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Life in water (3).docx

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McMaster University
Kim Dej

September 19 , 2012 Biology 2F03: Fundamental and Applied Ecology Life in Water (3) Life in freshwaters - rivers: temperate (Thames) vs tropical (Darling) - ratio of min:max flow = 1:3 vs 1:5 - greater impact on sediments and organisms in tropics Life in freshwaters (running) - chemistry of rivers depends on land and climate:  the salinity of the Pecos River, NM (desert) is 500 times higher than the salinity of the Rio Negro, Amazon (tropical)  Rio Negro: very clear but very dark, doesn’t have much salt  Amount of water, much more precipitation in the tropics  Age of the areas, how long the soils or rocs have been exposed to the climate  Salinity may be 500 times greater when river flows through desert River Continuum concept - generally starts in higher locations - picks up minerals - turbulence, mixture of soil - consider a temperate climate river - start in the mountains: starts as clean water, small stream, closed canopy, many leaves fall in - faith of a leaf: generally not a good food, many organisms learn how to utilize them - next animals (shredders) chew and shred leaves - organisms capable to chopping the leaves, bark whatever falls into the mountain stream - collectors: let others do the work - predators: independent of the initial source of food - grazers: very few grazers because theirs very little nutrients in the water, no light, no algae - particles taken downstream, colonized by microorganisms - food for the next batch of invertebrates - ecology of the stream in addition to the physical aspects is a sequence of events initiated in the upper portion of the stream dependent on the input of the forest, next section is less impacted by the forest, mixing with new segment and transforms into something else - communities change in a continuous fashion - many consequences (change in functional groups size and composition) - two main types of intertwined processes: biological, physical Life in (standing) freshwaters - lakes in Canada are postglacial, formed when glaciers melted and tectonic depressions - most other lakes in the world are results of plate tectonics Lif
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