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Life in Freshwater

River Continuum Concept

Various attempts have been made to try and explain all the aspects of a river collectively. The River Continuum Concept (RCC) model has been the one most considered in the last twenty or so years.

It looks at energy inputs changing along the length of the river, considering the size of the channel, light penetrating the water, shading, etc. These are related to the feeding relationships of the communities. The concept predicts that where primary production is lowest the communities down stream of this will be based on detritus. But this is just one prediction and all predictions need to be related to the location. This is a generalised plan of the RCC:

A River continuum consept diagram

Community
Dominant Groups
1
Shredders and Collectors
2
Collectors and Grazers
3
Collectors

For detail of the communities see Communities Down River

 


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