Overview: River Ecosystems
 
.....In the past river ecosystems were thought to merely contain the river itself. Today we know that the real unit of study is the drainage basin in which the river gets its water. This basin owes its composition to the geology and geography of the land - and importantly, human development. There can be no boundary placed on the river ecosystem because it is effected by many different and far reaching factors.
 
MacBroom, James Grant. The River Book. Hartford: Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection, 1998.

 

.....A river is an open system, everything, including pollution, is transported downstream. River receives most of its organic material in the form of sediment from sources upstream and direct land runoff.
 
MacBroom, James Grant. The River Book. Hartford: Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection, 1998.

 

Key characteristics that determine species abundance:
• Depth of water
• Volume of water
• Velocity of flow
• Composition of substrate
• Cover and shelter
• Continuity of habitat
• Water temperature
• Water quality
• Food sources
• Dissolved oxygen levels