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Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Eutrophication;

Phenomenon of eutrophication, Eutrophication on lands, Eutrophication in water, Development of eutrophication, Eutrophication issues, Challenges of preventing eutrophication, Human role in creating eutrophication;

Advantages and disadvantages of eutrophication;

The causes of eutrophication;

The causes of Eutrophication, eutrophication is the rising plant productivity as a result of increased availability of nutrients. The excess nutrient pollution in waste water, runoff from farmland and atmospheric deposition, can become harmful eutrophication processes. In realty eutrophication is not necessarily harmful or bad, the word itself is translated from the Greek as meaning "well nourished or good food" but eutrophication can be speeded up artificially, and then the lakes and their inhabitants get suffer, as the load of nutrients increases more than the capacity of the lakes to readjust.

Phenomenon of eutrophication: 

 In nature eutrophication is a common phenomenon in freshwater ecosystem, and is a part of the normal aging process of many lakes and ponds. Because of the lack of warmth and light, some lakes never experience the eutrophication, while others do. Over times, these bodies of freshwater change in terms of how productive of fertility they became. The bacteria then release more phosphates into the water, which feed more algae. The levels of oxygen in the body of the water decrease, as the bacteria use this oxygen to decompose the dead plants, and then some species, such as fish and mollusks suffocate to death. Eventually, the lakes or ponds begin to fill in and start to be choked with plant growth. As the plants die, sink and turn to sediment, therefore the lake bottoms start to rise. The water becomes shallower and at last the body of water is filled completely, and disappears. This happens also to wetlands, which were already shallow. In fact, there are shrubs growing, where a body of water used to be. As a result, plant and algae growth choked out most species living in the lake and left the beaches unusable due to the smell of decay algae that washed up on the shores. 

Eutrophication on lands: 

In terrestrial ecosystem, eutrophication is the accelerated growth of forests. This increased growth is particularly promoted by the deposition of nitrogen compounds from the air and atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide. On the land the increases in productivity of plants are welcomed, particularly, where crops and commercially managed forests are concerned. Terrestrial ecosystems are also spared from the more harmful side effects of eutrophication, such as oxygen depletion.

Eutrophication in water: 

In water bodies, eutrophication boosts the growth of plank-tonic algae, and its effects can be seen in reduced water clarity, and increased growth of filamentous algae, and aquatic plants. In the worst cases, eutrophication may result in the increased occurrence of massive blue green algae blooms, oxygen depletion, and dramatic changes in fish stocks see bioaccumulation effects.

Development of eutrophication: 

Eutrophication is basically a natural phenomenon, and occurs over a period of long times, when some reason, production and consumption within the lake do not cancel out each other, and so the lake becomes over fertilized. Certain lakes or habitats are naturally poorer in nutrients than others, but over time they become richer in nutrients through natural processes. Where nutrient pollution is widespread, hence eutrophication often becomes a problem. Eutrophication can lead to increase in biodiversity locally. Birds particularly, are attracted to lakes and wetlands affected by eutrophication. But where eutrophication becomes predominant, overall diversity is likely to decline, and decrease, since the species typically associated with nutrient poor habitats will gradually disappear. 

Eutrophication issues: 

Eutrophication is widely seen as negative trend in lakes and seas, since its benefits for animals and plants is usually considered undesirable, aquatic plants that can overgrow shores, bays, and toxic blue green algae.

Challenges of preventing eutrophication:  

Once a process of eutrophication has begun, it may be hard and difficult to curb. Nutrients accumulate over many years, in the water, and the soil. Even if some of the external loads of nutrient pollution entering aquatic ecosystems can be cut, a self perpetuating process can continue as internal loads of stored nutrients are repeatedly reabsorbed into the water, where they feed the renewable growth of plants. Badly affected lakes can be restored to some extent by laboriously removing nutrients from the ecosystem through selective fishing or the removal of excess plant growth.

Human role in creating eutrophication:  

Human activities always result in creating of wastes, and many of these waste products contain nitrates and phosphates. Nitrates are compounds of nitrogen and produced by bacteria. Phosphates are phosphorous compounds. Both nitrates and phosphates are absorbed by plants, and are needed for growth. However the human use of detergents and chemical fertilizers has greatly increased the amounts of nitrates and phosphates that are washed into the lakes and ponds. When this occurs in a sufficient quantity, they act as fertilizer for plants and algae and speed up their rate of growth. When additional phosphates are added to a body of water, the plants begin to grow explosively, and the algae blooms. The plants and algae consume greater amounts of oxygen in the water, leaving the fish and other species without enough oxygen. When the algae die, the oxygen is also required by the bacteria in order for them to decompose or break down the dead algae. This is a cycle where more bacteria decompose more dead algae.
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