Rivers wash soil, nutrients (nitrogen and phosphorus), natural materials (leaves), toxins (herbicides) and human-made materials (microplastics) into lakes. Over time, these sink to the bottom.
A lake catchment is an area of land and the water that flows into a lake. A catchment is often bordered by hills or mountains.
Catchments influence the biodiversity and ecology of a lake system. Light, water temperature, pH, nutrient levels and substrate affect the plants and animals living in the water. Some of these features change naturally over time. Human influences – like making changes to the catchment area – often have substantial impacts.
- Water catchments – article
- Water flows and catchments – interactive that curates catchment resources
- Water quality in Rotorua Lakes – article about human impacts
- Lake catchments – video featuring Professor David Hamilton, a limnologist who also works on Lakes380
- Microplastics – article about tiny plastic pieces in the environment