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Why are the Great Lakes important to the ecosystem?

Why are the Great Lakes important to the ecosystem?

Great Lakes coastal wetlands support biological diversity of native species by providing diverse habitats that are essential for the conservation of rare, threatened, and federally endangered species as well as common species.

What type of ecosystem is Lake Michigan?

“Lake Michigan … is an ecologically rich and globally significant ecosystem. …its coastline harbors boreal forests and coastal fens in the north and dry sand prairies and oak savannas in the south.

Are the Great Lakes A freshwater or a saltwater ecosystem?

The Great Lakes are one of the world’s largest surface freshwater ecosystems.

What ecosystem services do the Great Lakes provide?

For example, Great Lakes wetlands provide wild- life habitat, fisheries support and water quality improvement, and po- tentially provide sediment and nutrient storage and carbon sequestration (Sierszen et al., 2012); thus, wetland protection can be expected to yield co-benefits.

Why is the Great Lakes ecosystem different from any other?

The Great Lakes contain a variety of habitats that support a broad diversity of life including several different species of plants and fish. These ecosystems each have their own range of climates and soils that support these different species.

What’s special about the Great Lakes?

The Great Lakes are the largest freshwater system in the world. The five Great Lakes – Superior, Huron, Michigan, Erie and Ontario – span a total surface area of 94,600 square miles and are all connected by a variety of lakes and rivers, making them the largest freshwater system in the world.

What lives in the Great Lakes?

Native mammals include the black bear, fox, elk, white-tailed deer, moose, beaver, river otter, coyote, gray wolf, Canada lynx, and many others. Bird species native to the Great Lakes include herring gulls, whooping cranes, snowy owls, wood ducks, great blue herons, bald eagles, piping plovers, and much more.

Why are the Great Lakes fresh water?

Thousands of years ago, the melting mile-thick glaciers of the Wisconsin Ice Age left the North American continent a magnificent gift: five fantastic freshwater seas collectively known today as the Great Lakes — Lake Superior, Lake Huron, Lake Michigan, Lake Erie and Lake Ontario.

How much does the Great Lakes ecosystem provide in ecosystem services each year?

The 21 lakes support the generation of at least 62.2 GW of power and the transportation of 195 million tonnes/year of cargo, with the Laurentian Great Lakes especially important in those.

What are the importance of lakes?

Lakes are important for various reasons, like regulating the flow of river water, storage of water during the dry seasons, to maintaining the eco-system, and also the generation of hydroelectric power. The different types of lakes in India are freshwater lakes and salt water lakes.

What are 3 facts about the Great Lakes?

The Great Lakes hold over 5,400 cubic miles of water — therefore accounting for more than 20% of the world’s surface freshwater.

  • Lake Superior contains half of the water in all the Great Lakes.
  • Lake Michigan is the only Great Lake that is entirely within U.S. territory.

What keeps Great Lakes full?

Due to their vast volumes, the lakes cool slowly through the fall, when evaporation increases into the cooler, drier air. Ice cover, which varies from year to year, curbs evaporation during the cold months. The past 10 years have been the wettest on record for the Great Lakes watershed.