The Effect Of Nutrient Loading On Natural Pathways Of Ecosystems Essay

The Effect Of Nutrient Loading On Natural Pathways Of Ecosystems Essay

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Introduction
Eutrophication is a widespread matter of concern affecting estuaries and other coastal ecosystems, and detrimental to coastal and marine species (Gray, Wu & Or 2002; Bricker et al. 2008). Gray, Wu and Or (2002) describe the eutrophication process as an increase in different nutrient levels resulting in creation of both dissolved and particles of organic substance which ultimately leads to decrease in level of oxygen concentrations due to decaying or degeneration of those organic substances.
When the nutrient input in bay areas was reduced, the result was recovery in some parts of the ecosystem (Kemp et al. 2005). The finding suggests that nutrient loading does have detrimental effects on natural pathways of ecosystems. Increasing nitrogen and other chemicals results in eutrophication, and affects the biogeochemistry and ecological community by causing an increase in some harmful species like phytoplankton and algae and decreasing the level of dissolved oxygen. Other important species decrease because dissolved oxygen is important for many species (Bowen & Valiela 2001; Kemp et al. 2005). According to Bowen & Valiela (2001), increases in nitrogen levels cause a decrease in producers of the costal ecosystem while increasing the eutrophication process. Loading of other nutrients from herbicides, pesticides and sewages also has a negative impact on aquatic life (Gray et al. 2002; Hapeman et al. 2002).
The sources of nutrients and consequences of nutrients on various species found in the estuaries and ultimately to the overall ecosystems are highlighted in this paper. By analyzing the problem, proper management techniques are also outlined. The aims of this paper are to assess the effect of nutrient loading in bay area ...


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...001; Gray et al. 2002; Hapeman et al. 2002; Kemp et al. 2005).
According to Hapeman et al. (2002), estuaries with greater nutrient load had significantly higher grass shrimp and fish mortality rates. In American Oysters (Crassostrea virginica), shells were found to be thinner when exposed to metals (Frazier 1975). Fishes, crustaceans, annelids, bivalves and other organisms are affected by hypoxia (Gray et al. 2002).
The direct aftermath of eutrophication is death of species. Indirectly, it leads to reduction of fitness, simplification of food web, destruction of habitats and intrusion by non-native species (Abreo et al. 2015). Species may become extinct or they may hastily evolve to acclimate to the altering environment. Increase or decrease in one species alters the balance of an ecosystem. Imbalance in one ecosystem may effects the surrounding ecosystem as well.

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