The open-water habitat in rivers and streams is the body of water flowing through the channel. The characteristics of the water can vary considerably in relation to the morphology of the channel. Rivers and streams in Nova Scotia are not deep enough to create layering in the water column. Slow-moving and fast-moving streams have very distinct characteristics, but the dominant feature of all lotic environments is the continuous movement of water and currents.
In fast-moving streams, there is very little primary production in the open-water habitat, due to the velocity and turbulence of the current. Populations of consumer organisms are also low, but riffle areas provide valuable habitat for juvenile trout and salmon. Pools are important resting areas for several fish species. Slow-moving streams support more fish species - most freshwater fish use this habitat at some stage in their life cycle. A number of bird and mammal species are also present.
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T8.1 Freshwater Hydrology
T8.2 Freshwater Environments
T11.5 Freshwater Wetland Birds and Waterfowl
T11.11 Small Mammals
T11.13 Freshwater Fishes
T11.15 Amphibians and Reptiles
T11.16 Land and Freshwater Invertebrates
T12.8 Freshwater and Resources
H3.3 Bottom Lotic (Rivers and Streams)
H3.5 Water's Edge Lotic (Rivers and Streams)
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