Lentic Ecosystem or Lotic Ecosystem

Water is a vital part of our lives. We drink it. We wash with it. We use water for irrigating crops, for transporting goods, as well as, for generating energy at hydroelectric dams and nuclear power plants. We treasure our water for recreation like swimming, boating and fishing.

Pennsylvania is the habitat of thousands of mammals, amphibians, reptiles, birds, fish, flowers, trees and invertebrates all of whom depend on the water as much as people do.

Lentic Ecosystem or Lotic Ecosystems

Ecologists divide continental waters into two categories Lentic and Lotic.

A Lotic Ecosystem has flowing waters. Examples include: creeks, streams, runs, rivers, springs, brooks and channels.

A Lentic Ecosystem has still waters. Examples include: ponds, basin marshes, ditches, reservoirs, seeps, lakes, and vernal / ephemeral pools.

Explore the waters of Pennsylvania. Identify on each web page whether it is a Lotic or Lentic ecosystem. Pdf answer form | Digital Answer form

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There are over 80,000 miles of lakes and streams in Pennsylvania. From the Allegheny, Monongahela, and Ohio Rivers in the western part of the Commonwealth to the Susuquehanna River in Central PA and on to the Delaware River which marks Pennsylvania's eastern border, we are blessed with 45,000 miles of moving water. Pennsylvania also has many lakes, ponds, reservoirs and other still water resources.

More than 10,700 miles of rivers and streams in Pennsylvania have been identified as impaired for aquatic life by pollutants from abandoned mines, agriculture, sewers and urban runoff. 2005 Carnegie Mellon University study.

Pennsylvania's water is polluted by many sources. Pollution is a legacy of run off from coal mining. It is an unintended byproduct of agriculture. Poorly planned development stresses sewage treatment facilities that can overflow into the rivers. Pollution is also the result of thoughtless trash management and periodic flooding.

Lentic Ecosystem
Lotic Ecosystem
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