Acts as a transport medium 

  • In animals: blood
  • In plants: water transports minerals in xylem and sucrose in phloem

High Specific Heat Capacity

Large amount of heat energy needed to raise temperature of water

Hydrogen bonds restrict molecule movement

Allows temperature of aquatic habitats to be stable             

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High Latent Heat

Lots of heat energy needed to change its state

The evaporation of water from a surface results in cooling

Cohesion and Surface Tension

Water has high surface tension

Cohesion between molecules produces surface tension

e.g. pond skater is supported

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Ice is less dense than water, so floats on surface, insulating water below

Allows aquatic organisms to survive


Allows light to pass through, so aquatic plants can photosynthesise

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Inorganic Ions

  • Magnesium - chlorophyll - photosynthesis
  • Iron - haemoglobin - transport of oxygen via red blood cells
  • Phosphate ions - producing nucleotides (ATP) - phospholipids in plasma membrane
  • Calcium - important for teeth and bones
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