Freshwater biology is the scientific biological study of freshwater ecosystems and is a branch of limnology. This field seeks to understand the relationships between living organisms in their physical environment. These physical environments may include rivers, lakes, streams, or wetlands. This discipline is also widely used in industrial processes to make use of biological processes such as sewage treatment and water purification. Water flow is an essential aspect to species distribution and influence when and where species interact in freshwater environments.
In the UK the Freshwater Biological Association based near Windermere in Cumbria was one of the early institutions to research the biology of freshwater and promote the concepts of trophism in lakes and demonstrated the process of migration from oligotrophic water through mesotrophic to marsh.
Freshwater biology is also used to study the effects of climate change and increased human impact on both aquatic systems and wider ecosystems.
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