River Biome



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Accumulation of water forms streams, which them flow into rivers, which then flow into the ocean

Geography and Location

Rivers begin wherever the rainwater collects or where there is a large amount of collected snow melting and they form small streams called gullies. This is usually in mountains and hills. Gullies can become streams by collecting large amounts of water or they can join other streams already in existence. Streams usually form rivers in the higher elevations of mountains and hills. A river that is located in a mountain or hill will usually have a deep v-shaped valley because the river flow erodes the rock. Once the river passes the mountains, the flow starts to slow down. Sediment deposition usually occurs here. The river slowly meanders in an s-shape. The river will eventually flow into another body of water, possibly the ocean. Rivers create a wide valley in which it can flow undisturbed into the ocean.


Edited By: Anjanie Kashidas


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Humans pollution is causing irreparable damage
Human Impact

The biggest impact that humans have on rivers is the large amounts of agriculture that is taking place. Cutting down trees, building cities, factories and roads also changes the movement of water and sediments, the geography of the channel, and/or the stability of the channel bed and banks. Location: Human Impact

Humans dump many waste items into rivers, which then creates many problems both geographically and with the species. The ability to have the river for recreational use becomes diminished because of the waste in it. Location: Human Impact

In an undeveloped area, 2% of rainwater runs into a waterway while the remaining water is used up by plants or is soaked into the ground. However, in an urbanized area, 95% of rainwater goes into a waterway because of the roads and buildings that humans have constructed. Also, some rivers are left to run dry because of the human use for agriculture and industry. This has affected the quality of water in a negative way, and in turn, it alters the health of the species in the river. Pollution is another big factor in the changing of rivers as a result of humans. The disposal of wastewater, the amount of storm water entering waterways, septic tanks and illegal waste dumping are just some of the ways humans are altering the flow, quality and biodiversity of a river. Those activities can bring an invasion of weeds, loss of natural vegetation and the loss of the species native to that environment. Location: Human Impact

Increasing pollution of rivers leads to contaminated water. This then effects the health of the people who use the river as a water source.

Edited By: Anjanie Kashidas



Exports / Trade / Resources


Rivers are very important to human life. We use rivers for many different things.

First and foremost, is hydroelectric power. Dams are often built, to convert the kinetic energy of running water, into electrical energy. Hydroelectric power currently makes up 15% of the world electrical energy.
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River trade has been effective since long ago


Irrigation is another important use for rivers. Farmers divert water from rivers to water their crops. This has been done for hundreds of years. One of the most well known examples of this is Egypt, and the Nile River. Rivers are also a source of food in themselves. Being their own food chains, we often fish for food.

Rivers are often used as a form of transportation. Before we had cars, or planes, boat travel was one of the fastest methods of getting around. [1] In areas of Scandinavia and Canada, lumberjacks use rivers to float their fallen trees down to the factories, downstream.

Rivers are important for building. Rocks and gravel at the bottoms of rivers are often used for construction purposes. They are also important in the “building” of countries. Rivers are often used as boundaries, or even defenses against an enemy.

Rivers are a great way to attract tourists, as well. Perhaps the greatest part of rivers, is that they are beautiful. Aside from that, they are used for different recreational purposes, such as rafting, kayaking, canoing, or swimming. [2]


Edited By: Shawn Fiedler

River Climate


The precipitation and the temperature affect the volume of the river. The dry seasons the river will be very low to almost empty. During the wet season the river will be very high to almost overflowing, cause the surrounding land to flood. When the temperature is high, the more evaporation that is happen and transpiration, which causes the amount of water in the river to reduce.

Scientific studies show that rivers that lead up to dams and reservoirs are globally sources of greenhouse effect, carbon dioxide gases, and methane. The methane from the dams is responsible for 4% of the global warming.

Floods are becoming more frequent and more destructive. Even though there was billions of dollars spent on flood control there are still continuing to destruct. Some of this has to do with global warming worsening the storms and populations and economies are growing with activity on floodplains.

Edited By: Sarah Herman


Animals and their Adaptations


Although many creatures live in water only 12% of all animals live in a freshwater system, i.e river lakes and ponds. These freshwater systems only take up .8% of the world, even though the world is covered in water. In fact are world is indeed 70% water. These animals have been able to survive due to a list of adaptations.

In some rivers there aren’t many plants means less oxygen for the organisms that live in these rivers and streams. So creatures that need less oxygen to live inhabit these regions. Fish such as carp and catfish are among this list of creatures.

In certain fast moving water systems organisms have problems finding food because the water is moving so rapid that they can’t feed. Though some organisms have adapted to this environment, creating a suction cup like feet on the bottoms of there bodies so that they can stick to rock and other hard and/or smooth surfaces.
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Animals such as the paddlefish have adaptations that enable them to get food

In other cases where the current is slower, a certain fish have developed a, what looks like a oar, on the front of it’s snout. This fish is called the Paddle Fish. At fish scientist theorized that was used for searching for food and measuring current speed. Later they found that this “beak” serves as a filter for food. Mostly plankton, using a thing called a gill rake.

Not all animals or organism that live in or around the river systems are fish, in fact some are mammals. The platypus is a example of such. The platypus is a amazing creature that has a bill allowing it to sweep the bottom of river floors for food, webbed feet that allow it to swim a high speed for longer periods of time, and fur which allow it to live in not only cold but hot environments. Mostly the platypus lives in or around the rivers of Australia and Tasmania.

The river otter another mammal that lives in and/or around fresh water rivers. They have special developed ears and nose's so that when they swim water does not go into these orifices, one could say that these are watertight. The body of the river otter is sleek and slender making it that it doesn't even make a ripple when entering the water.
These are some but not the limit of adaptations that the organisms, mammal or not, have developed living in or around a river system.

Edited By: Corey Braun

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Vegetation that helps to stabalize the riverbank

Vegetation Types and Adaptations


There are many benefits to shoreline vegetations. It serves as a source of food, protection and even a nesting/breeding area for the animals. It prevents erosion because it makes the soil stay in one place and stabilizes the riverbank. This is important because, for example, loose soil enters the river
Turtles use fallen vegetation in order to bask
Turtles use fallen vegetation in order to bask
during rain storms and it takes away from the quality of the water. It also blocks the gills of animals and impairs their vision, which in turn, makes it harder to catch prey and they are more likely to be eaten as prey. The eggs of fish and frogs may also become engulfed and they also may suffocate. All of these factors contribute to animals leaving the river. The red-osier dogwood and the meadowsweet both have roots that grow into each other like a tangled web and so are very effective in preventing soil erosion. The Virginia creeper and the shrub willow also work well in preventing soil erosion. Many people have tried to create artificial shoreline vegetation, but it is not as effective because it cannot provide the same habitat as the native vegetation would have.
Some vegetation develop adaptations to make them more suitable for their environment. For example, vegetation that grows in a fire-prone area develops a resistance to fire. Shrubs that normally would have suffered from a severe set back from a fire are recovering more quickly.




Edited By: Anjanie Kashidas



Works Cited: Geography and Location
http://geography.about.com/od/physicalgeography/a/rivers.htm

Works Cited:Human Impact
http://gsa.confex.com/gsa/2002AM/finalprogram/abstract_36122.htm
http://www.ymparisto.fi/default.asp?node=15161&lan=en
http://www.watercare.net/wll/himp-development.html
http://www.icpdr.org/icpdr-pages/human_impacts.htm
http://www.icpdr.org/icpdr-pages/human_impacts.htm

Works Cited: Exports/Trade/Resources
[1] http://library.thinkquest.org/C0110238/Lessons/2-10.htm
[2] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/River

Work Cited-River Climate
http://library.thinkquest.org/28022/volume/climate.html
http://internationalrivers.org/en/way-forward/water-energy-solutions/deluge-coping-floods-changing-climate

Work Cited-River Climate
http://www.thewildclassroom.com/biomes/stream.html
http://www.nceas.ucsb.edu/nceasweb/kids/biomes/freshwater.htm
http://www.nature.org/animals/mammals/animals/nariverotter.html
http://www.nature.org/animals/fish/animals/paddlefish.html
http://www.uen.org/utahlink/activities/view_activity.cgi?activity_id=4280
http://www.luddist.com/otter.htm
http://earthtrends.wri.org/features/view_feature.php?theme=1&fid=9
http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m1590/is_13_58/ai_85465333

Works Cited: Vegetation Types and Adaptations
http://209.85.207.104/search?q=cache:uL9472IgofwJ:www.fs.fed.us/r6/rogue-siskiyou/projects/watershed/mid-ill-r/fire.pdf+%22vegetation+adaptation%22+of+a+river&hl=en&ct=clnk&cd=29&gl=us
http://nature.ca/rideau/e/e2c-e.html