River Ecology


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AS Geography look at river ecosystems.

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River Ecology

  1. 1. River Ecology AS Geography
  2. 3. What is an Ecosystem?
  3. 4. <ul><li>A community of organisms and its environment functioning as an ecological unit. </li></ul>
  4. 5. River Ecology <ul><li>The plants and animals that live along the riverbank are all considered part of the river environment </li></ul>
  5. 6. Major Types of Habitat <ul><li>Lakes </li></ul><ul><li>Rivers </li></ul><ul><li>Wetlands </li></ul>
  6. 7. Energy and Food Chain <ul><li>All living organisms need energy . </li></ul><ul><li>Animals obtain energy by eating other plants or animals. They are called consumers . </li></ul><ul><li>Green plants obtain light energy from the Sun to make their own food by photosynthesis . </li></ul><ul><li>They store the energy in chemicals inside the plant cells. </li></ul><ul><li>Green plants are called producers because they produce energy in a usable form for all other organisms. </li></ul><ul><li>The ultimate source of energy for all organisms is therefore the Sun.   </li></ul>
  7. 8. Simple Food Chain
  8. 9. Food Chains
  9. 10. Wetlands in Danger <ul><li>Wetlands and their ecosystems cover a global area one third larger than the USA and one half larger than Brazil. Half of the world’s wetlands have already been lost over the last century and this is increasing.  </li></ul>
  10. 11. <ul><li>The UK Government has designated around 100 wetlands (a total of 344,023 square km 215,014 square miles) of international importance under the Ramsar Convention, a greater number than any other country. </li></ul>
  11. 12. Governments and RAMSAR <ul><li>The RAMSAR Convention on Wetlands of International Importance, especially as Waterfowl Habitat, is an intergovernmental treaty providing the framework for countries to adopt national action and international cooperation for the conservation and wise use of wetlands and their resources. The Convention was largely drafted by WWT staff and championed by Sir Peter Scott at its launch at Ramsar, Iran, in 1971. Today, 116 countries have joined RAMSAR with over 1000 wetland sites worldwide. </li></ul>
  12. 13. Reasons for threats <ul><li>drained </li></ul><ul><li>dredging and channelling streams for navigation; flood control; coastal development, and reservoir maintenance. </li></ul><ul><li>Landfill </li></ul><ul><li>Dams </li></ul><ul><li>Pollution </li></ul><ul><li>exploitation of resources – e.g.. Peat </li></ul><ul><li>Too many tourists </li></ul><ul><li>Natural disasters </li></ul>
  13. 14. Norfolk Broads <ul><li>The region known as the Norfolk Broads is Britain's most varied and important wetland habitat. </li></ul><ul><li>It contains many sites of scientific and natural interest of not only national, but also international importance, including its enormous bird populations, both native and migratory. </li></ul><ul><li>In 1989 it was at last given the status of a National Park – and placed under the control of the new Broads Authority </li></ul>
  14. 15. <ul><li>the Broads themselves are not natural they are entirely man-made </li></ul><ul><li>The rivers began to be embanked from about 1300 in order to protect the surrounding marshes from flooding </li></ul><ul><li>The reed beds which fringe many riverbanks and broads are not natural either </li></ul><ul><li>The river courses have also been altered </li></ul>
  15. 16. <ul><li>From inland trade routes by river to inland pleasure boating the transition began as early as the early 20 th century. With rapid take off after WWII </li></ul><ul><li>This brought about its own problems being a serious threat to the Broadland environment </li></ul>
  16. 18. Poisoned wetlands <ul><li>many human activities produce poisonous or harmful by-products that end up in wetlands or in the water supply. </li></ul><ul><li>All water whether polluted or not returns to the environment. </li></ul><ul><li>Certain types include: </li></ul><ul><li>Sewage </li></ul><ul><li>Industrial </li></ul><ul><li>Farm- related </li></ul><ul><li>Air pollution </li></ul><ul><li>Landfill sites </li></ul>
  17. 20. Directives <ul><li>Water Framework Directive (2000/60/EU) - for river basin management. </li></ul><ul><li>Urban Waste Water Treatment Directive (91/271/EEC) </li></ul><ul><li>Discharges of Dangerous Substances Directive (76/464/EEC) and the Priority Substances under the Water Framework Directive </li></ul><ul><li>Nitrates Directive (91/676/EEC). </li></ul><ul><li>Bathing Water Quality Directive (Council Directive 76/160/EEC) concerning the quality of bathing water (and its proposed revision). </li></ul><ul><li>Drinking Water Directive (98/83/ EC). </li></ul>
  18. 21. Drying Out <ul><li>97% of all water is contained within the seas and oceans and is therefore ‘Salty’ </li></ul><ul><li>Only 3% of the remaining water is drinkable </li></ul><ul><li>The world is not short of water only its distribution is poor. </li></ul><ul><li>The United Nations has estimated that one in five countries will experience water shortages within the next 25 years. </li></ul><ul><li>22 African countries and 14 Asian ones have safe water access for less than 50% of their populations. </li></ul><ul><li>Deforestation, irrigation and over extraction of </li></ul><ul><li>water in Australia has increased desertification </li></ul><ul><li>and lowered soil water retention. </li></ul><ul><li>Desertification is a problem in parts of Spain </li></ul><ul><li>Many European wetlands are heavily polluted. </li></ul><ul><li>Water is the new oil. </li></ul>
  19. 22. Wetlands under threat. <ul><li>Wetlands are among the world's most threatened habitats - largely because of the effects and impact of people. </li></ul><ul><li>Major cities like London, Paris and New York were built on Wetlands </li></ul><ul><li>Three quarters of the world's population still lives in or near wetlands and former wetlands </li></ul><ul><li>Wetlands are considered wastelands </li></ul><ul><li>It has been estimated that a healthy </li></ul><ul><li>marsh is 50 times as productive as grassland, and eight times as productive as nearby cultivated land. </li></ul>
  20. 23. The five secrets of wetlands <ul><li>Wetlands store water </li></ul><ul><li>Wetlands are cleaners </li></ul><ul><li>Wetlands are calmers </li></ul><ul><li>Wetlands are producers </li></ul><ul><li>Wetlands are homes </li></ul>
  21. 24. Why do we not like Wetlands? <ul><li>Discuss in small groups and list as many reasons as you can think of on a piece of paper. </li></ul>