Freshwater Ecosystems


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  • The miles of rivers and streams in the United States is equivalent to more than 140 times the circumference of the earth – 140 trips around the equator.
    Identify some of the regional rivers and streams known by the students.
  • Freshwater Ecosystems

    1. 1. Freshwater Ecosystems Kinds Characteristics Threats
    2. 2. A fresh water ecosystem is an aquatic system that contains drinkable water or water of almost no salty content. It has habitats classified by different factors, including temperature, light penetration, and vegetation. Its resources include lakes, ponds, rivers, streams, reservoirs, wetlands as well as groundwater.
    3. 3. Kinds of freshwater habitats  Rivers, – – – streams Flowing freshwater Source: where it starts Mouth: where it ends  Lakes, ponds  Wetlands
    4. 4. All freshwater ecosystems  Just – a fraction of the Earth’s water .01% = one one-hundredth of one percent  Occupy surface less than 1 percent of the Earth’s
    5. 5. Rivers and streams More than 3.5 million miles of rivers and streams - Just the U.S.! More than 140 times around the Earth.
    6. 6. Rivers A river is usually cold and full of oxygen and runs swiftly through a shallow riverbed. As a river flows down a mountain, a river may broaden, become warmer, wider, and slower, and decrease in oxygen.
    7. 7. Rivers Narrow headwaters Wide channels downstream
    8. 8. Lakes and ponds What’s – – – the difference? Ponds typically smaller May be seasonal—that is, dry up part of the year Lakes exist hundreds or thousands of years But, even lakes can fill in or dry up
    9. 9. Parts of a lake
    10. 10. Parts of a lake  Littoral – – zone: near shore Nutrient rich, lots of plant and animal life Warm  Limnetic – – zone: near surface, open water Lots of light Lots of plankton  Profundal zone: deeper, little light  Benthic zone: the bottom, little light, low oxygen
    11. 11. Wetlands
    12. 12. Wetlands  Are those areas that are inundated or saturated by surface or ground water at a frequency and duration sufficient to support, and that under normal circumstances do support, a prevalence of vegetation typically adapted for life in saturated soil conditions. Wetlands generally include swamps, marshes, bogs and similar areas."
    13. 13. Wetlands May be fresh or brackish Freshwater types include: Marsh – Swamp – Bog – Fen –
    14. 14. What good are wetlands?  Help – – clean water by acting like a filter The plants and slow water flow in a wetland help remove pollutants, leaving water cleaner downstream in a lake or river. Too much pollution can leave a wetland toxic to visiting animals, such as many birds.
    15. 15. What good are wetlands?  Protect shorelines from erosion  Erosion in this case came from grazing animals
    16. 16. Marsh    Most common freshwater wetland in U.S. Occur along streams or in depressions Characterized by organic, wet soils and non-woody (i.e., no trees) vegetation.
    17. 17. Marsh
    18. 18. Swamp  Wetland dominated by woody plants  Swamps occur on flat, poorly drained land often near streams.
    19. 19. Swamp