There is a wide variety of aquatic habitats found in forested areas ranging from water-?lled tree holes through to large rivers, lakes, and inundated forests. This article initially reviews the classi?cation of aquatic habitats and some of their important geomorphological, physicochemical, and biological parameters. Following this, different classes of aquatic habitats in forests are presented in outline with consideration of their global distributions, de?ning abiotic characteristics and aquatic biota. A broad distinction has been made between aquatic habitats where the forest itself forms part of the habitat matrix (forested wetlands) and those where the forest is only on the periphery (water bodies in forests). Four subdivisions of forested wetlands are discussed: (1) peat bog forests, (2) swamp forests, (3) ?oodplain forests, and (4) mangrove forests, and three types of water bodies in forests: (1) container habitats (phytotelmata), (2) ponds and lakes, and (3) streams and rivers. For the latter groups, emphasis has been placed on the differences in characteristics when compared to non-forested ecosystems.
[...] Streams and Rivers (Lotic Habitats) These aquatic habitats are characterized by an overall unidirectional movement of water. However, there is considerable heterogeneity within most rivers and streams with areas of fast unidirectional ﬂow (such as cascades, rifﬂes, and runs), slow unidirectional ﬂow (glides and reaches), and multidirectional ﬂow or gyres (eddies, slacks, and pools). These latter habitats may behave as lentic environments. Streams may be ephemeral, only ﬂowing at certain times of year or after heavy rains, or permanent. There is a large size range from a few centimeters in width to a few kilometers for the biggest rivers such as the Amazon. [...]
[...] Aquatic habitats in mangrove forests ﬂuctuate in extent over short time periods. Distribution- Mangrove forests are exclusively coastal and predominantly found in the tropics. They are particularly abundant in Australia and Southeast Asia, the Indian subcontinent, Mexico, Central America and Brazil, and equatorial Africa. Physicochemical characteristics- The dominant abiotic factors in mangrove forests are tidal ﬂuctuations in water level and salinity gradients related to proximity to the coast. Water levels change regularly on short timescales following tidal inundation with saline, marine water. [...]
[...] Conclusion In many parts of the world there are intimate connections between human populations and the aquatic habitats described above. A large proportion of the annual protein intake may be derived from aquatic organisms, mainly ﬁsh. In the Amazon and Southeast Asia, ﬂoodplain forests support very large artisanal ﬁsheries and human activities are synchronized with particular phases of the hydrological cycle. Very sophisticated methods of capture and exploitation exist to ensure maximum use of resources. For example, in the ﬂooded forest system of Danau Sentarum, Kalimantan, only two of more than two hundred recorded species of ﬁsh are not used in some way by the several thousand people dependent on the system. [...]
[...] Water Bodies in Forests These aquatic habitats are found in virtually all forest ecosystems throughout the world, thus no distributional information is given. For ponds, lakes, rivers, and streams the forest is restricted to a fringe around or along the edges and the inﬂuence of the forest (shading, chemical, and biological inputs) is restricted to these areas. Obviously, the relative effect of the forest on the water body is dependent on the latter's size relative to the height and extent of the forest. [...]
[...] At the highest hierarchical level, there is a broad distinction between aquatic habitats where the forest itself is an integral part of the habitat and those where the forest is only on the edges of the water body. There is no standard terminology for either group and there are a huge variety of local names for subdivisions within each. In this article, ‘forested wetlands' is used for aquatic habitats where there are inundated live trees found throughout the water mass whereas ‘water bodies in forests' is used where live trees surround or line the water and do not extend throughout the habitat. [...]
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