Limnology is the scientific field of knowledge that investigates terrestrial freshwater and saline aquatic systems. This includes the study of streams, lakes, ponds, rivers, springs, wetlands and even human-made reservoirs. Limnologists often utilize academic perspectives from a variety of disciplines, including biology, chemistry, geology, ecology, environmental science, hydrology and physics for their investigations.
Benthos is one of three major ecological groups into which marine organisms are divided, the other two being the nekton and the plankton. The benthos are organisms and...
Lake Baikal Basin, Russian FederationLast Updated on 2015-09-15 16:56:57Lake Baikal Basin (53°10'24.96 North, 107°39'45 East) is a World Heritage Site located in the Russian Federation. Situated in south central Siberia close to the Mongolian border, Lake Baikal is the oldest by 25 million years, and deepest, at 1637 metres (m), of the world's lakes. It is 3.15 million hectares (ha) in size and contains a fifth of the world's unfrozen surface freshwater. Its age and isolation and unusually fertile depths have given it the world's richest and most unusual lacustrine fauna which, like the Galapagos Islands, is of outstanding value to evolutionary science. The exceptional variety of endemic animals and plants make the lake one of the most biologically diverse on Earth.
A pulp and cellulose mill on the southern shore, which has created water pollution of 200 square kilometres (km2) of the lake and generated some of the highest... More »
Enriquillo wetlandsLast Updated on 2015-09-12 15:54:07
WWF Terrestrial Ecoregions Collection
Consisting of a series of lagoons, the Enriquillo wetlands ecoregion represents the remains of an ancient marine channel that divided the island of Hispaniola (Dominican Republic and Haiti) into two paleo-islands more than 5000 years before present. The largest lake in this ecoregion, Lake Enriquillo in the Dominican Republic is the largest and most hypersaline lake in all of the Antilles. It consists of a depression that is approximately 44 metres (m) below sea level, surrounded by thorny subtropical mountains and dry forests of great biological importance. The lake surface is the lowest topographic point in the entire Caribbean Basin.
This lake is home to the largest population of American crocodile (Crocodylus acutus), although currently its the populations of this reptile are at risk. It is also the... More »
Zambezian halophyticsLast Updated on 2015-05-15 15:26:27
WWF Terrestrial Ecoregions Collection
The Zambezian halophytics ecoregion includes two spatially disjunctive units in Southern Africa: The Makgadikgadi Pan complex in Botswana and a smaller hypersaline unit in southern inland Mozambique. One of the largest saltpans in the world, the Makgadikgadi Pan complex in Botswana stretches out over 12,000 square kilometres. The ecoregion is classified within the Flooded Grasslands and Savanna biome.
Surrounded by the semi-arid Kalahari savannas, the pans experience a harsh climate, hot with little rain, and are normally a vast, glaring expanse of salt-saturated clay. These pans are sustained by freshwater from the Nata River, and more infrequently, from input from the Okavango Alluvial Fan by way of the Boteti River. Saline- and drought-tolerant plant species generally line the pan perimeters, with grasslands... More »
BiomeLast Updated on 2014-11-30 22:01:13Biomes organize the biological communities of the earth based on similarities in the dominant vegetation, climate, geographic location, and other characteristics. Aspects of the physical environment such as precipitation, temperature, and water depth, have a strong influence on the traits of species living in that natural environment, and thus biological communities experiencing similar environmental conditions often contain species that have evolved similar characteristics. There is no single classification of biomes that is agreed upon by all scientists because different scientists wish to emphasize different characteristics by their definition. Historically however, biomes have been identified and mapped based on general differences in vegetation type associated with regional variations in climate and terrain.
Terrestrial biomes characterize ecosystems on land, and are usually... More »
HydroelectricityLast Updated on 2014-11-30 21:32:21
Hydroelectricity is electricity generated by converting the kinetic energy of falling or flowing water. It is considered the most widely installed form of renewable energy, although most large dams have a finite lifetime unless dredging of silt is periodically conducted. Hydroelectricity has and has a considerably lower output level of the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide than fossil fuel powered energy plants, and less life cycle greenhouse gas impact than solar power. Furthermore, the ecological impacts of hydropower is arguably greater than any form of energy production, due to the large footprint of biological impact of reservoirs and other needed developed areas. Worldwide, an installed capacity of 777 Gigawatts was catalogued in the year 2006, sufficient to supply one fifth of the world power supply. Since most of the prime locations for hydroelectric power have been tapped, the... More »
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