Cultural eutrophication


Cultural eutrophication
Water pollution.jpg

Cultural eutrophication is the process that speeds up natural eutrophication because of human activity.[1] Due to clearing of land and building of towns and cities, land runoff is accelerated and more nutrients such as phosphates and nitrate are supplied to lakes and rivers, and then to coastal estuaries and bays. Extra nutrients are also supplied by treatment plants, golf courses, fertilizers, and farms.

These nutrients result in an excessive growth of plant life known as an algal bloom. This can change a lake's natural food web, and also reduce the amount of dissolved oxygen in the water for organisms to breathe. Both these things cause animal and plant death rates to increase as the plants take in poisonous water while the animals drink the poisoned water. This contaminates water, making it undrinkable, and sediment quickly fills the lake. Cultural eutrophication is a form of water pollution.

Cultural eutrophication also occurs when excessive fertilizers run into lakes and rivers. This encourages the growth of algae (algal bloom) and other aquatic plants. Following this, overcrowding occurs and plants compete for sunlight, space and oxygen. Overgrowth of water plants also blocks sunlight and oxygen for aquatic life in the water, which in turn threatens their survival. Algae also grows easily, thus threatening other water plants no matter whether they are floating, half-submerged, or fully submerged. Not only does is cause algal blooming, it can cause an array of more long term effects on the water such as damage to coral reefs and deep sea animal life. It also speeds up the damage of both marine and also affects humans if the effects of algal blooming is too drastic. Fishes will die, there will be lack of food in the area. Nutrient pollution is a major cause of algal blooming, and should be minimized.

See also

Notes

  1. ^ Cultural eutrophication (2010) Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved April 26, 2010, from Encyclopædia Britannica Online:



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