Freshwater Biome

Biome Project

CLIMATE

Freshwater biomes are found all around the world. They have many seasons. A single pond during the summer season could be up to 39 degrees Fahrenheit on the bottom and 72 degrees Fahrenheit on the top. This same pond could be 39 degrees Fahrenheit on the bottom and 32 degrees Fahrenheit on top in the winter season. The climates usually average 39 degrees Fahrenheit to 70 degrees Fahrenheit.

LOCATIONS


Did you know that 75% of the world is actually covered in water? There is a lot of water on Earth. However, 97% of water is actually salt water, and 2% of all the water is freshwater that is locked up in the glaciers. This leaves only 1% of freshwater found around the Earth.

Still, freshwater biomes are found all around the world. Lake Victoria in South Central Africa, as well as the Great Lakes of the Midwest U.S. and Canada, are very well known freshwater areas. Lake Baikal in Southern Siberia is the largest freshwater lake in the world. The Nile in Africa is the longest freshwater river on Earth.

PLANTS & ANIMALS

There are many diverse flora and fauna in freshwater biomes. Algae, although not very pretty or fun to swim in, is a favorite snack for most of the animals that live in a freshwater biome. Algae live on the top layer of the water, soaking up the energy from the sun's rays. Plants are not just a snack for the freshwater animals. They provide oxygen through the process of photosynthesis.

Human impact



  • Unlike the ocean, which has a salt content of about 35 parts per thousand, fresh water biomes are composed of less than 1 percent salt concentration. Fresh water mingles with salt water in estuaries and they support many plant and animal species. Plants and animals that live in freshwater biomes are acclimated and often unique to their environment. Fresh water biomes provide water for agriculture and most of the drinking water for human populations.



  • About 40 percent of the fish species in the world live in fresh water biomes, and in the past 20 years, freshwater fish populations have declined by over 20 percent. Humans have destroyed habitat for freshwater plants and animals and polluted watersheds. They have filled in crucial wetlands like marshes, swamps and bogs for development.

  • People withdrawing water from freshwater biomes cause them to shrink and degrade plant and animal habitats. Building dams and water diversion systems block fish migration routes and destroy irreplaceable plants and animals.




  • Runoff from agricultural and urban areas affects the water quality of freshwater biomes, and overuse and pollution threaten the groundwater supply.



  • Global warming caused by humans may produce devastating floods and droughts. Humans disrupting the balance of nature in freshwater biomes can permit the invasion of exotic species that can harm native animals and plants.

  • People can help preserve freshwater biomes by curtailing dam construction, reducing the use of pesticides and other water and plant pollutants and establishing protected wetlands areas.

Plants

Plants and algae are important to freshwater biomes because they provide oxygen through photosynthesis, and food for animals in this biome. Yum, delicious algae. In fact, that slimy scum you see on the surface of a pond or lake is lunch for many of your favorite aquatic animals, like turtles. In fast streams and rivers many plants have special structures that keep them from being carried away by the water. Some aquatic plants have strong roots that keep them anchored securely, while others have stems that bend easily with the movement of the water. Certain mosses are able to cling to rocks. Plants who live in still waters have different adaptations. Water lilies, algae, and duckweed float on the surface. Cattails and reeds grow along the shoreline of many freshwater ecosystems. Estuaries house plant life with the unique adaptation of being able to survive in fresh and salty environments. Mangroves and pickleweed are just some examples of estuarine plants