Inland waters, such as lakes, ponds, and rivers, are a vital part of the global water cycle and play an important role in the ecology of many regions. They are also a source of recreation for people and a key element in the economy.
Limnology is the study of inland waters. It is a branch of ecology that deals with the physical, chemical, biological, and geological aspects of these waters.
The main goals of limnology are to understand the factors that control the distribution and abundance of aquatic organisms, to understand how these ecosystems function, and to manage them in a sustainable way.
There are many different types of inland waters, each with its own unique characteristics. Lakes are large bodies of water that are surrounded by land. They can be freshwater or saltwater and can be found in all parts of the world. Ponds are smaller than lakes and usually have shallower water. They may be temporary or permanent bodies of water. Rivers are flowing bodies of water that connect lakes and ponds to other rivers or to oceans. Wetlands are areas where water covers the ground for at least part of the year. They can include swamps, marshes, bogs, and fens.
Limnologists study all aspects of inland waters including their physical features (e.g., temperature, depth), chemical composition (e..g., dissolved oxygen levels), biological communities (e..g., fish populations), and geological history (e..g., sedimentation).
Inland waters play an important role in our planet’s water cycle—they help regulate global climate by storing heat energy from the sun and releasing it back into the atmosphere through evaporation1 . Inland waters also affect local climates—for example, large lakes can moderate temperatures near their shores2 . And finally, healthy inland waterways provide many benefits to people3 , including clean drinking water4 , irrigation for crops5 , transportation6 , recreation7 , tourism8 , jobs9 , flood control10 ,and more11 . In fact, it’s estimated that nearly half12of all people on Earth depend on freshwater from rivers13and lakes14for at least some part15of their daily needs16 .
Despite their importance17 , inland waterways around the world are under threat from pollution18 , overuse19 , invasive species20 , climate change21and more22 . That’s why it’s critical that we understand