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These are the waters and habitats that define the Nearshore ecoregion and are the focus of the Nearshore Strategy. Riverine portions of estuaries are currently covered in the Oregon Conservation Strategy. The eastern boundary current called the California Current System is a part of the North Pacific gyre that moves cold water from the North Pacific toward the equator.

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Soft bottom habitat occurs wherever there is uncovered, unvegetated sediment in freshwater, estuarine and marine systems. Soft bottom is utilized by nearly every native fish species in North Carolina and is a critical habitat to species of fish that dig or bury themselves in substrate. Soft bottom habitats include places such as mud flats, beaches, shoals, holes and sand bars.

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Rocky subtidal habitat includes all hard substrate areas of the ocean bottom. The geologic origin substrate components include cobble and boulder in the CMECS unconsolidated mineral substrate class and bedrock and megaclasts in the rock substrate class. Anthropogenic origin hard substrates are also here. Anthropogenic reefs include any areas where hard, persistent material has been placed either purposely or accidentally by humans.

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Habitat destruction is one of five global ecological pressures affecting the ocean, along with fishing pressure, climate change including ocean acidification, water pollution and the introduction of alien species or genotypes. This pressure focuses on destruction of intertidal habitats and two types of subtidal habitats, soft bottom and hard bottom. These habitats include coral reefs, sea grasses and mangrove forests, but do not include sea ice, which is accounted for elsewhere.

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Marine habitats are habitats that support marine life. Marine life depends in some way on the saltwater that is in the sea the term marine comes from the Latin maremeaning sea or ocean. A habitat is an ecological or environmental area inhabited by one or more living species.

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Descriptions of each of these habitats and the types of flora and fauna associated with them are provided below. The backshore is defined as that area of shoreline lying between terrestrial vegetation and the average high-tide line, which is affected by waves only during severe storms. Backshore areas support a variety of vegetation, dunegrass, for example, that are tolerant of salt spray and wind.

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The coastal-marine area is divided into zones where environment conditions light, wetness, salinity, hydrodynamism, nutrients and typology of substratum are relatively homogenous in one zone but different from adjacent zones by environmental discontinuities. This zone is subdivided into hard and soft substrata. The soft substratum is either of the slow-drying form, with the most common type being Posidonia banquettes, or the rapidly drying form, consisting of sand and burrowing animals.

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Rochelle D. Many exploited fish and macroinvertebrates that utilize the coastal zone have declined, and the causes of these declines, apart from overfishing, remain largely unresolved. Degradation of essential habitats has resulted in habitats that are no longer adequate to fulfil nursery, feeding, or reproductive functions, yet the degree to which coastal habitats are important for exploited species has not been quantified.

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Soft bottom subtidal habitat includes all of the unconsolidated substrate areas e. Soft bottom subtidal habitats are characterized by CMECS as being within the subtidal zones of the nearshore and offshore marine subsystems. Subtidal soft bottom habitats are diverse based on distinct organism assemblages that are influenced by differences in substrate type sand vs. CMECS defines unconsolidated mineral substrates based on particle diameter.

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