In broad terms, Ecology is the scientific study of how organisms interact with each other and with their environment.
Biodiversity is the variety of organisms found in a particular environment. It is affected by the characteristics of this environment, such as nutrient concentrations, temperature, water flow, and shelter. Only those best adapted to these conditions, and best able to use the available resources, will thrive. Interactions between organisms also matter, as predation and competition for resources (e.g., food, habitat) affect species abundance and diversity. In turn, the organisms in an environment can influence some aspects of their environment.
Understanding aquatic ecosystems and the interaction between organisms and their environment can help manage human effects better.
This chapter covers mainly aquatic ecosystems in the Orange-Senqu River basin. The topics are:
Orange River at Upington.
( click to enlarge )