Watershed Ecology Topics
This module introduces watershed ecology by covering the following five topics:
Major landscape-defining processes: the physical template. This section covers the physical processes which are shaping forces of ecosystems. Climate, hydrology, and geomorphology provide the template upon which all life is ultimately based.
The biological setting. This section discusses the terms and concepts associated with ecosystem science as it relates to living plant and animal communities.
Natural systems concept. This section discusses how watersheds behave as natural systems and describes how different-sized watersheds operate on various spatial and temporal scales. This section also introduces structure and function, two vital concepts for understanding and managing watersheds and ecosystems.
Watershed structure. This section defines the various patterns of physical structure formed by both the living and non-living watershed components.
Watershed functions. This section covers watershed functions and processes -- vital cyclic events necessary to the continuation of life in aquatic and terrestrial systems, and the source of substantial ecological services and benefits to our human communities as well.