Environmental Protection Agency Narragansett Bay Commission University of Rhode Island Office of Marine Programs

Estuarine Science


Biological Communities

Plants and animals live together and interact with one another in groups known as communities. Communities can be very small, such as a tide pool or very large, encompassing the entire bay. Just as people may live in one town and vacation in another or even own homes in two different cities, some species may belong to more than one community. Some organisms use different habitats throughout their life cycles. Communities change in structure and composition with seasons and over long periods of time. They are affected by geography and the chemistry of the environment. They also change in response to a wide variety of pollutants.



    Planktonic
  1. What is plankton?
  2. How do we investigate plankton?
  3. Why are plankton important to the biological community of estuaries?
  4. What types of plankton live in Narragansett Bay?


    Pelagic
  1. What is a pelagic community?
  2. How do we investigate pelagic communities?
  3. Why are nekton important to the biological community of estuaries?
  4. What types of nekton live in Narragansett Bay?


    Benthic
  1. What is a benthic community?
  2. How do we investigate benthic communities?
  3. Why are benthos important to the biological community of estuaries?
  4. What types of benthos live in Narragansett Bay?


    Intertidal
  1. Where is the Intertidal Zone?
  2. What are the different regions of the Intertidal Zone?
  3. What kinds of plants and animals can we find in the Intertidal Zones of Narragansett Bay?
  4. How do animals adapt to living in this community?


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