Temperature, organic matter and the sustainability of aquatic systems

Wotton, Roger S (1995) Temperature, organic matter and the sustainability of aquatic systems. Freshwater Forum, 5(1), pp. 39-47.

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Changes in sustainability of aquatic ecosystems are likely to be brought about by the global warming that has been widely predicted. In this article, the effects of water temperature on water-bodies (lakes, oceans and rivers) are reviewed followed by the effects of temperature on aquatic organisms. Almost all aquatic organisms require exogenous heat before they can metabolise efficiently. An organism that is adapted to warm temperatures will have a higher rate of metabolism of food organisms and this increases feeding rate. In addition, an increase in temperature raises the metabolism of food organisms, so food quality can be altered. Where populations have a different tolerance to temperature the result is habitat partitioning. One effect of prolonged high temperature is that it causes water to evaporate readily. In the marine littoral this is not an important problem as tides will replenish water in pools. Small rain pools are found in many tropical countries during the rainy season and these become incompletely dried at intervals. The biota of such pools must have resistant stages within the life cycle that enable them to cope with periods of drying. The most important potential effects of global warming include (i) the alteration of existing coastlines, (ii) the development of more deserts on some land masses, (iii) higher productivity producing higher crop production but a greater threat of algal blooms and (iv) the processing of organic matter at surface microlayers.

Item Type: Article
Title: Temperature, organic matter and the sustainability of aquatic systems
Personal Creator/Author:
Wotton, Roger S
Refereed: No
Journal or Publication Title: Freshwater Forum
Volume: 5
Number: 1
Page Range: pp. 39-47
Date: 1995
ISSN: 0961-4664
Contact Email Address: library@fba.org.uk
Issuing Agency: Freshwater Biological Association
Uncontrolled Keywords: solar radiation; temperature effects; Climatic changes; Organic matter; Aquatic ecosystems
Subjects: Limnology
Item ID: 4559
Depositing User: Hardy B Schwamm
Date Deposited: 18 Nov 2010 12:34
Last Modified: 29 Sep 2011 16:14
URI: http://aquaticcommons.org/id/eprint/4559

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