The Main Characteristics of Lotic Ecosystems

1. Physical:

a) Currents and pattern of streams: In flowing rivers, the rate of current is conditional on the quality of their gradient and substrates. The wind has no impact on waves in flowing seas as opposed to lentic waters. The constant flow of water downstream and contaminants that are suspended and dissolved mainly depend on the characteristics of the drainage basin. According to this gradient, there are many stream shapes. They can be dendritic, radial, rectangular, pinnate, trellised, parallel, and annular. The pattern of the stream explicates the dangers of soil erosion.

b) Solids that are suspended: In flowing water, the erosion, transfer, and absorption of solid materials are directly related to the current velocity. In suspended form, the organic matter is mostly from the litter that is carried into the river. The inorganic substances may get segregated from the sediments and are found with the other suspended matter, thereby creating water turbidity.

c) Temperature, light, and runoff: Turbidity greatly affects the entry of light into flowing waters. Water loss also occurs due to absorption in addition to scattering by particles. Lotic water temperature is determined by many factors, including sources, depth, substrate, tributaries, visibility, and time of day. Depending on the variety of factors, particularly local geology and temperature, based on the input offered by the surface and groundwater, the flow of the stream varies.

2. Chemical:

a) Dissolved gases: Oxygen is the most common and relevant of the dissolved gases found in running water. Owing to turbulence and mixing, the oxygen content is high. Usually, low concentration suggests chemical contamination. There is, however, a variation in the concentration of oxygen in the base. The oxygen availability depends on the current, water’s temperature, and the plants and animals that are breathing. Owing to the intense turbulence of water and its regular interaction with oxygen, the carbon dioxide content of flowing water appears to be scarce.

b) Dissolved solids: In a flow, the dissolved solids present can considerably differ from source to mouth, typically rising in the downstream direction. A significant role is also played by the influence of rainfall.

3. Biological:

The water in the lotic ecosystems constantly flows in one direction. On the surface, the current is more pronounced than in the lower substratum. The environments of the bottom substratum are also similar to lentic ecosystems. The plankton population also finds itself at the mercy of currents. The plankton shows feature identical to lentic habitats in riffles and ponds. To resist water currents, the fishes are closely welcomed. The fishes are spread from top to bottom substrate and also between the rocks because of the availability of oxygen in the water column.

Lifeforms in a Lotic System:
1. Behavior and nature of flowing water:

a) Such as oxygen, pH, alkalinity, and chemical composition.

b) The water temperature, the water density, the amount of sunlight that can reach it, and so on.

c) The velocity of the water.

d) In its course, the level of the flow. Flowing water at its source appears to flow very rapidly, while with a lot of nutrients and particle aggregation, water at its end tend to very slowly flow.

e) The topography (slopes, highlands, and lowlands) of the land.

2. The living organism’s adaptation:

a) Organisms have suckers and hooks in these waters that make them cling to the water-bed, rocks, or trees.

b) Some may have a sleek body that lets them float through the currents of water.

c) The substratum is tightly bound to plants such as diatoms, moss, and sponges.

3. Living structures present along with the lotic system:

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