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Chapter Summary

Flowing waters of streams and rivers are the most characteristic freshwater ecosystems of Suriname. Standing waters are mainly represented by wetlands in the Coastal Plain, a single small natural lake in northwestern Suriname, and the hydroelectric Brokopondo Reservoir. The Sioli classification of Amazonian rivers is mainly based on optical characteristics and distinguishes between white-water rivers of high turbidity, blackwater rivers with high humic and fulvic acid content, and clear-water rivers that are neither turbid with suspended sediments nor colored by humic compounds. The river continuum concept can help to understand the ecology of Surinamese river systems. The rivers in Suriname are characterized by the many large rapid which are mostly absent in temperate rivers. To the south of the brackish mangrove wetlands is a zone with herbaceous freshwater swamps. In these swamps, growth of emergent plants is often so dense that vast areas of water are entirely hidden from view.

Keywords:Amazonian rivers; Brokopondo Reservoir; Coastal Plain; ecology; freshwater ecosystems; Sioli classification; Suriname



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