The Great Lakes of the United States of America have distressed biomes

These vast bodies of water support rich flora and fauna, creating unique and fascinating biomes

by Lorenzo Ciotti
The Great Lakes of the United States of America have distressed biomes
© Scott Olson / Staff Getty Images News

The Great Lakes of the United States of America, which include Lake Superior, Lake Michigan, Lake Huron, Lake Erie and Lake Ontario, are one of the largest freshwater complexes in the world. These vast bodies of water support rich flora and fauna, creating unique and fascinating biomes.

The flora of the Great Lakes is diverse and includes a wide range of plant species adapted to freshwater, coastal, and terrestrial environments. The fresh waters of lakes are rich in algae, such as green algae and blue-green algae, which form the basis of the aquatic food chain.

In coastal regions, dense coniferous forests and mixed deciduous forests are also found. Here, you can observe plants such as northern red cedar, American beech, and sissoo. On the coastal terrain there are also marshes and marshes, populated by ferns, mosses and aquatic plants such as water lilies.

The fauna of the Great Lakes is equally diverse and develops in response to the unique ecosystems of this region. Numerous species of fish are found in the lakes themselves, including grayling, pike, silver salmon and lake char.

They provide an important food resource for many animal species, including the bald eagle, great blue heron and lake humpback. Many species of migratory birds nest on the coastal beaches, such as osprey, snowy owl and nightingale.

Furthermore, the Great Lakes drainage basin is an important migratory corridor for aquatic birds, such as anatids (ducks and geese), which stop during their long migrations. This region is also inhabited by mammals such as black bear, beaver, otter, raccoon and deer.

The Great Lakes are also an essential habitat for bats, which play an important role in insect control. However, the Great Lakes despite their natural beauty, are threatened by a number of dangers. One of the main problems is the contamination of water by humans.

Industrial pollution, intensive agriculture and inadequate waste disposal have caused increased levels of chemicals in water, harming flora and fauna. This pollution has resulted in issues such as excessive algae blooms, which deplete the oxygen in the water, leading to the death of fish and other aquatic species.

Another danger threatening the Great Lakes is the introduction of invasive species. Some well-known examples are sea lamprey and striped bass, which have become established in the Great Lakes and damage local ecosystems. These invasive species compete with native species for food and space, putting the natural balance of the ecosystem at risk.

Finally, climate change is another threat to the Great Lakes. Global warming has led to increased water temperatures, which can affect the habitats of aquatic species. Furthermore, climate change has also caused an increase in rainfall and storms, which can lead to flooding and increased coastal erosion.

To protect and preserve the Great Lakes, it is critical to take conservation measures. These may include regulating and reducing pollution, controlling invasive species and implementing climate change adaptation strategies.

Only through joint efforts by the United States and local communities can we ensure that these precious biomes will continue to exist and thrive for future generations.