Florida's Rivers and Springs
By Rachel Liegey
Introduction to Rivers and Springs in Florida
Abiotic Factors in This Ecosystem
-Often sandy, but sometimes exposed limestone, silt, or clay.
-Temperatures of spring water in Florida is usually around 73 degrees (year round), while river water is around a high of 78 degrees and a low of 63 degrees.
-Spring water is freshwater and comes from an aquifer. There are some rivers in Florida that are salt water, and some are freshwater. The water is free-flowing and comes from rain.
-Wind and weather impacts the rivers and springs highly because it adds on water, and makes the water a certain temperature.
-Springs and rivers in Florida get sunlight depending on how many trees are in the area, but overall they get lots of sunlight. After all, Florida gets lots of sunlight anyway.
-Sources of pollution to this ecosystem include dredging, saltwater intrusion, and industrial pollution.
Biotic Factors in this Ecosystem
Major consumers (animals) in this ecosystem: alligator snapping turtle (omnivore), american alligator (carnivore), beaver, river otter, wood duck, dragonflies (mostly prey), manatees (herbivores), river cooter, snails
Major decomposers in this ecosystem: bacteria, fungus, microbes
Human Impact on Rivers and Springs
(Positive) People save the endangered species in the ecosystem and release them back into the waters.
Fact(s): Manatees go to the surface of the water every three to five minutes to breathe although they can remain underwater longer, holding their breath for up to 20 minutes. When they do take a breath, 90 percent of the air in their lungs is replaced (whereas humans tend to replace about 10 percent).
Human impact: (Negative) People in power boats cause trouble for manatees.
Most manatee deaths are caused by boat collisions. Manatees were also hunted extensively in the past. They can also die from ingested fish hooks, litter, etc.
(Positive) People make organizations to help/save manatees from dying.
Evidence of Research