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What is Biotope?

What is Biotope?

Everyone probably knows this, in the beautiful summer time people draw us to the water. Here we can cool down, play sports, or just sit in the sun and watch the environment. Not only swimming pools, but also natural waters are becoming increasingly popular with water lovers on hot summer days. In the purified and chlorinated swimming pool water, the other bathers are the only creatures around us.

In natural waters, however, this looks very different. A natural water is habitat for more than 1000 different animal and plant species. In natural waters we distinguish standing waters and flowing waters. In the following work we have dealt intensively with the ecosystem of running waters. For our investigations, we have selected a subsection of the Lauter and looked at it in more detail.

General Information About a Biotope

Using the example of a selected section of the Lauter waterway in Kaiserslautern:

  • Width: 5m
  • Length: 10m
  • Depth / Level: 30cm
  • Flow Rate: 0.34m / s
  • Average Temperature: 13 ° C

For aquatic plants and aquatic animals, water temperature plays a major role as part of the natural habitat. Therefore, we measured the temperature of the flowing water in our river section with the aid of a rod thermometer. By measurements on different days and at different times (14.10.07, 18.30 o'clock, 17.10.07, 14.45 o'clock, 17.10.07, 18.30 o'clock) we were able to determine an average temperature of 13 ° C.

It was noticeable here that regardless of the day, time and outside temperature, the water temperature each time almost corresponded to the average temperature of 13 ° C. The explanation for this is the high specific heat capacity of the water, ie its ability to absorb and store a lot of heat, as well as to keep the temperature constant even when external influences change slightly.

This is also important for living organisms in a body of water, as large temperature fluctuations significantly affect life within a biotope, whereas a relatively constant temperature allows many organisms to live.

Biological Waters Investigation

Used material:

  • Household strainer
  • Large storage box
  • Microscope

At the investigation site we take samples from all the characteristic small biotopes (soil and aquatic plants). With the help of the household sieve, we sieve the soil mud five times in different places. The macroorganisms obtained are placed in a storage vessel filled with water. After detecting the ground fauna, we sift through the water plants ten times and place the macroorganisms in the storage vessel. Now we have examined the storage vessel for macroorganisms and their frequency.

Each animal is assigned a saprobic index with which one can determine the quality class. Waters or sections of water with moderate pollution and good oxygen supply; very large biodiversity and individual density of algae, snails, small crabs, insect larvae; Aquatic plant stocks cover larger areas; productive fish waters.