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Freshwater Ecosystems: Evaluation

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Alyssa Moino

on 24 September 2013

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Transcript of Freshwater Ecosystems: Evaluation

Freshwater Ecosystems: Evaluation
Limnology
Defined as freshwater science; the study of inland waters, including their biological, geological, physical, and chemical attributes
Physical and Chemical Structure
Freshwater (lentic) systems can include everything from seasonal ponds to permanent lakes and can also be manmade
Lentic systems can change back into a terrestrial landscape through successional development
turbulence, temperature, water clarity, habitat size, and water depth determine the ecosystem that will prevail in a lentic system
Biotic Structure: Lake Zones and Food Webs
Three groups of producers: periphyton, phytoplankton, and macrophytes
Periphyton survives on substrates such as mud and sand
Phytoplankton is algae suspended in the water column
Macrophytes can survive by carrying out photosynthesis either above or below the water surface
Consumers include worms, snails, amphibians, crustaceans, insects, reptiles, fish, and birds
Threats to Lentic Ecosystems
Human activity
The introduction of exotic species
Human-related threats include eutrophication acidification, chemical contamination, and global warming
Phosphorus surplus in water supplies, sewage dumping, fertilizer runoff, and the introduction of nonnative species such as garfish have posed a serious threat to the biodiversity of lentic ecosystems. The large number of potential threats combined with the rarity of freshwater makes lentic ecosystems both incredibly valuable and imperiled.
Terms Defined
Successional development: sedimentation of inorganic and organic matter into the system

Oligotrophic systems: characterized by low nutrient supply and low primary productivity

Eutrophic systems: characterized by high nutrient supply and high primary productivity
Relevance to EnviSci
The water quality tests conducted by the class can be ultimately categorized as limnology, the study of lentic systems. It is important to understand the bodies of water that are classified as "lentic systems" because the tests for water quality that are conducted at Gifford pond are relevant to all of these systems. It is also important to know the existing threats to lentic systems because these threats could be what is responsible for reported deficiencies in water quality; by knowing these threats, we can better plan steps to take to increase water quality and maintain biodiversity.
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