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Aquatic habitats in forest ecosystems

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  1. Introduction.
  2. Forested w.etlands
  3. Peat bog forests.
    1. Distribution.
    2. Physicochemical characteristics.
    3. Aquatic biota.
  4. Swamp forests.
    1. Distribution.
    2. Physicochemical characteristics.
    3. Aquatic biota.
  5. Floodplain (Alluvial) forests.
  6. Mangrove forests.
  7. Container habitats (Phytotelmata).
  8. Conclusion.

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 ?ow (such as cascades, rif?es, and runs), slow unidirectional ?ow (glides and reaches), and multidirectional ?ow or gyres (eddies, slacks, and pools). These latter habitats may behave as lentic environments. Streams may be ephemeral, only ?owing 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 ?uctuate 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 ?uctuations 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. [...]

[...] Aquatic habitats in swamp forests may be sporadic, seasonal, or permanent. Palms are a prominent group in tropical swamp forests. Distribution- Swamp forests are distributed widely, but are more common in tropical rather than temperate zones. The largest areas of swamp forest are to be found throughout Central America, Brazil, Argentina, tropical Africa, and Southeast Asia (particularly Borneo, the island of New Guinea, Laos, and Cambodia). There are also substantial swamp forests in central Asia and the southern USA. Physicochemical characteristics- As there is a wide variety of mechanisms that create swamp forests physicochemical characteristics also vary widely. [...]

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