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Habitat Destruction

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Michigan Environmental Education Curriculum
River and Stream Ecosystems

Erosion

Erosion

Construction

Construction along stream

There are many factors that have lead to the destruction of habitat in rivers. Besides the construction of dams, some of these factors include historical logging practices, road construction, and soil erosion. Habitat destruction can lead to increased sedimentation and loss of food for aquatic organisms living in streams.

Some fish need to lay their eggs over rocks. If too much sand is in a river, these rocks get covered up and the fish can't lay eggs over them.  The eggs, along with insects, may suffocate if sedimentation is too high.   High sedimentation may cause the water to become too dirty for sunlight to penetrate.  This can affect the plants that need sunlight to live in the river.  Sediment may also clog the gills of fish and aquatic invertebrates found in rivers.

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