Freshwater Ecosystem of Pakistan – Climatic Biome

freshwater biome is important for human survival.

INTRODUCTION

Freshwater Biome: It is defined as freshwater regions having water bodies with minimum salt concentration. It is different from the marine biome as freshwater is free of salt. The presence of salt concentration pollutes the freshwater biome.

Read: Pakistani Local Fishes and their Health Benefits

Characteristics of Freshwater Biome: It is characterized by two ecosystems that are lotic and lentic freshwater ecosystems.

  • Lentic is a stationary freshwater ecosystem that includes wetlands, bogs, ponds, small lakes, etc.
  • Lotic is a flowing freshwater ecosystem that includes streams, rivers, etc.

FRESHWATER BIOME OF PAKISTAN

The freshwater biome of Pakistan includes ice sheets, ice caps, glaciers, icebergs, bogs, ponds, lakes, rivers and streams, and groundwater.

Location of Freshwater Biome of Pakistan

RIVERS

The main freshwater biome of Pakistan includes the Indus River and its tributaries.

Pakistan has the Indus Basin Irrigation System which is widely known as one of the largest contiguous irrigation systems. This system consists of six major rivers of Sindh and Punjab including Kabul, Ravi, Sutlej, Chenab, Jehlum, Indus, and their catchments.

LAKES

Pakistan also has many lakes which can be found in all provinces of Pakistan.

Sindh: Manchar Lake – west of the Indus River ; Keenjhar Lake, Haleji Lake – Thatta

Northern Region: Paristan lake – Skardu ; Shimshal lake – Hunza Valley ; Karambar Lake – Ishkoman Valley

Balochistan: Hanna Lake – Urak Valley

Punjab: Namal Lake – Mianwali

Azad Kashmir: – Ratti Gali Lake – Neelum Valley

Kyber Pakhtunkhwa: Saiful Muluk, Saral Lake, Ansoo – Kaghan Valley

GLACIERS

Freshwater in the form of glaciers is found in the Northern area mountain ranges of the Himalayas, Hindukush, and Karakoram.

Climate of Freshwater Biome of Pakistan: The climate of the freshwater biome of Pakistan is dependent on the location of freshwater resources, depth of water, and seasonal variations.

Precipitation is in the form of snow in the mountainous region of the upper Indus. Indus river receives water from the melting Himalayan, Karakoram, and the Hindu Kush ranges. The temperature ranges from 38 to 49 °C. The regions receive monsoon precipitation.

BIODIVERSITY OF FRESHWATER BIOME OF PAKISTAN

The freshwater biome of Pakistan includes the rich diversity of aquatic fishes. There is a numerous variety of aquatic weeds present along stream banks, ponds, etc.

FLORA: PLANTS/VEGETATION

The aquatic flora of the freshwater biome of Pakistan includes aquatic weeds that are listed below.

Serial No. Plants Common Name Scientific Name
1. Floating Primrose-Willow Jussiaea repens
2. Common Reed Phragmites australis
3. False Daisy/ Bhringaraj Eclipta alba
4. Deergrass Scirpus triqueter
5. Indian Willow Salix tetrasperma
6. Spreading day flower Commelina diffusa
7. Common Duckweed Lemna minor
8. Water Hyacinth Eichhornia crassipus
9. Hydrilla Hydrilla verticillata
10. Common Hornwort Caretophylum demursum

 

FAUNA: ANIMALS

Aquatic animals of the freshwater biome include mammals, reptiles, and fishes.

Serial No. Animals Common Name Scientific Name
1. South Asian river dolphin Platanista gangetica
2. Mugger crocodile Crocodylus palustris
3. Gharial Gavialis gangeticus
4. Indus Lotak Cyprinion watsoni
5. Bengal Danio Devario devario
6. Fossil Cat Heteropneustes fossilis
7. Asian carp/ Thella Gibelion catla
8. Indian River Shad Gudusia chapra
9. River Cat Glyptothorax pectinopterus
10. Scaly Osman Diptychus maculatus

 

THREATS TO FRESHWATER BIOME OF PAKISTAN

Threats to the freshwater biome of Pakistan include overfishing, habitat degradation leading to biodiversity loss, the introduction of invasive species, water pollution, effluent discharge from industries, climate change, global warming, overexploitation of natural reserves, etc.

The freshwater ecosystem is getting polluted from point and non-point sources. Environmental pollution is severely affecting the freshwater biome. Air pollution is increasing and acid rains are killing fishes.

Freshwater resources are getting depleted around the world and currently, Pakistan is slowly turning into a water-scarce country.

IMPORTANCE OF FRESHWATER BIOME OF PAKISTAN

The economy of Pakistan earns good profit over freshwater biome. Many people in Pakistan are dependent on fisheries for their livelihood. Along with that freshwater biome provides recreational facilities. The freshwater biome is important for all of us as it provides drinking water supports the natural water cycle, etc. Many species of animals and plants can only prefer freshwater ecosystems.

Also, check out Climate Change and Himalayan Glacier Hazard

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