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Welcome to the Freshwater Biome Home Page!



These pages were written by Aliya B. and Bradlee C. - Mrs. Singh's First Hour Challenge Science Class

Over 75% of the Earth is covered in water, but most of this is salt water. In fact, 97% of all the water on Earth is salt water. The other percentage is freshwater. 2% of this is found in frozen glaciers near the poles. That leaves the other 1% of freshwater that is on this Earth.

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The Freshwater biome can be found in various places all over the world. Because of this, the temperature of the water is different from place to place. Ponds, streams, rivers, and lakes are all part of the freshwater biome.
Here are some well-known freshwater lakes examples and where they can be found:

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  • The Great Lakes- Found in Midwest U.S. and Canada
  • Lake Victoria- Found in South/Central Africa
  • Lake Baikal- The largest freshwater lake, found in southern Siberia

Here are some examples of well-known rivers:
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  • The Nile- The world's longest river, found in Africa's Great Rift Valley
  • The Amazon- Found in Amazon Tropical Rainforest in South America
  • The Ganges River- Found in India

The communities of life in the freshwater biome vary from place to place. The organisms that live in the freshwater biome are very interesting. In general, though, you should be able to find some fish of different varieties and sizes. Reptiles, like turtles, water birds, like ducks and loons, and even some small mammals like otters and muskrats. The wildlife will vary from region to region. For example, you won't find piranhas in the taiga regions of Canada. A good number of bacteria, protists, and fungi will also be apparent in the many freshwater biomes. For plantlife, there would be many weeds and mosses found in these underwater regions of the world.

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Organisms in the Freshwater Biome have to thrive to survive. Like other biomes, the Freshwater Biome is home to many Predator-Prey relationships. Mutalism (a relationship where both interacting organisms are helped.) , commensalism (a relationship where one organism is helped and one isn't really harmed or helped), and parasitism (where one organism benefits at the expense of the other organism.) also take place here. An example of a freshwater food web could be...

The river muskrat eats the brown bass- which has eaten the algae which has photosynthesized to make its own food.
or
The Northern Pike eats the Bluegill-which has eaten algae which has photosynthesized to make its own food.

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All food webs will begin with a plant, because a plant eats nothing. Though algae is a protist, it has plantlike characteristics, which causes it to go through photosynthesis. Plants and algae alike are the basis for food webs everywhere, even in biomes such as the tundra.

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Animals: There are many animals in the Freshwater Biome. But when people think of rivers, lakes, and ponds they mostly think of fish. Fish are key to life in the freshwater biome. Some are Bass, Trout, and Pike. Along with fish, there are many other kinds of animals in the fresh water biome. There are mammals that live on land, near the water. Some are muskrats and North American River Otters. There are also birds that fly above and feed in this biome. There's the Common Loon, and the Great Blue Heron. Amphibians and reptiles also find there homes here. There are many kinds of frogs living in wetlands of the Freshwater Biome. In the Amazon Rain Forest, in the Amazon River, there is an enormous water snake called the Anaconda that lives in the murky depths. Just as there are vertebrates, or animals with a backbone, there are also invertebrates, or animals without a backbone. In some places, there are Freshwater Jellyfish, and Water Spiders grace the surface of lakes.

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Plants: Just as there is animal life in the Freshwater Biome, plant life is also abundant. There are many plants such as the Swamp Lily, Common Cattail, Water Lily, Smooth Water Hyssop, The Water Shield, and the Lizard's Tail. Most of these plants are angiosperms, or plants that flower. The Swamp and Water Lilies are good examples of angiosperms. There are also gymnosperms, or plants that doesn't bear fruit. The Common Cattail is a good example of this because it doesn't bear fruit. Plants can also provide cover for animals such as fish. One plant that does this is the Water Paspalum.

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Fungi: There are also many fungi in the Freshwater Biome. Many, in fact most, of these fungi live underwater and are microscopic. Some fungi even cause fatal disease epidemics in amphibians such as frogs and toads. Some diseases can spread very quickly and wipe out many animals over the course of a few days. Below is a picture of a mitosporic diatom called Saprolengia. Another fungi that is found on rotting trees in the Australia and South Eastern coast of Asia is Savoryella aquatica. Another freshwater fungi that can be found is Cancellidium applanatum.

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Protists: Protists are some of the most basic organisms on the planet. They are one of the microscopic kingdoms. Protists can be divided into two groups: Protozoans and Algae. Protozoans are animal-like protists and Algae is a plant-like protist. Both live in the freshwater biome. An example of a protozoan would be the Testate Amoeba.

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Monera: Monerans are the most basic organisms on Earth. They are microscopic, and most are single celled. Monerans are divided by scientists into two categories: Bacteria and Cyanobacteria. There are some bacteria that can make you sick, but most bacteria won't. Vibrio cholerae is a bacteria that is found in the stank and murky waters of the freshwater ponds, some swamps, and even in lakes and rivers. In fact, Vibrio cholerae can make you very sick. It is the disease that causes cholera in humans. Cholera used to be a deadly disease for humans, but now, many people are immune thanks to immunizations. Another example of a bacteria is Alcaligenes aquatilis. This is another bacteria that is found in bodies of freshwater. Monerans are very widespread around the earth. An example of cyanobacteria that lives in the Freshwater Biome is Plectonema gracillimum.




Explore the wonderful Freshwater Biome with these links:

Freshwater Factual Information

Freshwater Fictional Stories

Freshwater Food Webs

Freshwater Bibliography