1 FreshwaterEcosystems: Streams, Rivers, Lakes, Ponds, Wetlands 2 3 4 5
Streams and Rivers Streams Rivers • Streams often start in mountains from melting snow. • Streams run swiftly; they are often shallow and contain cold water. • Fish like trout and minnows that need high amounts of dissolved oxygen and cold water that are found in these streams. • Rivers form when many tributaries join. • Rivers are generally wider, run slower, and contain warmer water. • Fish such as catfish and carp live in rivers that are generally slower moving, and have lower levels of dissolved oxygen.
USES and MISUSES of RIVERS USES MISUSES • 1. Rivers are often dammed to provide hydroelectric power, • 2. recreation for people, and • 3. drinking water for cities. • Pollution is a big issue for many rivers. • Rivers can become nutrient rich from silt and runoff from farms and industry. • Farm runoff may contain pesticides and nitrates and phosphates from fertilizers
Cuyahoga River Fire • On June 22, 1969, an oil slick and debris in the Cuyahoga River caught fire in Cleveland, Ohio, drawing national attention to environmental problems in Ohio and elsewhere in the United States. • This Cuyahoga River fire lasted just thirty minutes, but it did approximately fifty thousand dollars in damage -- principally to some railroad bridges spanning the river. It is unclear what caused the fire, but most people believe sparks from a passing train ignited an oil slick in the Cuyahoga River. • This was not the first time that the river had caught on fire. Fires occurred on the Cuyahoga River in 1868, 1883, 1887, 1912, 1922, 1936, 1941, 1948, and in 1952. The 1952 fire caused over 1.5 million dollars in damage. • The fire also brought attention to other environmental problems across the country, helped spur the Environmental Movement, and helped lead to the passage of the Clean Water Act in 1972.
Cuyahoga River Fire Nov. 3, 1952. Courtesy of Cleveland Press Collection at Cleveland State University Library.
DISPUTES over RIVERS • Dams alter ecosystems. • In Georgia, the largest reservoir, Lake Lanier, is subject of great controversy. • Florida and Alabama dispute Georgia’s right to remove huge quantities of water. • The removed water is used for metro-Atlanta drinking water, manufacturing, etc.
PONDS and LAKES • Ponds and lakes contain slow-moving water; • They provide habitat for many species of plants and animals. • The most diverse life is found in the shallow areas of ponds and lakes (called littoral areas), where reeds, rushes, cat tails, lily pads, phytoplankton, and fish grow. • Fewer living organisms are found in deep zones (benthic zone) where decomposers, insect larvae, and clams are found.
PONDS and LAKES • Producers in lakes and ponds are chiefly plankton. • If a plant, the producer is called phyto-plankton. • The process by which these producers make their own food. • Consequently food for consumers is photosynthesis. • What determines the organisms that can live in a pond or lake?
MARSHES • Marshes contain plants like reeds, rushes and cattails. • Marshes are habitat for many birds, amphibians, and reptiles. • 4 Factors that determine the organisms that live in a particular area of water are: • 1) Temperature, 2) Sunlight, 3) Oxygen, and 4) Nutrients. • An example of a big marsh is the Everglades. • Everglades were reduced from 8 million Acres to 2 million Acres, in a disastrous building boom. • It is now an International Wetland.
SWAMPS • Most swamps in the U.S. are in the Southeast. • Swamps contain trees like cypress, and shrubs. • An example of a large swamp is the Okefenokee in southeast Georgia. • KEY POINT: Both swamps and marshes are: • 1. important reservoirs of water; • 2. reduce threats from flooding; and • 3. are filters of pollutants and nutrients.
WHAT IS A WETLAND? • KEY POINT For an area to be considered a wetland it must be periodically covered by water. • Water moves very slowly through wetlands. • PLEASE NOTE TODAY---Wetlands are protected areas.
Functions of WETLANDS • 1) Reduce threats from floods, • 2) habitat for many organisms, • 3) recreational areas, • 4) Traps and filters of pollution, • 5) protects shores from erosion, and • 6) provides spawning grounds for fish/shellfish
MARINE ECOSYSTEMS DELAWARE RIVER ESTUARY CHESAPEAKE BAY
ESTUARIES • ESTUARIES are areas where freshwater meets the oceans. • The amount of salt in the water is called salinity. • In estuaries, this varies as the amount of water entering the estuary from rivers, and from the ocean, change. • As the tide comes in the salinity increases; • during times of heavy rainfall, salinity decreases.
ESTUARIES as HABITAT • ESTUARIES, like other wetlands provide habitat for many species of plants and animals, since they are continually receiving nutrients from rivers. • Ocean tides trap the nutrients. • Aquatic animals that you would expect to find in an estuary: crab, shrimp, oysters, clams, barnacles, many species of fish, dolphins, manatees, otters. • Estuaries provide protected harbors, access to the ocean, and connection to a river. • 6 of the world’s 10 largest cities are built on estuaries: Tokyo, New York, Shanghai, Buenos Aires, Rio de Janeiro, and Mumbai (Bombay).
THREATS to ESTUARIES • Pollution from sewage, • industrial waste, • and agricultural runoff. • Laws have been passed to prevent industrial pollution. • Overpopulation threatens rivers, lakes, and oceans with pollution from sewage and vehicles and runoff from lawns and farms.
TWO TYPES OF SHORELINES: ROCKY & SANDY • Limited Life Forms on the shore, but Abundant Life in the Water and Sediments • Abundant Life Forms
BARRIER ISLANDS - FLORIDA & GEORGIA 1) Habitats for wildlife 2) Protect mainland from storms 3) Usually have nice beaches for recreation 4) Many have been developed and are threatened by pollution from sewage, runoff, and vehicles
CORAL REEFS LIMESTONE RIDGES BUILT BY TINY CORAL ANIMALS AND THE ALGAE THAT LIVE INSIDE THEM Coral need warm salt water with enough light for photosynthesis. Coral have stinging polyps that capture small animals that float or swim close to the reef. Coral reefs provide habitat for a great variety of fish, snails, clams, sponges, and other organisms.
What is the Great Barrier Reef? • The Great Barrier Reefis the world's largest coral reef system. • It is comprises over 2,900 individual reefs and 900 islands stretching for over 1,600 miles over an area of approximately 133,000 squaremiles. • This reef structure is composed of and was built by billions of tiny organisms, known as coral polyps. • The reef is located in the Coral Sea, off the coast of Queensland in northeast Australia. • Interesting tidbits about the reef include the following: • The Great Barrier Reef can be seen from outer space and is the world's biggest single structure made by living organisms. • The Great Barrier Reef was selected as a World Heritage Site in 1981. • CNN labeled it one of the 7 natural wonders of the world.
The Great Barrier Reef supports a diversity of life Under the water line? Above the water line • Thirty species of whales, dolphins, and porpoises; • six species of sea turtles; • saltwater crocodiles live in mangrove and salt marshes on the coast near the reef. • Around 125 species of shark, close to 5,000 species of mollusks; forty-nine species of pipefish, and nine species of seahorse have been found here.[ • At least seven species of frog can be found on the islands; • 215 species of birds (including 22 species of seabirds and 32 species of shorebirds) are attracted to the reef or nest or roost on the islands. • The islands of the Great Barrier Reef also support 2,195 known plant species; three of these are endemic. • The northern islands have 300-350 plant species which tend to be woody. • The southern islands have 200 plant species, which tend to be herbaceous.
What is a coral reef? • Coral reefs are fragile ecosystems composed of tiny animals called coral polyps and the algae that live inside them. • The coral Polyps secrete skeletons of limestone (calcium carbonate), which slowly form coral reefs. • The outer layer of a reef is made of living coral which sting their prey. • Coral reefs are only found in shallow, warm, clear tropical seas.
Beauty Under Attack Coral reefs are threatened by: 1.global warming, 2. oil spills, 3. polluting runoff from human activities, 4. and overfishing.
Ocean Depth and the penetration of light • Diagram on prior slide on the left shows how the ocean is divided into different depth categories. • Diagram on prior slide on the right shows how deep the different colors of light penetrate into the ocean. You can see that red light doesn’t reach down very far, this is why many deep-sea animals are red, so they are camouflaged
The five Ocean Biomes • Ocean biomes are divided based on depth: Sunlight, Twilight, Midnight, the Abyss, and the Trenches. • Sunlight Biome: the top layer of the world ocean has sunlight to depths of around 100m (330 ft.). Here most of ocean’s life is concentrated. Seaweed and algae grow and phytoplankton drift on the surface. Invertebrates and fish feed on these plants that are concentrated near the shore. • Twilight Biome extends from 100m (330 ft) to around 1000m (3300 ft). Here light is dim, and bizarre light emitting (bioluminescent) creatures exist. • MidnightBiomeis perpetually in total darkness – fish are usually red or black due to lack of light. Depths of the midnight zone are from 1000 m to 4000 m. Pressures here can be up to 5800 pounds per square inch! Sperm whales can dive to these depths to feed. • Abyss Biomeis also in total darkness, and depth extends to almost 20,000 ft. Few creatures live here, and the temperature stays just slightly above freezing. • Trench Biome are the super deep regions – to 35,000 ft. At pressures of 8 tons per square inch, starfish and tube worms still exist!
The attack on Ocean Biomes • Threats to the oceans include: 1. pollution from activities on land, 2. runoff from fertilized soil, 3. industrial wastes, 4. sewage, 5. overfishing, 6. discarded plastics, and 7. discarded fishing nets that entangle and kill many ocean organisms.
Sunlight Zone: tropical fish, shrimps, seastars, and more. However, the Epipelagic Zone is also home to temperate kelp forests and swimming penguins of Antarctica.Read more at Suite101: The Different Layers of the Ocean: Marine Creatures at Every Sea Depthhttp://www.suite101.com/content/the-different-layers-of-the-ocean-a135620#ixzz13gTUHjzV Twilight Zone: blobfish (Psychrolutes species) and the prickly shark (Oxynotusbruniensis). Krill, comb jellies, squid, and many other animals can also be found here.Read more at Suite101: The Different Layers of the Ocean: Marine Creatures at Every Sea Depthhttp://www.suite101.com/content/the-different-layers-of-the-ocean-a135620#ixzz13gThr200 angler fish, eels with giant jaws, and tube worms of hydrothermal vents. Marine biologists have found deep sea corals at depths of 2,000 m.Read more at Suite101: The Different Layers of the Ocean: Marine Creatures at Every Sea Depthhttp://www.suite101.com/content/the-different-layers-of-the-ocean-a135620#ixzz13gU0zyKw “‘Deepest ever’ living fish filmed” a school of 30 cm (12 in) Pseudoliparisamblystomopsiswas found off of Japan at a depth of 7.7 km (4.8 mi). The fish is also sometimes called a liparid.Read more at Suite101: The Different Layers of the Ocean: Marine Creatures at Every Sea Depthhttp://www.suite101.com/content/the-different-layers-of-the-ocean-a135620#ixzz13gUCSPxv