Aquatic Ecology

Aquatic Ecology - Middle School

Water covers 75% of our planet’s surface. It comprises the majority of most living things. It moderates our climate. It makes some ecosystems flourish and is the major limiting factor in others. It is the fluid of life. Without water, life could not exist. This simple molecule, with many unique properties, makes life possible.

“If there is magic on this planet, it is contained in water.” This quote from Loren Eiseley sums up the importance and special attributes of water.

Water is considered to be a renewable resource because it can be recycled and it depends on mankind’s care of the resource to take care of it. Man often takes this vital resource for granted, as Benjamin Franklin pointed out in his simple statement, “When the well is dry, we know the worth of water."

Water provides transportation, a large quantity of our food supply, minerals, recreational opportunities and habitat for wildlife. It shapes the topography of the land through erosion and deposition, helping to create our soil and then carrying it away. Water is also used to produce much of our electrical power. It is a resource that we depend upon in ways we seldom think about.

The water we have today has been here since the time our atmosphere and oceans formed. It is also thought that water is entering our atmosphere every day from large blocks of ice entering our atmosphere and melting. Water is being continually recycled, by natural processes, into freshwater that organisms need and can use. The supply of water is not important just to man, it is essential to all organisms and provides the ecosystem in which many live.

Aquatics is the study of water and related ecosystems including streams, rivers, ponds, lakes, wetlands and the oceans. There are habitats within, on, surrounding, and under bodies of water and their associated wetland areas. These areas also support and provide the food supply for many terrestrial wildlife species.

In this section you will examine the nature, importance, roles, cycling, and ecosystems of water, as well as, methods to conserve and protect our water resources. Please refer to the resources listed below for study materials:

Learning Objectives

Resource Manual

Macroinvertebrates

Equipment List

Glossary

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