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freshwater ecosystems

Freshwater Ecosystems
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Freshwater Ecosystems

Freshwater ecosystems are bodies of fresh water, along with the communities of organisms they contain and the physical features that affect the organisms. They include rivers and streams, ponds and lakes, and wetlands.

Some ponds and wetlands are temporary or seasonal, occurring for a few weeks or months during wet periods and drying out in between. Others are permanent.

Missouri Botanical Garden
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Overview: River Ecosystems

Overview: River Ecosystems

There is more than meets the eye in a river ecosystem. To understand one, you have to investigate the whole drainage area that supplies its water. More...

Article
Trinity College
Wetland Ecosystems

Wetland Ecosystems

Wetlands filter harmful substances, protect against floods and erosion, and benefit people in many other ways. Discover the facts about bogs, fens, marshes, and swamps. Then, take a quiz. More...

Interactive
Michigan Department of Environmental Quality
Freshwater Ponds

Freshwater Ponds

Ponds are often very small, but they can be loaded with a variety of life forms. Check out all the species in one artificial pond. More...

Video
Natural History Museum, London
Freshwater: Photo Gallery

Freshwater: Photo Gallery

Click through these awesome images to get an idea of the variety of freshwater habitats. You’ll see pristine glacial lakes, swift rivers, and Georgia’s iconic Okefenokee Swamp. More...

Images
National Geographic
Interactive Map of Eutrophication & Hypoxia

Interactive Map of Eutrophication & Hypoxia

The quality of Earth’s aquatic ecosystems has changed in the past 160 years, mainly from human impact. Explore this map to see areas with eutrophication (a damaging excess of nutrients) and hypoxia (insufficient oxygen). More...

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World Resources Institute
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Ponds and Lakes: A Journey Through the Life Aquatic

Ponds and Lakes: A Journey Through the Life Aquatic

Ponds and lakes — lentic systems because they have still water — have complex physical properties and food webs. They range from tiny temporary ponds to mammoth bodies such as the Great Lakes. More...

Article
Nature
Restoration of the Elwha River: Olympic National Park

Restoration of the Elwha River: Olympic National Park

In the 20th century, dams were constructed with little or no consideration of their impact on freshwater ecosystems. Now, some are being dismantled. More...

Video
National Park Service
Scientist Profile: Hydrologist

Scientist Profile: Hydrologist

Meet hydrology technician Vidal Mendoza, who collects data to rate how much water is flowing in Texas rivers. Find out what he likes most about his career. More...

Profile
DragonflyTV/PBS
The Aquatic Biome

The Aquatic Biome

Water covers 75% of the Earth’s surface, a fact that makes it important to understand the aquatic, or water-based biome — and the freshwater and marine ecosystems that form it. More...

Article
University of California, Berkeley
Where Is Earth’s Water?

Where Is Earth’s Water?

We live on the blue planet; its surface is some 75% water. But only a small amount of that is freshwater — and only a tiny amount of that is available to the organisms that depend on it. More...

Article
U.S. Geological Survey

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