The Freshwater Ecosystem

The importance of understanding the freshwater ecosystem involves the life forms and plant cultures that are part of the healthy environment.

A River Freshwater EcosystemThis specific type of ecosystem is a freshwater environment that can reveal the health of a local area.

Freshwater environments in contrast to saltwater environments have specific life forms that show its overall health. Toxins or pollution can effect this thriving ecosystem adversely.

The healthy freshwater ecosystem will have a balance of both plant and animal living with in its parameters. Studying the balance between plant and animal and soil, sedges and underlying strata can give an overall view of the quality of the water table and land.

The ecosystem begins with what lives in the water. From the smallest microbes, single cell creatures to the guppies, leeches and midges, only clean water can sustain life. The plants that convert oxygen for these creatures are as important as the fauna.

With human activity impacting on this fresh environment, toxins can effect the quality of the freshwater ecosystem. If toxins effect the water, plants can die. Without plants to add oxygen to the water, the creatures might perish. Without the smallest life forms in the food chain, the ripple effect can lead to other species dying out or leaving this cleaner environment.

If the freshwater ecosystem is not balanced, or there are impurities in the water that the life forms cannot deal with then one of the first to suffer or leave the environs, is the humble leech. Leeches have long been an indicator of the current health status of the freshwater. Leeches are found where water quality is good.

Without clear clean water, filtered by ample plant life or good drainable soil, the larger animals will need to find other sources of water. Birds, spiders, lizards, rodents, rabbits and larger mammals are all reliant on a healthy freshwater ecosystem.

Fertilizer, oil, introduced species, pollution, fishing can all upset the delicate balance that exists in a healthy freshwater ecosystem. Agriculture and the impact of human activity on the ecosystem can effect the quality and purity of soil and water, we must make freshwater pollution prevention a priority.

Rain, climate, drought, humidity, rising salinity are all important factors that can effect the wetlands beyond the initial impact of human activity. Maintaining the balance, keeping every species alive and in good numbers will make sure a healthy, vital freshwater ecosystem.

The food chain, from tiny water borne creatures that feed midges and insects that feed birds, to the rabbits that feed foxes and the grasses that feed cattle and sheep, all depend on the freshwater ecosystem to sustain their lives. The quality of clean water in the freshwater ecosystem is actually of global importance. Freshwater is essential to life on this planet.