Geography and Environment


Freshwater aquarium

Virtual Cabinet of Curiosities

17. Freshwater aquarium - fish, shrimps and snails, Dr Kate Mathers, Harry Sanders, James Smith, Prof Stephen Rice, Atish Vadher, Prof Paul Wood and Bethany Worley

Water covers over 70% of Earth but only 2.5% of this is in the form of freshwater and less than 1% of this resource is accessible. We currently use over half of the available global water resource to support anthropogenic activities (agriculture, industry and domestic use). Freshwater ecosystems have been estimated to support 6% of all described species.

Our research highlight the need to reconcile the growing demands of society for water with the protection, conservation and management of freshwater ecosystems. This aquarium contains three species (stickleback, Gasterosteus aculeatus, shrimp, Crangonyx pseudogracilis and snail, Radix balthica) which are common and abundant in ponds in the UK but are rarely seen. The aquarium illustrates how a very small volume of freshwater supports hidden biodiversity. Find out more about the biodiversity value of small waterbodies.

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