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The River Basin  
 Introduction
Geography
Climate and Weather
Hydrology
Water Quality
Ecology and Biodiversity
 Ecology
 Aquatic Ecology
 Building Blocks
 Aquatic Habitats
 In the Basin
 Life in Aquatic Ecosystems
 Food Chains and Webs
 Biomass and Production
 Classification of Organisms
 Microorganisms
 Plants
 Invertebrates
 Vertebrates
 Fish Species
 Factors Affecting Ecosystems
 Wetlands
 Function of Wetlands
 Biodiversity
 Biodiversity in the Basin
 Endemic Species
 Alien Invasive Species
 Biodiversity Resources
 Terrestial Biomes and Eco-regions
 Human Impacts
 Laws and Policies
 Millennium Ecosystem Assessment
 References


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Ecology and Biodiversity

   

In broad terms, Ecology is the scientific study of how organisms interact with each other and with their environment.

Biodiversity is the variety of organisms found in a particular environment. It is  affected by the characteristics of this environment, such as nutrient concentrations, temperature, water flow, and shelter. Only those best adapted to these conditions, and best able to use the available resources, will thrive. Interactions between organisms also matter, as predation and competition for resources (e.g., food, habitat) affect species abundance and diversity. In turn, the organisms in an environment can influence some aspects of their environment.

Understanding aquatic ecosystems and the interaction between organisms and their environment can help manage human effects better.

This chapter covers mainly aquatic ecosystems in the Orange-Senqu River basin. The topics are:

Orange River at Upington.
Source:Paffy 2006
( click to enlarge )

 

Interactive

Explore the sub-basins of the Orange-Senqu River


Tour video scenes along the Orange-Senqu River related to the River Basin


Investigate land cover and terrestrial ecoregions in the basin


Examine how the hydrologic cycle moves water through and around the earth


Explore the interactions of living organisms in aquatic environments


 
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