Botswana Mozambique South Africa Zimbabwe
About Tutorial Glossary Documents Images Maps Google Earth
Please provide feedback! Click for details
Home The River Basin People and the River Governance Resource Management
The Limpopo River Basin
Climate and Weather
Water Quality
Ecology and Biodiversity
Aquatic Ecology
 Building Blocks
 Aquatic Habitats
 Life in Aquatic Ecosystems
 Food Chains and Webs
 Biomass and Production
 Classification of Organisms
 Fish Species of the Limpopo
 Factors Affecting Ecosystems
 Environmental Flows
 Millennium Ecosystem Assessment
Sub-basin Summaries



send a general website comment

report a specific comment about this page



Aquatic Ecology  

Aquatic ecosystems include all forms of life within a waterbody including fish and aquatic invertebrates, along with related communities such as riparian vegetation.

To maintain a healthy aquatic environment, the overall health of the system should outweigh the demands of any one user. When humans impound river water, the downstream flow regime changes – and adequate base flow downstream is essential to ecosystem integrity. The amount and timing of water releases is often a complicated planning decision that must balance conflicting demands.

Streamflow is required to sustain aquatic habitats (including channel morphology and substrate) and to support spawning and the movement of aquatic organisms within the water column. These ecologically-required flows are commonly known as Environmental Flow Requirements (EFR). Environmental flows may describe both long-term average flows, and flow variability. Maintenance of environmental flows in a river has several advantages: it supports the riverine ecology, recharges riverine aquifers, and maintains river channel morphology.

The Bojele River, Botswana.
Source: Hatfield 2010
( click to enlarge )



Explore the sub-basins of the Limpopo River

Explore the interactions of living organisms in aquatic environments

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

Tour video scenes along the Limpopo related to The River Basin Theme