Flüsse der Welt – Lebensraum und Verkehrsnetz - NIKIN EU

Rivers of the world – habitat and transport network

Where would we be without rivers? At least pretty dry. The system of streams and rivers serves the surface distribution of water on most continents. It creates the basis of life and nutrition for numerous plant and animal species - and is also always an important traffic artery.

Where would we be without rivers? At least pretty dry. The system of streams and rivers serves the surface distribution of water on most continents. It creates the basis of life and nutrition for numerous plant and animal species - and is also always an important traffic artery.

River

Where do the big rivers come from?

Rivers usually have humble origins. Streams arise in the high and low mountain ranges of the world, either from springs or fed by glacial ice and snow. The smaller watercourses flow to the valley, and that is where most of them meet. When the streams connect, a smaller river is created, which can grow into a wide stream where additional tributaries are added. The river follows the natural gradient of the landscape and flows more or less in a straight line.

Today, unfortunately, most of the larger rivers have been straightened for shipping; in the past, they meandered leisurely in large loops through so-called floodplains. But whether winding or straight, at some point the river comes to an end - when it merges into a larger body of water, i.e. a lake or the sea.

Life on the river: habitats for animals and plants

On the way, the world's great rivers give, so to speak, “with their hands full”. The plants on its banks are home to small animals, birds and insects, larger animals value river banks as pasture areas, and predators of all kinds hunt on and near the river. The fish population attracts birds that specialize in fishing, but also large predators such as bears and some species of cats. Which animals and plants thrive on a river depends on whether you are in the headwaters, in the course of the river or in the estuary area. Along the entire route, rivers create an unbroken succession of biotopes, each of which is unique.

In addition, rivers create networks through which the biotopes are connected to one another. They allow animal and plant species to spread and develop new forms of coexistence. Rivers shape the landscape in more ways than one.

Amazon River

Rivers of Switzerland

Switzerland also has a distinctive river system. Although the Swiss rivers cannot keep up with the world's longest six-thousanders, such as the Amazon, the Nile or the Yangtze, Switzerland is the source area for well-known European “brands”. For example, the Rhone and the Rhine originate here.

The Aargau “Moated Castle”

Switzerland even has its own national “water castle” in the canton of Aargau. Because here, in the area of ​​Brugg, Windisch, Gibstorf, Turgi, Stilli and Untersiggenthal, the three Alpine rivers Aare, Reuss and Limmat connect. From here the Aare flows north until it flows into the Rhine near Koblenz. Around 40% of Switzerland's water volume comes together here and has been particularly protected as an important floodplain since 1989 by the “Moated Castle Decree”.

Nature sports and riverside activities

The activities on and on rivers are as diverse as the biotopes of the river landscapes. Traditionally, rivers are not only transport routes, but are also used by athletes. Rowing, canoeing and swimming are among the most popular leisure activities on clean rivers, and anglers, hikers and birdwatchers appreciate the river banks.

There is nothing wrong with that in and of itself - however, nature lovers should try not to disturb the animals or harm the flora. Rivers, as all of our freshwater reservoirs, deserve our protection, as do the fauna and flora that live with, in and from them.

River Sports

Rivers are worth protecting – and everyone can contribute to this

It goes without saying that the contamination of rivers and river landscapes must be stopped. Unfortunately, it is still all too often the case that bodies of water are misused as a sewer - only a few major scandals reach the public. If you take a closer look, consume more consciously and adapt your own behavior a little, you can, among other things, help protect rivers.

Back to the blog

Leave a comment

Please note that comments must be approved before publication.