Hydrobiology, Biology tutorial


Hydrobiology also termed hydroecology is a study of biological communities inhabits surface and subsurface waters. Discipline includes study of chemical, physical, and biological factors governing structure and function of communities containing microbial, plant, and animal components. Additionally, hydrobiology studies impact of human activities on biological communities and the role of biota in recovery of disturbed ecosystems. This option is suitable for students who desire to study wetlands ecology, aquatic biology and ecology, biological remediation of contaminated surface and groundwater, surface water quality, restoration and reclamation of aquatic habitats, soil-plant-water relationships, and ecotoxicology.

Due to critical problem of biosphere degradation resulting from human activity, many scientific areas have emerged at forefront of hydrobiological research. Two of the most significant research areas are environmental monitoring and bioremediation. Challenge is to know how total ecosystem functions in both natural and human-managed landscapes and how communications between biota and environment make and alter ecosystem structure and function. Getting the better understanding at scales ranging from the biochemical and molecular to the community level of effects of environmental and anthropogenic stresses on biota and how biota alter their environment in response to stress is necessary to developing and applying remediation and restoration strategies.

Hydrobiology is the science of life and life procedures in water. Much of modern hydrobiology can be observed as the sub-discipline of ecology but sphere of hydrobiology comprises physiology, taxonomy, industrial biology, economic biology, morphology, etc. One distinguishing aspect is that all associate to aquatic organisms. Much work is closely associated to limnology and can be divided in lotic system ecology (flowing waters) and lentic system ecology (still waters).

Total life in fresh water:

The lakes also are not eternally static water; they endure the annual rhythm of stagnation and circulation. In summer the warm upper layer (epilimnion) lies over the cold deep layer (hypolimnion), with a result that the temperature in transition zone (metalimnion) abruptly falls (thermocline). In the autumn surface layer cools off. Storms lead to the mixing which penetrates even deeper until equality of temperature in lake causes the circulation of whole water mass (autumnal circulation). In the winter epilimnion then cools to point of ice formation while temperature in a deep zone remains constant at approx 4oC (winter stagnation). In spring, after the snow-melt, the warming of the upper layer starts until the temperature reaches 4°C in whole lake, and this leads, with co-operation of the wind, to springtime full circulation. Further warming restores typical three-layer system in lake (summer stagnation). This kind holds for several mid-European lakes. Epilimnion is most heavily populated layer; the trophogenic zone is mainly the zone of primary production. Oxygen is always abundantly present in it due to exchange with atmosphere and also incorporation of the green plants. Hypolimnion, alternatively, is shut off from the atmosphere, and during the stagnation period consumes the oxygen reserves brought to it by complete circulation.

Importance of Hydrobiology:

Study of water populations, their interrelations with habitat and importance for transformation of energy and matter and biological productivity of the ocean, seas, and inland waters.

Hydrobiology is mainly the ecological science. Living conditions in water are determined by physicogeographic features of the body of water. Several of these features for instance, chemical compositions of water are strongly influenced by aquatic organisms and are frequently determined by the life processes. Thus, to the extent to which hydrobiology studies role of living phenomena in context of the aggregate of interdependent procedures of aquatic medium, it has problems in common with combined disciplines of limnology and oceanography. These matters as biological structure of ocean, bio-limnological and bio-oceanological typology of bodies of water and water masses, and usual patterns of the recycling of substances and flow of energy are treated at this level of research.

Hydrobiology is really concerned with establishing the scientific basis for rational exploitation of biological resources of waters. This is bound up in several ways with needs of marine and freshwater fishing industries, farm pond fishery, and use of aquatic invertebrates and mammals (food-fish hydrobiology). Other realistic uses of hydrobiology and stimuli to the development are biological questions associated to the use of continental surface fresh water for drinking purposes and industrial supply, protection of natural water against pollution, the self-purification of polluted water, and biological techniques of treating waste waters (sanitary hydrobiology). Hydro-biological techniques are utilized to estimate extent of water pollution by the presence of certain indicator organisms (so-called biological analysis of water quality). Hydrobiology studies role of aquatic organisms as agents of self-purification. Concerns of technical hydrobiology are related problems pertaining mostly to biological interference with water supply and operation of ships. New problems continue to arise, like the requirement to find out the effect of plankton on absorption and scattering of sound-information essential to specialists in underwater acoustics. Navigational hydrobiology is a study of biological interference (for instance bioluminescence) with naval activities; agricultural hydrobiology comprises the study of role of hydrobionts in fertilization of rice paddies and possibilities of fish breeding in the waters.

Quantitative methods for examining natural communities of aquatic organisms to find out number (density) of individuals of different species and their biomass have received very broad attention in hydrobiology. Several specialized hydrobiological devices, like plankton catchers, plankton nets, plankton samplers, and bottom grabs of different design, are utilized for this purpose.

The first, mainly floristic, faunistic, and biogeographical situation in hydrobiological research arose from the requirement to study composition and distribution of species of organisms populating the seas and inland waters. This job, particularly in regard to less known regions and taxonomic groups, is still significant. The great deal of work has been completed on composition of freshwater and sea populations, material having been gathered mainly through expeditions.

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