The natural pond ecosystem is a freshwater environment that can reveal the health of a local area. Freshwater environments such as ponds have specific life forms that show its overall health. Toxins or pollution can effect the pond life adversely. The importance of understanding the ecosystem involves the life forms and plant cultures that are part of the healthy environment.
The pond 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. The healthy environment will have a balance of both plant and animal living within 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.
With human activity impacting on the environment, toxins can effect the quality of the pond. 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 the pond environment.
Leeches have long been an indicator of the pond ecosystems health status. Leeches are found where water quality is good. If the pond 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.
Birds, spiders, lizards, rodents, rabbits and larger mammals are all reliant on a healthy pond. Without clear clean water, filtered by ample plant life or good drainable soil, the larger animals will need to find other sources of water.
Agriculture and the impact of human activity on the ecology of a pond can effect the quality and purity of soil and water. Fertilizer, oil, introduced species, pollution, fishing can all upset the delicate balance that exists in a healthy pond ecosystem.
Maintaining the balance, keeping every species alive and in good numbers will make sure a healthy, vital pond ecosystem. Freshwater, climate, drought, humidity, rising salinity are all important factors that can effect the pond beyond the initial impact of human activity.
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 pond environment to sustain their lives. Water is essential to life on this planet. Freshwater and the quality of freshwater in the pond ecosystem is actually of global importance.