Pond Ecosystems

An Aquatic Ecosystem

Sept 26, 2013 – Many pond owners hear the word ecosystem to refer to their ponds natural health and condition so this article essentially explains to our readers what an aquatic ecosystem is and how it works. By understanding this you can better understand how your ponds health can have an impact on the community you live in and the environment we live.

An aquatic ecosystem is essentially the interaction of all types of organisms dependent on one another and their water environment for nutrients and survival. There are all sorts of different aquatic ecosystems found in rivers, streams, pond, lakes, even thermal hot springs.

Highly polluted waters may contain completely different levels of nutrients and bacteria but they still have a functioning ecosystem. Hot springs at almost boiling temperatures support some insect and algae species. A drop of water from one ecosystem can give professionals an excellent understanding of the larger aquatic ecosystem at work.

How it Works

The energy from the sun is a key driver of an ecosystem. The sun’s light energy is captured by primary producers (mainly green plants and algae) and converted into by a process called photosynthesis into another form of energy, which is chemical in nature such as carbohydrates. This type of energy is used by plants to grow stems, leaves, and flowers.

The key chemical components needed for the plants to grow are such things as nitrogen, phosphorous, calcium, and oxygen. The wildlife in the aquatic ecosystem are not capable of photosynthesis not unlike ourselves. Animals need to either eat plants or animals to get their nutritional. In any ecosystem, the transfer of energy and nutrients from plants to animals occurs again and again as we move along a pathway called the food chain.

Primary Producers such as plants and any other organism capable of photosynthesis is considered the First Link in the food chain.

Primary Consumers are animals that eat these types of plants or organisms and are the next link in the food chain.

Secondary Consumers (humans and other animals) make up the final link in the food chain eating plants and animals and who break down the dead tissue and provide nutrients for a new generation of Primary Producers.

Most organisms in an ecosystem have more that one food source feeding on both insects, animals, plants and therefore belong to multiple food chains which results in a complex web with links to multiple ecosystems.

Pond Owner Responsibility

We as pond owners have a responsibility to the aquatic ecosystem that we own and the environment that it effects for we belong to a larger ecosystem at play. For example the breeding of insects such as mosquitoes are part of the ecosystem that we need to keep under control.

West Nile Virus is becoming a major concern for pond owners and communities throughout North America and to avoid the threat of West Nile Virus we need to keep a healthy well aerated and circulating pond. This summer avoid pond stagnation and be sure to aerate your pond.