Tuesday, July 18th, 2023
Fishes can survive only in aquatic habitat. There are two main kinds of aquatic habitats: freshwater habitats and marine habitats. How fish utilise aquatic habitats is a question that would be definitely ringing in your mind. You would be curious to know what parts of the habitat are used to eat, breed or as shelter. You would also want to know the extent of importance of aquatic habitats. You would have heard that aquatic habitats are under constant threat and would like to know how you can save them. Read on.
Definition of aquatic habitat
Simply speaking, aquatic habitat is water area where fish species and other aquatic organisms exist. Land adjoining the water area is part and parcel of aquatic habitat. The land area including the vegetation therein provide food, shade, shelter and security to organisms inhabiting the aquatic habitat. Various chemical, physical, and biological components of the water atmosphere judiciously combine to form an aquatic habitat. All water bodies such as reservoirs, seas, oceans, lakes, water streams, rivers, ponds, wetlands and sloughs are considered aquatic habitats. Different types of aquatic habitats around the world constitute aquatic biosphere.
Types of aquatic habitat
Aquatic habitats are categorised as freshwater aquatic habitats and marine aquatic habitats. Freshwater habitats have salinity at the lower side while marine habitats have high level of salinity. Marine habitats include coral reefs, oceans and seas while ponds, rivers, wetlands, bogs, lagoons, streams, lakes and swamps are prime examples of freshwater aquatic habitats. Point to be noted here in that many aquatic habitats can’t be classified as freshwater or marine in entirety. Blend of freshwater and saltwater habitats form some aquatic habitats.
How fish utilise aquatic habitat?
Aquatic habitats play pivotal role in maintaining the unwavering fish population all around the water ecosystems. There are various ways in which these habitats are utilised by different fish species to survive. Let us take a look at the reasons why aquatic habitats are important for fishes.
First and foremost, fishes often use these habitats as safe spots or hiding spots. For example, parrotfishes that live in Caribbean Islands and the South Pacific Ocean use the coral reef habitat whenever they need to rest. Some of these fish utilise the mucus cocoon as a comfy sleeping spot. The coral reefs or mucus cocoon safeguard the fish against predators while they are resting or asleep. In the similar manner young fish use estuaries as their hiding spot until they become strong and capable.
All fish are dependent on aquatic habitats for food. Although whales are mammals but are considered by many as biggest fish in the aquatic habitations. They travel distances in search of fish that they can prey on and eat.
Fish use aquatic habitats for shelter that can save them from extreme environmental conditions like extra bright sunlight or extreme tidal flows.
Aquatic habitats act as breeding ground for fish too. It has been observed that different kinds of fish prefer different kinds of habitation for reproduction.
Fish diet includes items found in aquatic habitats only. Fish food items like seagrasses, seaweed, algae, other fish etc. are present in aquatic habitats.