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Photographer's Note

The photo shows the Füsing Au (a small river that drains the landscape Anglia in the Northeast of Schleswig-Holstein) near Schleswig.
The land bordering streams and rivers are unique ecosystems called riparian areas. Riparian areas are transitional zones that exist between a body of water and the surrounding drier upland. These areas occupy only a small part of the total watershed area, yet they play an important role thus acting as buffers, moderating flow, temperature, and the amount of nutrients and sediment transported to the water from the surrounding landscape. As such, their influence extends well beyond the small area they occupy, providing numerous ecological benefits.
Like people, riparian areas need to be healthy to function properly. Degraded unhealthy riparian areas tend to have: patchy or scrubby plant growth, rounded stream banks, eroding banks that are undercut or sloughing, muddy water and limited biodiversity for wildlife. The Füsing Au river banks are relatively healthy ecosystems.

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Additional Photos by Harriet Kaehler (Kielia) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 2443 W: 0 N: 6404] (22913)
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