Eutrophication, the gradual increase in the concentration of phosphorus, nitrogen, and other plant nutrients in an aging aquatic ecosystem such as a lake. Historically, aquatic systems have been classified as oligotrophic or eutrophic. Much of the phosphorus in streams and lakes is delivered from agriculture, both through soil erosion and fertilizer runoff. Definition of eutrophication : the process by which a body of water becomes enriched in dissolved nutrients (such as phosphates) that stimulate the growth of aquatic plant life usually resulting in the depletion of dissolved oxygen Eutrophication Has Greek Roots Example Sentences Learn More about eutrophication Eutrophication Has Greek Roots It happens after farmers spread nitrogen based fertilizers on the fields. The nutrients can be introduced via leaching from soil … Nutrient enrichment develops due to excessive release of fertilizers including nitrates and phosphates, industrial and domestic sewage effluents, detergents, etc. Eutrophication is a process which occurs due to the excessive release of nutrients into water bodies. Eutrophication, the gradual increase in the concentration of phosphorus, nitrogen, and other plant nutrients in an aging aquatic ecosystem such as a lake. A choking of rivers, lakes and other waterways by excess algae growth which has been stimulated by fertilizers or sewage. Or, the overgrowth of algae and bacteria is choking out other forms of life. Eutrophication – the least glamorous topic in IGCSE Biology 4.16 4.17 This is a topic it is easy to overlook in your revision: water pollution by sewage is hardly glamorous and when you combine it with the limited excitement of learning about fertilisers , you don’t have to be a genius to see why many students leave it out. Click to see full answer Thereof, what is eutrophication in biology? Cultural eutrophication has had dramatic consequences on freshwater resources, fisheries, and recreational bodies of water and is one of the leading causes of aquatic ecosystem degradation. © 2001-2021 BiologyOnline. Ring in the new year with a Britannica Membership, This article was most recently revised and updated by, https://www.britannica.com/science/eutrophication. All living things need specific nutrients to survive. The excessive growth (or bloom) of algae and plankton in a water body are indicators of this process. Eutrophication is the process in which a water body becomes overly enriched with nutrients, leading to plentiful growth of simple plant life. This excess loading of carbon, nitrogen, and phosphorus has led to cultural eutrophication of numerous marine systems, including several polluted eastern U.S. estuaries (e.g., Chesapeake and Delaware bays), the Gulf of Mexico near the Mississippi River, and some estuaries of western Europe (e.g., the Scheldt of Belgium and the Netherlands). Let us know if you have suggestions to improve this article (requires login). Our editors will review what you’ve submitted and determine whether to revise the article. The content on this website is for information only. Enrichment of water system with plant nutrients such as nitrate and phosphate is known as eutrophication. Harmful algal blooms , dead zones , and fish kills are the results of a process called eutrophication — which occurs when the environment becomes enriched with nutrients, increasing the amount of plant and algae growth to estuaries and coastal waters. Commonly, culturally eutrophic aquatic systems may exhibit extremely low oxygen concentrations in bottom waters, a condition known as hypoxia. It makes sense that when there is not enough nutrition available for the variety of organisms living in an aquatic en… Eutrophication continues to be a major global challenge, and the problem of eutrophication and availability of freshwater for human consumption is an essential ecological issue. Eutrophication is mainly caused by two nutrients, phosphorus and nitrogen.These are normally brought to aquatic ecosystems as runoff from fertilized agricultural areas, erosion from river banks, river beds, clearing of land (deforestation), or sewage that ends up in aquatic environments. This process may result in oxygen depletion of the water body after the bacterial degradation of the algae. Increases in global inputs of nitrogenous fertilizers and the mining of phosphate rock have generated increased concern about the effects of eutrophication on enclosed marine ecosystems (Nixon, 1995). Eutrophication is usually associated with fertiliser use and run off. Aerial view of an algae bloom on the Dnieper River in Kiev, Ukraine. This leads to suffocation of fish and other aquatic life. Eutrophication can also produce carbon dioxide, which lowers the PH of the water , also harming the aquatic animals. Farms, golf courses, lawns and other fields tend to be heavily fertilized by people. Further Detail. Eutrophication is a big word that describes a big problem in the nation's estuaries. Eutrophication is the word that has derived from the Greek word eutrophos, which means "well-nourished", has now turned into a major environmental issue. Eutrophication is derived from the Greek word ‘eutrophos’ that means well-nourished or enriched Eutrophication is the excessive presence of nutrients like nitrate and phosphate in a lake or other water bodies, which causes a dense growth of plant life. Eutrophication is the increase in the rate of supply of organic matter to an ecosystem. It is not intended to provide medical, legal, or any other professional advice. CP Biology Name: Mr McDowell Date: Eutrophication Eutrophication basically means lowering the quality of the environment by using too much nitrogen and phosphorous. This causes a dense growth of plant life in the water body. This can lead to water blooms (the rapid growth of algae or cyanobacteria), which deplete the water of oxygen and choke aquatic life.…. Be on the lookout for your Britannica newsletter to get trusted stories delivered right to your inbox. Water blooms, or great concentrations of algae and microscopic organisms, often develop on the surface, preventing the light penetration and oxygen absorption necessary for underwater life. Definition of eutrophication. This material enters the ecosystem primarily by runoff from land that carries debris and products of the reproduction and death of terrestrial organisms. There is thus low production of organic matter by photosynthesis (equation [6]) in…, …phosphorus, a process known as eutrophication. Read this tutori.. Dinosaurs represented a major turn in the evolutionary development of organisms on Earth. Meaning of Eutrophication: Inorganic nitrates and phosphates in excess amount stimulate excessive plant growth in lake and reservoir. Eutrophication is the enrichment of an ecosystem (typically aquatic) with chemical nutrients (nitrates, phosphates, etc.) Eutrophic waters are often murky and may support fewer large animals, such as fish and birds, than non-eutrophic waters. Get a Britannica Premium subscription and gain access to exclusive content. There are more species of insects than any other species combined. Free learning resources for students covering all major areas of biology. The plant deplete the oxygen content of water during night. “ Eutrophication is an enrichment of water by nutrient salts that causes structural changes to the ecosystem such as: increased production of algae and aquatic plants, depletion of fish species, general deterioration of water quality and other effects that reduce and preclude use ”. This lesson uses lac operon as an example. This is especially true in aquatic ecosystems because they are so dynamic. Coastal marine systems also may be affected by this process. 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