5 THINGS YOU DIDN’T KNOW ABOUT STREAM ECOLOGY
Secrets of Stream Ecology
As the word stream suggests from the onset, it is a water source. Ecology has to do with the interaction of organisms within a given ecosystem. Consequently, stream ecology is associated with the study of an ecosystem with bias emphasis on the relationships and interactions of living organism with each other, as well as with those of the non living( environment). As at that, it is important to understand that this relationship is a complex one. Among the mains constituents that one needs to acquaint themselves with about stream ecology are:
– Physical Ecology.
– Biological Ecology.
– Chemical stream ecology.
– Types of Streams.
– Advantages of stream ecology.
– Among the noticeable things of a stream are the physical aspects. Under stream ecology, physical processes obviously differ depending on a number of things like:
Size and shape of the watershed – This determines the number of organism hosted in a given stream
Ecoregions – This is a technical jargon in this field that includes: soil and its quality, land shape and geology.
Site – Vegetation and the habitats within a given stream
Drainage pattern and density.
– Biological processes in stream ecology include a variety of aspects that need to be considered.
Interdependence – it is imperative to acknowledge that the survival of some species solely depend on the existence of other species. This is an interdependence that keeps the existence of a certain species in check.
Trophic relations – Food webs and food chains create a competition kind of life in a stream. This is also evident in plants.
– Although the chemical components of a stream may not be visible without a scientific magnifying aid, it is not prudent to overrule their crucial role in a stream and more so in stream ecology. Some of these chemical constituents include: nutrients (that occur in form of Nitrogen, Phosphorus and organic matter), oxygen, and carbon dioxide that are normally dissolved in water and dissolved solid substances.
Types of streams
– The types of most aquatic ecosystems that are studied in stream ecology are determined by the type of vegetation that grows around and within a stream. For instance, primary herbaceous plants like sedges grow abundantly in marshes. On the other hand, woody vegetations grow in swamps. Further, the type of a stream is classified depending on the type of plants, for instance trees and shrubs that dominate that area. That’s why it strongly suggested that scholars from Africa and other parts of the world, be granted scholarships to boost their knowledge in the study of stream Ecology.
Advantages of stream Ecology
– Stream ecology has an advantage that is absolutely crucial as long as the existence of life on earth is concerned. Food protection is one of these values through linking aquatic ecosystem to land. This is mainly by prevention of soil erosion – water from the springs or river overflows; this follows the absorption of excess water by the wetland hence preventing erosion of soil. Prevention of environmental contamination is another significance of stream ecology through filtration of toxics out of water surfaces when water flows. This one of the reasons that has seen African countries incorporates stream ecology in their educational institutions and grant scholarships.
With these factual aspects of stream ecology, it is therefore, evident the role played by stream ecology.