Featured Image: Small headwater stream in Oregon’s Mountains. Image courtesy Jessica Buser-Young, used with permission.
Paper: The River Continuum Concept
Authors: Robin L. Vannote, G. Wayne Minshall, Kenneth W. Cummins, James R. Sedell, Colbert E. Cushing
Perhaps last time you went for a hike, you stumbled upon a burbling spring pushing its way up through the leaf litter after a heavy rainfall, creating a tiny rivulet of water crisscrossing over your path before plunging back into the forest. What a find! Excitedly, you squatted down and gently uncovered the spring to notice gnats lazily floating away, some nearby fruiting mushrooms, and great clumps of decomposing twigs and leaves which you assume harbor uncountable numbers of microorganisms. This unique little ecosystem is profiting from the nutrients and water being pushed from the ground, using the opportunity to have a feast. But what happens to the nutrients and carbon that gets past these plants and animals?
Continue reading “Mosaics of Life Along a River”
Paper: Contemporary limnology of the rapidly changing glacierized
watershed of the world’s largest
High Arctic lake
Authors: K. A. St. Pierre, V. L. St. Louis, I. Lehnherr, S. L. Schiff, D. C. G. Muir , A. J. Poulain, J. P. Smol, C. Talbot, M. Ma, D. L. Findlay, W. J. Findlay, S. E . Arnott, Alex S . Gardner
As glaciers recede in the arctic, the increase in meltwater may significantly impact downstream ecosystems. Glacial ice can hold thousands of years’ worth of dust, nutrients, and other materials that are released during melting. As the rate of melt increases with a warming climate, the release has the potential to increase nutrient flows and sediment loads, alter pH, and impact other physical, chemical, and biological aspects of downstream watersheds. These changes could negatively impact water clarity and ecosystem function in lakes, rivers, and the ocean.
Continue reading “What’s in the Water?”
Paper: Insights into riverscape dynamics with hydrological, ecological and social dimensions for water sustenance
Authors: T.V. Ramachandra, S. Vinay, S. Bharath, M.D.Subash Chandran, and Bharath H.Aithal
A catchment or watershed represents an intricate network of streams that coalesce into a river. In ecology, river networks are considered as ecosystems since they facilitate interactions between organisms and their environments. A healthy river ecosystem sustains the biodiversity of fringing forests and aquatic habitats, and enhances the landscape’s resilience to water resource development, droughts and climate change. Rivers provide water for domestic, agricultural and industrial use, and sustain native vegetation which in turn regulates the water cycle, and provides forest-based goods and services.
Continue reading “Where the river flows: India’s catchment crisis”