Mixed Ecosystem: Characteristics, Types, Flora And Fauna

The mixed ecosystems are those that combine two ecosystems. For example, an ecosystem that combines a terrestrial ecosystem with an aquatic one. 
In mixed ecosystems you can find several types of animals, both terrestrial and marine, living in the same place.

Generally, animals that live in a mixed ecosystem have a food relationship. Fish and birds, or crabs and larvae are an example of this.

Island Las Aves, Venezuela. Source: Alberto barreto garcia / CC0

An ecosystem is a community of living organisms in conjunction with non-living components of their environment (such as water, air, or soil) interacting as a system. These biotic and abiotic components are related to each other through nutrient cycles and energy cycles.

An ecosystem is defined by the channel of interactions between its organisms, and between organisms and their environment; They can be of any size, but usually occupy specific limited spaces.

Mixed ecosystems can be natural or induced. Natural ecosystems are created organically by nature, while induced ecosystems are created by human action.

The most common mixed ecosystems are wetlands and coasts.

Main features

To be considered mixed, an ecosystem needs to have an aquatic part. This can come in the form of a river, a lake, a sea, or an ocean.

Additionally, it must have a soil where organisms can move. Mixed ecosystems should be open places with abundant vegetation.

Main types of mixed ecosystems

– Wetlands

Wetlands are terrestrial areas saturated with water, either permanently or temporarily, in such a way that they take on the characteristics of a distinctive ecosystem.

The primary factor that distinguishes wetlands from other landforms or bodies of water is vegetation, which comprises aquatic plants adapted to the unique hydric soil.

Wetlands play a large number of roles in the environment, primarily in water purification, food control, coal sinking, and shoreline stability.

Wetlands are also considered the most biologically diverse ecosystems: they are home to a wide range of plant and animal life.

Wetlands occur naturally on all continents except Antarctica. The largest are found in the Amazon River basin, in the Western Siberian Plain, and in the Pantanal in South America.

The water found in wetlands can be sweet, salty, or brackish. The main types of wetlands include swamps, marshes, and bogs. The subtypes include the mangroves, the few, and the várzea forests.

Environmental degradation has been determined to be more prominent within wetland systems than in any other ecosystem on Earth. Constructed wetlands can be created to treat sewage and sewage.

Depending on regional and local differences, wetlands have many differences in topography, hydrology, vegetation, and other factors. An important factor affecting this ecosystem is the duration of the flood.

Salinity has a great influence on the water chemistry of these ecosystems, particularly those around the coast.

Natural salinity is regulated by interactions between the soil and the water surface, which can be influenced by human activity.


There are four groups of aquatic plants found in wetland systems around the world. Submerged wetland vegetation can grow in fresh and salty water conditions.

Some species have submerged flowers, while others have long stems that allow the flowers to reach the surface.

Submerged spices provide a food source for fauna, habitat for invertebrates, and also possess filtering capabilities.

Some examples of vegetation found in this ecosystem include seagrass, vallisneria, cypress, mangroves, and silver maples.


Fish are more dependent on these ecosystems than on any other type of habitat. Tropical fish species need mangroves for their eggs and coral systems for food.

Amphibians, like frogs, need terrestrial and aquatic habitats to reproduce and feed. Crocodiles, alligators, turtles, and snakes can be found in wetlands.

Numerous species of small mammals coexist in this habitat, in addition to other species such as panthers, rabbits, platypus, and beavers.

This ecosystem attracts mammals due to its sources of vegetation and seeds. There is also a population of invertebrates, small reptiles, and amphibians.

– Coasts

A shoreline is an area where the land meets the sea or ocean, or a line that forms between the ground and the ocean or lake.

The coast and its adjacent areas form an important part of the local ecosystem: the mixture of salt water and fresh water in estuaries provides many nutrients for marine life.

The salt marsh and beaches also have a great diversity of plants, animals and insects crucial to the food chain. The high level of biodiversity creates a great level of biological activity, which has attracted human activity for years.


Many animals live on typical shores. There are animals such as sea turtles, fish, penguins, and puffins. Sea snails and various types of crustaceans live on the coast and scavenge for food deposited by the ocean.

Most costal animals are used to humans in developed areas, such as dolphins and seagulls, who feed on food thrown by hands. Many types of seabirds and sea lions also live in this ecosystem.

Since the coastal areas are part of the littoral zone, there is a profusion of marine life found just off the coast.


The coastal areas are famous for their kelp beds. Kelp is an algae that grows rapidly, up to 1 meter per day. Corals and sea anemones are animals, but they live a lifestyle similar to plants.

Mangroves, halophytic plants (which tolerate salt) and seagrass beds are coastal vegetation types of tropical and temperate environments.


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  2. Mixed ecosystem. Recovered from losecosistemas2012.weebly.com
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