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ENV 259

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ENV 259

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  1. ENV 259 Water Unit: Chapters 8 - 9 October 6, 2012

  2. Significance of Water • Water is a critical component of life and extremely valuable to Ohio • Heat retention, serves to moderate environment for aquatic and nearby terrestrial inhabitants, particularly deep, large bodies of water (Lake Erie) – remember climate unit warms the fall, cools the summer • Water uses: • drinking, washing, domestic, industrial, recreational (swimming, fishing, boating), agriculture, aesthetic appeal • Ohio water sources: • rivers, ponds, lakes, snow, frost, underground aquifers and springs

  3. Surface & Ground Water in Ohio • >3,300 streams named (probably as many tributaries of these unnamed) = approximately 44,000 miles of Ohio streams • Approx 50,000 lakes, ponds, and reservoirs (200,000 acres of water) + Lake Erie (2 ½ million acres of water) • Underground aquifers = billions of gallons of groundwater

  4. Properties of Water • Density of water changes depending on the temperature… frozen water (ice) is less dense (at 0 degrees Celsius) (floats) vs. at 4 degrees Celsius at it heaviest, or most dense. • O2 is soluble in water and is measured as Dissolved Oxygen (DO). Oxygen content of water is affected by water temperature, amount of sunlight, salinity

  5. Water flow (Water cycle)

  6. Water flow (Urban Water Cycle)

  7. Water flow (Water cycle) • The same water that the dinosaurs drank (and piddled in) is the same water that you are drinking today.

  8. Dissolved O2 • Describes oxygen molecules which have actually dissolved in water • Under normal circumstances, about 12 parts of oxygen can dissolve in a million parts of water (12 mg/liter) – measured as parts per million • Oxygen can only enter water from two sources: • dissolves into water from contact with the atmosphere or is • produced by aquatic plants during photosynthesis

  9. Importance of Dissolved O2Animals • All fish and other animals that live in water (e.g. snails, aquatic insects and crayfish) require DO to survive • Most require concentrations of at least 5 parts per million • Some animals, such as trout, require water relatively high in oxygen • Others, such as carp can survive in water quite low in oxygen • Change in oxygen concentration in water may therefore affect the composition of aquatic communities

  10. Influences on Dissolved O2 in H2O • DO concentrations in water can be effected by: • water temperature • elevation of the water body • salinity (saltiness) of the water • Increase in these results in lower concentrations of dissolved oxygen. • Dissolved oxygen concentration of a stream or lake will vary throughout year due to annual temperature variation • Turbulent water, such as found in river rapids, can mix so much oxygen into the water that it becomes supersaturated. • In contrast, deep portion of summer lakes, reservoirs, or entire lakes that freeze may be so isolated from the atmosphere (and aquatic plants) that O2 concentration drops to zero

  11. Human Impact on Water QualityOrganic Waste • Microorganisms such as bacteria decompose organic waste in water, a process which requires oxygen. • Organic waste is anything that was once part of a plant or animal, such as leaves and manure • If there is a lot of organic waste in the stream, then the microorganisms multiply and use more oxygen than can be replaced in the stream • Can result in algal blooms (algae in mass amounts function to block out sunlight in water body, while depleting available O2 supply in water) • Organic wastes may come from a variety of sources: • untreated sewage; • runoff from dairies, feedlots and other agricultural operations; • lawn clippings, top soil and other materials from around our homes; • land clearing activities such as logging or construction; • stormwaterrunoff from agriculture fields and urban areas

  12. Human Impact on Water QualityRiparian effects • Removal of trees and plants that grow along the edge of streams and rivers decreases shading, resulting in warmer water temperatures. • This can indirectly cause lower dissolved oxygen concentrations because warm water holds less oxygen. • Agricultural runoff (soils, sediments, fertilizers) and construction site erosion also can negatively impact local streams by increasing stream turbidity (cloudiness) …blocking out the sun, covering over eggs and larvae along streambed, …including fish valuable to humans, such as walleye.

  13. Human Impact on Water QualityAdded nutrients • Phosphorus or nitrogen added to water can also indirectly affect oxygen concentrations. Where are these excess nutrients coming from? • Nutrients may over-fertilize the water and result in excess aquatic plant growth. • When plants die and decay, oxygen concentrations can drop.

  14. Freshwater aquatic food web • Primary Producers • Primary Consumers • Herbivores • Carnivores • Omnivores

  15. Freshwater aquatic food web • Primary Producers-plants, primary harvesters of solar energy and food producers. • Primary Consumers • Herbivores • Carnivores • Omnivores

  16. Freshwater aquatic food web • Primary Producers • Primary Consumers-animals (fish), feed on the plant life, much of it in microscopic form (phytoplankton) • Herbivores • Carnivores • Omnivores

  17. Freshwater aquatic food web • Primary Producers • Primary Consumers • Herbivores-plant eaters • Carnivores • Omnivores

  18. Freshwater aquatic food web • Primary Producers • Primary Consumers • Herbivores • Carnivores-meat eaters • Omnivores

  19. Freshwater aquatic food web • Primary Producers • Primary Consumers • Herbivores • Carnivores • Omnivores-opportunistic eaters, eat both plant and animal

  20. Freshwater aquatic food web

  21. Ohio Aquatic Environments • Streams/Rivers (flowing water) • Lakes and Ponds (standing water)

  22. Ohio Aquatic Environments

  23. Streams/ Rivers • Tree-like pattern formed by different stream “orders” • Typical Flow Pattern: • Headwaters – First Order Streams • Youngest portion of system • Often spring fed or run-off generated • Middle – Second or Third Order Streams • Larger due to more flow from first orders • Show patterns of “flow control” • Lower – Third or higher Order Streams • Oldest, widest, nearly flat, “mouth” of river • Seems stagnant in places with small areas of fast-moving water • Begin to see flatter portion of the valley

  24. Streams/ Rivers • Defined Banks • Defined Channel • Dimension, Pattern, and Profile

  25. River Impoundments • Dams/locks change a moving river to a series of ponds or small lakes • Served functional purpose for humans by allowing water level to be altered • Large dams function to isolate species, prevent migration for breeding, and alter nutrient and oxygen flow within river

  26. Lakes & Ponds • Over time will become a bog, swamp, or marsh as slowly fills in with sediment • Most Ohio lakes are not “true lakes” as they are technically part of a stream system (have in-flow & out-flow) • Even Lake Erie is technically a part of the St. Lawrence river system • It will never completely fill in, as a true lake would, due to the water current present. • True ponds present in Ohio are often kettle ponds, glacial remnants…many are now wetlands • Kettle Lakes – heavy broken ice, covered in sand and till, melted ice formed lake depression

  27. Lakes & Ponds • True Lake is one that has no outlet (such as a stream) but regulates it’s water level through evaporation or transpiration. • Ponds are defined as small lakes. • Ohio has more than 50,000 farm ponds – water for livestock, recreation, fire protection

  28. Lakes & Ponds • Borrow or Barrow Pits – ponds created during road construction. Soil and other material is excavated or borrowed to elevate the road and pond is left. • All ponds go through succession similar to terrestrial systems – begin to silt in, plant life moves in, become shallower, become bogs/wetlands/marsh, eventually will be wet spot over time.

  29. Lakes & Ponds • Ohio’s Old Canal Lakes: • Lake St. Marys • Indian Lake • Lake Loramie • Guilford Lake • Buckeye Lake • Old Kettle Lakes • Provided water for canal system • Recreation but filling in rapidly

  30. Historic Changes in Ohio’s Waters & Aquatic Habitats • Channelization • Impoundment • Pollution

  31. Historic Changes in Ohio’s Waters & Aquatic Habitats • Habitat Modification – number one “impairment” • Pollutant loads • Sewage / stormwater runoff • Industrial pollution • Agricultural runoff (pesticides, fertilizers, animal waste) • Construction runoff • Natural stream flow has been impeded by locks and dams throughout the state

  32. Historic Changes in Ohio’s Waters & Aquatic Habitats • Recovery Techniques: • Improved land use regulations • Phase II regulations • Smart growth • Restoration • Wetland Protection-one land owner vs. Stream Protection-multiple landowners • Preservation (No Use) vs. Conservation (Managed Use)

  33. Break

  34. Prairies, Bogs, & Caves • Forests • dominant natural community of Ohio's landscape • Prairies • product of an ancient, dry climate, are the farthest eastward extension of the grasslands that blanketed North America from the foothills of the Rockies to the eastern deciduous forest • Bogs • water-logged relics of the Ice Age which contain many northern species and add to the diversity of the region • Caves • Products of ancient weather and geologic processes, and the unique features and life within them are aspects of Ohio's natural heritage that most people never see

  35. Prairie Ecosystems

  36. Prairie Ecosystem • Only after drainage systems were perfected, fires controlled, and the steel plow invented, were the prairies conquered and settled • Formed 25-50 million years ago…due to drier climate thanks to protective effects of Rocky Mtns against moist ocean air • Mixed prairies & tallgrass prairies • Ohio prairies were small version of the massive central U.S. prairies

  37. Mixed Prairie • Dominant plant species: short (<18 inches), shallow root systems • Less rainfall

  38. Tallgrass Prairie • Dominant plant species: grasses (>10 feet), deep root systems • Flowering plants are also plentiful • Most endangered natural system in Ohio over short period of time (<200 years) • Beneficial nature of prairie fires • Minimize woody/unadapted plants • Allow charred ground to warm up sooner in spring • Release essential nutrients quickly into the ground

  39. Prairie Flora • Two-Thirds of plant is underground • Forest vegetation is less than half • Dry weather survival • Leaf structure also aids in survival • Big Bluestem • Little Bluestem • Switch Grass • Indian Grass • Forbs… • Wildflowers • Violets • Coneflower • Milkweed

  40. Prairie Fauna • Animals spread plant seeds • Other animals reduce woody plants through browsing, burrowing, digging • Insects contribute through pollination • Elk & bison • Voles, moles • Greater Prairie Chicken • Rare Eastern Plains Garter snake

  41. Bogs & Fens

  42. 2 Types of Bogs / Fens:Sphagnum Peat BogsAlkaline Bogs or Fens

  43. Sphagnum Peat Bogs • Dynamic living systems left by glaciers, mainly in NE Ohio (Summit & Portage counties) • Remaining peat bogs are only in what were the deepest kettle lakes • Extreme, harsh, ACIDIC environment • Sphagnum moss perfectly acclimated to this, releases acid…some places pH 4.0 • (pH of stomach acid is around 2.0) • stagnant water, minimal O2 results in compounding of moss into peat, tea color water • Sphagnum also holds water & serves to insulate bog environment from temperature extremes

  44. The Bog Mat • Floating “hummocks” • Sphagnum moss • Quaking Bog • Strength of floating mat can support person

  45. Bog Vegetation • Pitcher plants are carnivorous • contain scented, sticky liquid that attracts insects • Cranberry plants • Rose Pogonia Orchids • Sundew

  46. Bog Forest • Oldest, driest, most compacted portion of bog • Red maple, blackgum, & yellow birch trees • Tamarack or Larch (original to N. America) - deciduous conifer (looses needles) • Over time this will come to look more like a swamp forest community • Containing elm, ash, & wetland oak species

  47. Alkaline Bogs or Fens • Mainly in western Ohio • Champaign, Logan, & Clark counties • Alkaline bogs (as opposed to acidic ones) are known as calcareous bogs or fens • Often located near groundwater springs • Typically alkaline & oxygen deficient • Peat is formed from sedges & grasses • Marl accumulates • Calcium carbonate precipitate from groundwater turned mud • Peat is supported on shallow, high-volume springs

  48. Marl Meadow & Fen Meadow • Start as shallow puddles & brooks • Well-exposed marl soils • Water table is at or above ground level • Sparse vegetation • Sedges • Rushes • Flowering plants • Transition to fen meadow Goldenrod & Fringed Gentian

  49. Arbor vitae & Tamarack Require cold climate Arbor Vitae require limey soils Tamaracks more adjustable to soil pH Massasauga (Swamp Rattlesnake) Spotted Turtle Fen Conifers & Fauna

  50. Caves • About 150 in Ohio • Ohio’s longest cave = ¾ mile long • Kentucky's Flint Mammoth Cave System • Longest cave in world • 200+ miles long • Found mainly in Silurian age limestones and dolomites and in Devonian rocks of the Columbus and Delaware Limestone • Cave: any natural opening beneath the earth's surface into which a person can move back into total darkness • Voids formed from water trickling through soluble rock and then draining out again