Eutrophication

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Eutrophication comes from the Greek word "eutrophos" meaning well-nourished. In other words, this natural process found in water occurs as a result of additional rich nutrients forming a flourish in plant production. At this moment in time, eutrophication is causing worldwide devastation to not only aquatic life, but the fishing industry. The release of nutrients into fresh water lakes, rivers and reservoirs leads to excessive growth of three different plant species: a) Open water algae (phytoplankton) b) Attached algae (periphyton) c) Higher plants (macrophytes) Above all, these organisms encourage the growth of algae, which absorb dissolved oxygen in the water essential for the survival of fish populations. Occasionally, the decomposition of newly-submerged biomass and sediment further reduce the water's oxygen content. Water sources can literally choke to death as a result of increasing human activity, such as industry and agriculture giving rise to increased nutrient loading. I am particularly surprised how the agricultural industry inflicts these problems on themselves, by excessive use of sewage systems and pollutants which find their way to local rivers [Fig 1.]. The trophic state (i.e. the natural nutrition factors) and biodiversity of lakes and rivers are greatly effected by the main nutrients involved, nitrates and phosphates. The transition occurs mainly between a mesotropic state, with an average biological productivity to a eutrophic state where there is a larger production of organisms due to high nutrient concentrations. Tropical reservoirs in particular often become eutrophic. Water quality impacts Contaminants acting as plant nutrients in excessive concentrations, overcompensate by forming... ... middle of paper ... ...ish industry for example has taken a beating, in terms of annual income and available resources. Organisations in Norway have been obliged to spend millions of pounds on nutrient control programs in order to resolve their excessive fertility. Despite this though, we must not completely rid of all nutrients in our ecosystems. Mesotropic conditions are ideal as they will provide enough It can be said that similar methods can be elsewhere for other biological problems such as the acidification of ecosystems where acid rain, as a result of sulphur dioxide dissolves aluminium salts in rivers and lakes which suffocates fish. Having studied these various aspects, I believe that eutrophication is a very important issue and is often disregarded. The continuation, without reducing systems, could end in despair for our environment and indirectly affect farmers worldwide.
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