What is the Freshwater Biome?

S. Mithra

The freshwater biome is a low-saline, or sweetwater, aquatic biome that covers one fifth of the earth's surface. Streams, rivers, swamps, bogs, ponds, lakes, ditches, puddles, and canals comprise the tributaries of the freshwater biome. Animals and plants in this biome might reside along the bank, beneath open water, on the surface of the water, or move between water and an adjacent biome.

Lakes are one example of a freshwater biome.
Lakes are one example of a freshwater biome.

Precipitation and melted ice feed the freshwater biome. It's responsible for all the world's drinking water, and therefore must be protected and conserved. The associated ecosystems depend on the freshwater biome to complete their reproductive cycle, protect them from harsh sunlight, or provide nutrients. In a still body of water, like a lake, the littoral zone is located near the shore or bank, and the limnetic zone is out in the open water. These zones generally have different flora and fauna.

All of the world's drinking water comes from the freshwater biome.
All of the world's drinking water comes from the freshwater biome.

Plants of the freshwater biome might grow along the bank, float on the water's surface, or attach to an underwater floor of rocks, sediment, or sand. Some plants have wide, flat leaves or air-filled capsules that keep them bobbing on the surface. Tiny sprigs of algae float and multiply freely as a significant biomass. Other species have strong or sticky roots that attach to the bottom to keep them secure in fast-moving water. Cattails, watercress, and assorted grasses grow on marshy banks where their roots receive lots of moisture but aren't washed away by the current.

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An otter, which lives in a freshwater biome.
An otter, which lives in a freshwater biome.

The animals have adapted to swim, skim, or wade through the freshwater biome. Mammals like badgers, otters, and minks build their homes near the water and feed on fish. Amphibians and reptiles, among them toads, frogs, alligators, crocodiles, salamanders, and newts, spend part of their lives underwater, as eggs and tadpoles, and part on the ground as mature adults. Fish, such as trout and bass, are a necessary part of the ecosystem. They feed on plentiful insects like water beetles, mosquitoes, and dragonflies. Some insects, like skaters, are designed to skim over the surface of ponds. Certain spiders can even take bubbles of air with them underwater to breathe.

Salmon often thrive in freshwater biomes.
Salmon often thrive in freshwater biomes.
A pond, part of the freshwater biome.
A pond, part of the freshwater biome.
Crocodiles live in freshwater biomes.
Crocodiles live in freshwater biomes.
Frogs live within freshwater biomes.
Frogs live within freshwater biomes.
Cattails are among the plants found in freshwater biomes.
Cattails are among the plants found in freshwater biomes.
Minks can be found living in a freshwater biome.
Minks can be found living in a freshwater biome.

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Discussion Comments

anon330151

What is space in a freshwater ecosystem?

anon270792

Is there a map of it?

anon143342

I'm doing a project on freshwater biome. could you all help me out a little? i need activities that you could do in a freshwater biome, are there dangerous elements, what is the best time to visit, and what clothes can be worn. yeah, i know it doesn't really make sense but that's what i need for the grade. --seeking help.

anon84994

It was really good.

anon82051

Amazing! I am doing a thing on it and I have never been so pleased with something! Brilliant!

anon81630

i thought it was awesome.

anon74044

What is the amount of vegetation in the freshwater biome ?

anon70794

freshwater is the water we drink. we all need freshwater to survive.

anon70050

freshwater is water with no salt or saline in it.

anon58812

What is in fresh water?

anon47579

Anything about precipitation type and amounts?

anon43481

I want some information on the topograpy of the freshwater biome. can you do that please!

anon22749

what are the endangered species contained in the freshwater biome?

anon199

how ever its the water that we drink from and it should not be contaminated at all. so i agree that it should be protected and conserved. yes the organism are important but so are we.

Dayton

I think you're right, teddyknitter. Just based on etymology, I'm thinking BIOme necessarily is about the life in a type of area. So while it is important to conserve water, I'm pretty sure that trout are not actually under threat!

teddyknitter

It seems inappropriate to say that the freshwater biome "must be protected and conserved" -- it shouldn't be singled out for preservation any more than any other biome/region/habitat should be. Also wrt this statement, I have seen some discussion that the term "biome" is intended only to designate terrestrial ecomass, so I think some clarification on this might be appropriate. The freshwater biome is about the plants, animals, and land found in bodies of fresh water, not the water itself.

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