River, a running water freshwater habitat
Running water freshwater communities are also known as lotic communities, lotic meaning running water. Lotic communities are formed by water being introduced to the freshwater body from a variety of sources:
There are also many other, less significant ways water can enter the stream, for example, due to man-made interference such as an outlet pipe, or water transpired by plants in the nearby area.
The accumulation of this water from the areas mentioned above also introduces essential minerals and nutrients that are ideal for plant growth, the primary producers of a community. With that in hand, alongside an abundance of water, pioneers can occupy the running water environment.
One of the main differences between lotic and lentic communities is the fact that the water is moving at a particular velocity in lotic communities. This can have great bearing on what organisms occupy the ecosystem and what particular ecological niche they can exist in.
Running water can bring many factors into play affecting the lives of the organisms in this particular environment:
Such factors play a vital role in determining the overall chemical, physical and biological face of the running water ecosystem. We shall look at these physical and chemical differences that make up a running water ecosystem that will inevitably affect the biological make-up of the freshwater ecosystem. This is continued in the next tutorial.
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