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Ponds are aquatic freshwater ecosystems that form in depressions in the Earth's surface. They consist of a quiet body of water, with no wave action. Some ponds form after spring flooding from rivers occurs. Because of the size of a pond being relatively small, the water temperature is pretty uniform throughout. Algae form the basis of pond food chains and there are also aquatic plants, adapted to living in watery environments. Some have floating leaves, some are rooted to the bottom, with leaves above the waterline, some can live on land or submerged. Food webs include algae, insects, snails, frogs, turtles, birds of prey, alligators, large fish, and even mammals like muskrats. There are bacteria to help break down wastes and decaying organisms, which frees up materials to be used by producers once again. Some ponds dry up each year. When this occurs, amphibians can breed without being consumed by fish. Some ponds are due to animals digging holes or making dams. Ponds are an important part of the biosphere.
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