A Springs are a place where water moving underground finds an opening to the land surface and emerges, sometimes as just a trickle, maybe only after a rain, and sometimes in a continuous flow.
Water enters or “recharges” the aquifer, pressure is placed on the water already present. This pressure moves water through the cracks and tunnels within the aquifer, and this water flows out naturally to the surface springs.
Compared to lakes and rivers, the temperature is relatively constant as well as the chemical composition and water velocity through out the year. The organisms do not modify the pool environment because almost as rapidly as the water is altered by photosynthesis and aquatic organisms, it is replaced by fresh water from the ground.
Springs, from an aquatic production standpoint, can be classified as:
Autotrophic Springs support a standing crop of such producer organisms as algae and submerged aquatic plants, but plankton is usually absent. This plant base supports a consumer pyramid of aquatic insects, snails, fish and turtles.
Heterotrophic Springs are related or similar to those found in pastures. For these communities, a large portion of the assimilated energy is supplied by imports of organic debris. Primary production is small, `whereas herbivore production is large because detritus feeders comprise the bulk of the spring fauna.
End of Basic Water ScienceNext Topics…
Still Water (Lentic)
Liverworts and Mosses