AQUATIC ECOLOGY

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General Principles of Aquatic Ecology
KAREN L. LANCOUR
National Rules Committee Chairman – Life Science

Part I: General Principles of Aquatic Ecology
Aquatic Ecosystems







Freshwater
Lotic ecosystems – flowing water o Streams o Rivers
Lentic ecosystems – still water o Ponds o Lakes o Wetlands
Estuary ecosystems
Marine ecosystems o Coral Reef Ecology

Review of Ecology Principles:




Ecology = the systematic study of how organisms interact with one another and with their environment Environment consists of both a living component, the biotic environment (other organisms) and a non-living component, the abiotic environment, e.g. physical factors such as soil, rainfall, sunlight, temperatures
Ecology is an extremely complex and very diverse subject and it includes a variety of disciplines in addition to biology, e.g. geology, chemistry, physics, meteorology, and mathematics Four levels of ecological organization:
 Population - group of individuals of the same species occupying a common geographical area
 Community - two or more populations of different species occupying the same geographical area Populations and communities include only biotic factors
 Ecosystem - a community plus its abiotic factors, e.g. soil, rain, temperatures, etc.
 Biosphere - the portion of the earth that contains living species. It includes the atmosphere, oceans, soils and the physical and biological cycles that affect them

Watershed
A watershed or drainage basin is an area of land where water from rain and melting snow or ice drains downhill into a body of water, such as a river, lake, reservoir , wetland.

Watershed surface water management plans are implemented to reduce flooding, improve water quality, and enhance stream and wetland habitat.
Land usage and water treatment methods are important in maintaining water quality in the watershed. Ecology of Populations

 Population Ecology = the study of how populations interact with their environment
 Population = group

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