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These regions range in size from just a few square meters to thousands of square kilometres. Scattered throughout the earth, several are remnants from the Pleistocene glaciation. Many ponds are seasonal, lasting just a couple of months (such as sessile pools) while lakes may exist for hundreds of years or more. Ponds and lakes may have limited species diversity since they are often isolated from one another and from other water sources like rivers and oceans. Lakes and ponds are divided into three different zones which are usually determined by depth and distance from the shoreline.
These are bodies of flowing water moving in one direction. Streams and rivers can be found everywhere they get their starts at headwaters, which may be springs, snowmelt or even lakes, then travel all the way to their mouths, usually another water channel or the ocean. The characteristics of a river or stream change during the journey from the source to the mouth. The temperature is cooler at the source than it is at the mouth. The water is also clearer, has higher oxygen levels, and freshwater fish such as trout and heterotrophs can be found there. Towards the middle part of the stream or river, the width increases, as does species diversity numerous aquatic green plants and algae can be found. Toward the mouth of the river or stream, the water becomes murky from all the sediments that it has picked up upstream, decreasing the amount of light that can penetrate through the water. Since there is less light, there is less diversity of flora, and because of the lower oxygen levels, fish that require less oxygen, such as catfish and carp, can be found.
Wetlands are areas of standing water that support aquatic plants. Marshes, swamps, and bogs are all considered wetlands. Plant species adapted to the very moist and humid conditions are called hydrophytes. These include pond lilies, cattails, sedges, tamarack, and black spruce. Marsh flora also include such species as cypress and gum. Wetlands have the highest species diversity of all ecosystems. Many species of amphibians, reptiles, birds and furbearers can be found in the wetlands. Wetlands are not considered freshwater ecosystems as there are some, such as salt marshes, that have high salt concentrations. These support different species of animals, such as shrimp, shellfish, and various grasses.
You have to understand the difference between weather and climate before going into the details of climate of the freshwater biomes, weather refers to changing daily atmospheric conditions, while climate refers to weather condition over a certain time period usually a year, Average temperatures in the summer range from 17 to 23 degrees Celsius and 3 to 8 degrees during the winter.
Maintaining freshwater biomes and their climates are important for humans and animals. Most of the water humans drink and use for bathing and other activities comes from freshwater sources. Freshwater biomes also contain diverse flora and fauna, such as algae, that are the basis for rest of the food chain. Plants that thrive in freshwater are a food source for animals and also provide oxygen through photosynthesis, especially in the summer. Freshwater fishes that feed on plants and insects are often a main food source for humans as well. From a human perspective, freshwater biomes not only provide food and water but are also home to thousands of species of fish, animals and plants. Protecting them from climate change helps to secure humans’ survival.
Freshwater biomes can develop around creeks, small ponds, rivers and lakes. While often incorrectly associated with marine biomes, these two biomes are actually two separate components of the aquatic biome /water biome. Marine biomes primarily include all the saline water sources in the world, and the freshwater biome, as the word suggests, includes all of the fresh water sources. While marine biomes are much larger than freshwater biomes, both are equally important for the ecosystem.
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