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Encyclopedia > Eutrophication
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Natural environment

Eutrophication, strictly speaking, means an increase in chemical nutrients -- typically compounds containing nitrogen or phosphorus -- in an ecosystem. It may occur on land or in water. The term is however often used to mean the resultant increase in the ecosystem's primary productivity -- in other words excessive plant growth and decay -- and even further impacts, including lack of oxygen and severe reductions in water quality and in fish and other animal populations. Air pollution Pollution is the introduction of pollutants (whether chemical substances, or energy such as noise, heat, or light) into the environment to such a point that its effects become harmful to human health, other living organisms, or the environment. ... Air pollution is the modification of the natural characteristics of the atmosphere by a chemical, particulate matter, or biological agent. ... The term acid rain is commonly used to mean the deposition of acidic components in rain, snow, fog, dew, or dry particles. ... An air quality measurement station in Edinburgh, Scotland The Air Quality Index (AQI) is a standardized indicator of the air quality in a given location. ... Atmospheric dispersion modeling is performed with computer programs that use mathematical equations and algorithms to simulate how pollutants in the ambient atmosphere disperse in the atmosphere. ... Tetrafluoroethane (a haloalkane) is a clear liquid which boils well below room temperature (as seen here) and can be extracted from common canned air canisters by simply inverting them during use. ... Global dimming is the gradual reduction in the amount of global direct irradiance at the Earths surface that was observed for several decades after the start of systematic measurements in 1950s. ... Global warming refers to the increase in the average temperature of the Earths near-surface air and oceans in recent decades and its projected continuation. ... Haze is an atmospheric phenomenon where dust, smoke and other pollutant particles obscure the normal clarity of the sky. ... Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) deals with the content of interior air that could affect health and comfort of building occupants. ... Global monthly average total ozone amount Ozone depletion describes two distinct, but related observations: a slow, steady decline of about 4 percent per decade in the total amount of ozone in Earths stratosphere since around 1980; and a much larger, but seasonal, decrease in stratospheric ozone over Earths... Particulates, alternatively referred to as particulate matter (PM), aerosols or fine particles, are tiny particles of solid or liquid suspended in a gas. ... It has been suggested that Haze be merged into this article or section. ... Raw sewage and industrial waste flows into the U.S. from Mexico as the New River passes from Mexicali, Baja California to Calexico, California Water pollution is a large set of adverse effects upon water bodies such as lakes, rivers, oceans, and groundwater caused by human activities. ... It has been suggested that Anoxic sea water, Oxygen minimum zone, and Hypoxic zone be merged into this article or section. ... Pumping of highly toxic (dark black) sludge, much seeps back into the ocean in the form of particles. ... Change in sea surface pH caused by anthropogenic CO2 between the 1700s and the 1990s Ocean acidification is the name given to the ongoing decrease in the pH of the Earths oceans, caused by their uptake of anthropogenic carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. ... Subsequent to an Oil Spill An oil spill is the unintentional release of a liquid petroleum hydrocarbon into the environment as a result of human activity. ... Ship pollution is the pollution of water by shipping! It is a problem that has been accelerating as trade has become increasingly globalized. ... Runoff flowing into a stormwater drain Surface runoff is water, from rain, snowmelt, or other sources, that flows over the land surface, and is a major component of the water cycle[1][2]. Runoff that occurs on surfaces before reaching a channel is also called overland flow. ... Thermal pollution is a temperature change in natural water bodies caused by human influence. ... Wastewater is any water that has been adversely affected in quality by anthropogenic influence. ... Waterborne diseases are caused by pathogenic microorganisms which are directly transmitted when contaminated drinking water is consumed. ... Water quality is the physical, chemical and biological characteristics of water, characterized through the methods of hydrometry. ... Standing water redirects here. ... Excavation of leaking underground storage tank causing soil contamination Soil pollution comprises the pollution of soils with materials, mostly chemicals, that are out of place or are present at concentrations higher than normal which may have adverse effects on humans or other organisms. ... Bioremediation can be defined as any process that uses microorganisms, fungi, green plants or their enzymes to return the environment altered by contaminants to its original condition. ... An herbicide is used to kill unwanted plants. ... A cropduster spreading pesticide. ... The introduction to this article provides insufficient context for those unfamiliar with the subject matter. ... The radiation warning symbol (trefoil). ... This article about actinides in the environment is about the sources, environmental behaviour and effects of actinides in the environment. ... The environmental radioactivity page is devoted to the subject of radioactive materials in man and his environment. ... 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Lantana invasion of abandoned citrus plantation; Moshav Sdey Hemed, Israel The term invasive species refers to a subset of introduced species or non-indigenous species that are rapidly expanding outside of their native range. ... This time exposure photo of New York City shows sky glow, one form of light pollution. ... Noise pollution (or environmental noise in technical venues) is displeasing human or machine created sound that disrupts the environment. ... Radio spectrum pollution is the straying of waves in the radio and electromagnetic spectrums outside their allocations that cause problems for some activities. ... Visual pollution is the term given to unattractive visual elements of a vista, a landscape, or any other thing that a person might want to look at. ... The largest Antarctic ozone hole recorded as of September 2000 For other similarly-named agreements, see Montreal Protocol (disambiguation). ... Protocol to the 1979 Convention on Long-Range Transboundary Air Pollution Concerning the Control of Emissions of Nitrogen Oxides or Their Transboundary Fluxes, opened for signature on 31 October 1988 and entered into force on 14 February 1991, was to provide for the control or reduction of nitrogen oxides and... Kyoto Protocol Opened for signature December 11, 1997 in Kyoto, Japan Entered into force February 16, 2005. ... note - abbreviated as Air Pollution opened for signature - 13 November 1979 entered into force - 16 March 1983 objective - to protect the human environment against air pollution and to gradually reduce and prevent air pollution, including long-range transboundary air pollution parties - (48) Armenia, Austria, Belarus, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria... This list is incomplete; you can help by expanding it. ... 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General Name, symbol, number nitrogen, N, 7 Chemical series nonmetals Group, period, block 15, 2, p Appearance colorless gas Standard atomic weight 14. ... General Name, symbol, number phosphorus, P, 15 Chemical series nonmetals Group, period, block 15, 3, p Appearance waxy white/ red/ black/ colorless Standard atomic weight 30. ... A coral reef near the Hawaiian islands is an example of a complex marine ecosystem. ... Impact from a water drop causes an upward rebound jet surrounded by circular capillary waves. ... Primary productivity is the amount of light energy converted to chemical energy in a given amount of time. ...

Contents

Lakes, rivers, and oceans

The bright green water in the Potomac River estuary is the result of a dense bloom of cyanobacteria.
The bright green water in the Potomac River estuary is the result of a dense bloom of cyanobacteria.

Eutrophication is frequently a result of nutrient pollution such as the release of sewage effluent and run-off from lawn fertilizers into natural waters (rivers or coasts) although it may also occur naturally in situations where nutrients accumulate (e.g. depositional environments) or where they flow into systems on an ephemeral basis (e.g. intermittent upwelling in coastal systems). Eutrophication generally promotes excessive plant growth and decay, favors certain weedy species over others, and is likely to cause severe reductions in water quality . In aquatic environments, enhanced growth of choking aquatic vegetation or phytoplankton (that is, an algal bloom) disrupts normal functioning of the ecosystem, causing a variety of problems such as a lack of oxygen in the water, needed for fish and shellfish to survive. The water then becomes cloudy, colored a shade of green, yellow, brown, or red. Human society is impacted as well: eutrophication decreases the resource value of rivers, lakes, and estuaries such that recreation, fishing, hunting, and aesthetic enjoyment are hindered. Health-related problems can occur where eutrophic conditions interfere with drinking water treatment.[1] The bright green water in the Potomac River estuary is result of a dense bloom of cyanobacteria. ... The bright green water in the Potomac River estuary is result of a dense bloom of cyanobacteria. ... The Potomac River flows into the Chesapeake Bay, located along the mid-Atlantic coast of the United States (USA). ... Orders The taxonomy is currently under revision. ... Diagrams of some typical phytoplankton Phytoplankton are the autotrophic component of plankton. ... Algal blooms can present problems for ecosystems and human society An algal bloom is a relatively rapid increase in the population of (usually) phytoplankton algae in an aquatic system. ... General Name, symbol, number oxygen, O, 8 Chemical series nonmetals, chalcogens Group, period, block 16, 2, p Appearance colorless (gas) pale blue (liquid) Standard atomic weight 15. ... Cooked mussels Shellfish is a term used to describe shelled molluscs and crustaceans used as food. ... A water treatment plant in northern Portugal. ...


Eutrophication was recognized as a pollution problem in European and North American lakes and reservoirs in the mid-20th century.[2] Since then, it has become more widespread. Surveys showed that 54% of lakes in Asia are eutrophic; in Europe, 53%; in North America, 48%; in South America, 41%; and in Africa, 28%.[3] Air pollution Pollution is the introduction of pollutants (whether chemical substances, or energy such as noise, heat, or light) into the environment to such a point that its effects become harmful to human health, other living organisms, or the environment. ... For other uses, see Asia (disambiguation). ... For other uses, see Europe (disambiguation). ... North America North America is a continent[1] in the Earths northern hemisphere and (chiefly) western hemisphere. ... South America South America is a continent crossed by the equator, with most of its area in the Southern Hemisphere. ... A world map showing the continent of Africa Africa is the worlds second-largest and second most-populous continent, after Asia. ...


Eutrophication can be a natural process in lakes, as they fill in through geological time, though other lakes are known to demonstrate the reverse process, becoming less nutrient rich with time. Estuaries also tend to be naturally eutrophic because land-derived nutrients are concentrated where run-off enters the marine environment in a confined channel. For other meanings, see Estuary (disambiguation) Río de la Plata estuary An estuary is a semi-enclosed coastal body of water with one or more rivers or streams flowing into it, and with a free connection to the open sea. ...


Eutrophication can also be a natural process in seasonally inundated tropical floodplains such as the Barotse Floodplain of the Zambezi River. The first floodwaters to move down the floodplain after the onset of the rainy season, called "red waters", are usually hypoxic and kill many fish as a result of eutrophication brought on by material picked up by the flood from the plain such as cattle manure, and by the decay of vegetation which grew during the dry season.[4] The process may be made worse by the use of fertilisers in crops such as maize, rice and sugarcane grown on the floodplain. NASA satellite photograph showing the Barotse Floodplain as the bright green to dark blue central region. ... Zambezi River in North Western Zambia The Zambezi (also spelled Zambesi) is a river in Southern Africa. ... The wet season is a term commonly used when describing the weather in the tropics. ... hypoxic This page meets Wikipedias criteria for speedy deletion. ...


Human activities can accelerate the rate at which nutrients enter ecosystems. Runoff from agriculture and development, pollution from septic systems and sewers, and other human-related activities increase the flux of both inorganic nutrients and organic substances into terrestrial, aquatic, and coastal marine ecosystems (including coral reefs). Elevated atmospheric compounds of nitrogen can increase soil nitrogen availability. A coral reef near the Hawaiian islands is an example of a complex marine ecosystem. ... On-site septic disposal systems are common in rural areas where public sewage treatment systems do not exist. ... A sewer is an artificial conduit or system of conduits used to remove sewage (human liquid waste) and to provide drainage. ... General Name, symbol, number nitrogen, N, 7 Chemical series nonmetals Group, period, block 15, 2, p Appearance colorless gas Standard atomic weight 14. ... Loess field in Germany Surface-water-gley developed in glacial till, Northern Ireland Soil is a complex mixture of materials, principally ground up rock and water. ...


Phosphorus is often regarded as the main culprit in cases of eutrophication in lakes subjected to point source pollution from sewage. The concentration of algae and the trophic state of lakes correspond well to phosphorus levels in water. Studies conducted in the Experimental Lakes Area in Ontario have shown a relationship between the addition of phosphorus and the rate of eutrophication. Humankind has increased the rate of phosphorus cycling on Earth by four times, mainly due to agricultural fertilizer production and application. Between 1950 and 1995, 600,000,000 tonnes of phosphorus were applied to Earth's surface, primarily on croplands (Carpenter et al. 1998). Control of point sources of phosphorus have resulted in rapid control of eutrophication, mainly due to policy changes. This article is about the metric tonne. ...


Terrestrial ecosystems

Although traditionally thought of as enrichment of aquatic systems by addition of fertilizers into lakes, bays, or other semi-enclosed waters (even slow-moving rivers), terrestrial ecosystems are subject to similarly adverse impacts.[5] Increased content of nitrates in soil frequently leads to undesirable changes in vegetation composition and many plant species are endangered as a result of eutrophication in terrestric ecosystems, e.g. majority of orchid species in Europe. Ecosystems (like some meadows, forests and bogs that are characterized by low nutrient content and species-rich, slowly growing vegetation adapted to lower nutrient levels) are overgrown by faster growing and more competitive species-poor vegetation, like tall grasses, that can take advantage of unnaturally elevated nitrogen level and the area may be changed beyond recognition and vulnerable species may be lost. Eg. species-rich fens are overtaken by reed or reedgrass species, spectacular forest undergrowth affected by run-off from nearby fertilized field is turned into a thick nettle and bramble shrub. Spreading manure, an organic fertilizer Fertilizers (also spelled fertilisers) are compounds given to plants to promote growth; they are usually applied either via the soil, for uptake by plant roots, or by foliar feeding, for uptake through leaves. ... For other uses, see Lake (disambiguation). ... Bay redirects here. ... For other uses, see River (disambiguation). ...


Chemical forms of nitrogen are most often of concern with regard to eutrophication because plants have high nitrogen requirements so that additions of nitrogen compounds stimulate plant growth (primary production). This is also the case with increased levels of phosphorus. Nitrogen is not readily available in soil because N2, a gaseous form of nitrogen, is very stable and unavailable directly to higher plants. Terrestrial ecosystems rely on microbial nitrogen fixation to convert N2 into other physical forms (such as nitrates). However, there is a limit to how much nitrogen can be utilized. Ecosystems receiving more nitrogen than the plants require are called nitrogen-saturated. Saturated terrestrial ecosystems contribute both inorganic and organic nitrogen to freshwater, coastal, and marine eutrophication, where nitrogen is also typically a limiting nutrient.[6] However, because phosphorus is generally much less soluble than nitrogen, it is leached from the soil at a much slower rate than nitrogen. Consequently, phosphorus is much more important as a limiting nutrient in aquatic systems.[7]. Global oceanic and terrestrial photoautotroph abundance, from September 1997 to August 2000. ... A microorganism or microbe is an organism that is so small that it is microscopic (invisible to the naked eye). ... Nitrogen fixation is the process by which nitrogen is taken from its relatively inert molecular form (N2) in the atmosphere and converted into nitrogen compounds (such as, notably, ammonia, nitrate and nitrogen dioxide)[1] useful for other chemical processes. ... Trinitrate redirects here. ... In biology, agricultural science, physiology, and ecology, a limiting factor is one that controls a process, such as organism growth or species population size or distribution. ... General Name, symbol, number phosphorus, P, 15 Chemical series nonmetals Group, period, block 15, 3, p Appearance waxy white/ red/ black/ colorless Standard atomic weight 30. ... It has been suggested that this article or section be merged with Solution. ... Leaching is the process of extracting a substance from a solid by dissolving it in a liquid. ... General Name, symbol, number phosphorus, P, 15 Chemical series nonmetals Group, period, block 15, 3, p Appearance waxy white/ red/ black/ colorless Standard atomic weight 30. ...


Ecological effects

Eutrophication is apparent as increased turbidity in the northern part of the Caspian Sea, imaged from orbit.
Eutrophication is apparent as increased turbidity in the northern part of the Caspian Sea, imaged from orbit.

Many ecological effects can arise from stimulating primary production, but there are three particularly troubling ecological impacts: decreased biodiversity, changes in species composition and dominance, and toxicity effects. Download high resolution version (550x700, 66 KB)Description: This is a view from orbit of the Caspian Sea as imaged by the MODIS sensor on the Terra satellite. ... Download high resolution version (550x700, 66 KB)Description: This is a view from orbit of the Caspian Sea as imaged by the MODIS sensor on the Terra satellite. ... Turbidity standards of 5, 50, and 500 NTU Turbidity is a cloudiness or haziness of a fluid, or of air, caused by individual particles (suspended solids) that are generally invisible to the naked eye, similar to smoke in air. ... The Caspian Sea is the largest enclosed body of water on Earth by area, variously classed as the worlds largest lake or a full-fledged sea. ... Global oceanic and terrestrial photoautotroph abundance, from September 1997 to August 2000. ...

  • Increased biomass of phytoplankton
  • Toxic or inedible phytoplankton species
  • Increases in blooms of gelatinous zooplankton
  • Decreased biomass of benthic and epiphytic algae
  • Changes in macrophyte species composition and biomass
  • Decreases in water transparency (increased turbidity)
  • Color, smell, and water treatment problems
  • Dissolved oxygen depletion
  • Increased incidences of fish kills
  • Loss of desirable fish species
  • Reductions in harvestable fish and shellfish
  • Decreases in perceived aesthetic value of the water body

Diagrams of some typical phytoplankton Phytoplankton are the autotrophic component of plankton. ... Algae have conventionally been regarded as simple plants within the study of botany. ... Turbidity standards of 5, 50, and 500 NTU Turbidity is a cloudiness or haziness of a fluid, or of air, caused by individual particles (suspended solids) that are generally invisible to the naked eye, similar to smoke in air. ... Cooked mussels Shellfish is a term used to describe shelled molluscs and crustaceans used as food. ...

Decreased biodiversity

When an ecosystem experiences an increase in nutrients, primary producers reap the benefits first. In aquatic ecosystems, species such as algae experience a population increase (called an algal bloom). Algal blooms limit the sunlight available to bottom-dwelling organisms and cause wide swings in the amount of dissolved oxygen in the water. Oxygen is required by all respiring plants and animals and it is replenished in daylight by photosynthesizing plants and algae. Under eutrophic conditions, dissolved oxygen greatly increases during the day, but is greatly reduced after dark by the respiring algae and by microorganisms that feed on the increasing mass of dead algae. When dissolved oxygen levels decline to hypoxic levels, fish and other marine animals suffocate. As a result, creatures such as fish, shrimp, and especially immobile bottom dwellers die off.[8] In extreme cases, anaerobic conditions ensue, promoting growth of bacteria such as Clostridium botulinum that produces toxins deadly to birds and mammals. Zones where this occurs are known as dead zones. Algal blooms can present problems for ecosystems and human society An algal bloom is a relatively rapid increase in the population of (usually) phytoplankton algae in an aquatic system. ... In animal physiology, respiration is the transport of oxygen from the ambient air to the tissue cells and the transport of carbon dioxide in the opposite direction. ... The leaf is the primary site of photosynthesis in plants. ... It has been suggested that Anoxic sea water, Oxygen minimum zone, and Hypoxic zone be merged into this article or section. ... Aerobic and anaerobic bacteria can be identified by growning them in liquid culture: 1: Obligate aerobic bacteria gather at the top of the test tube in order to absorb maximal amount of oxygen. ... Binomial name van Ermengem, 1896 Clostridium botulinum is a bacterium that produces the toxin botulin, the causative agent in botulism. ... For a list of biologically injurious substances, including toxins and other materials, as well as their effects, see poison. ... Sediment from the Mississippi River carries fertilizer to the Gulf of Mexico Dead zones are hypoxic (low-oxygen) areas in the worlds oceans, the observed incidences of which have been increasing since oceanographers began noting them in the 1970s. ...


New species invasion

Eutrophication may cause competitive release by making abundant a normally limiting nutrient. This process causes shifts in the species composition of ecosystems. For instance, an increase in nitrogen might allow new, competitive species to invade and out-compete original inhabitant species. This has been shown to occur[9] in New England salt marshes. In biology, agricultural science, physiology, and ecology, a limiting factor is one that controls a process, such as organism growth or species population size or distribution. ... Lantana invasion of abandoned citrus plantation; Moshav Sdey Hemed, Israel The term invasive species refers to a subset of introduced species or non-indigenous species that are rapidly expanding outside of their native range. ... This article is about the region in the United States of America. ... An Atlantic coastal salt marsh in Connecticut. ...


Toxicity

Some algal blooms, otherwise called "nuisance algae" or "harmful algal blooms," are toxic to plants and animals. Toxic compounds they produce can make their way up the food chain, resulting in animal mortality.[10] Freshwater algal blooms can pose a threat to livestock. When the algae die or are eaten, neuro- and hepatotoxins are released which can kill animals and may pose a threat to humans.[11][12] An example of algal toxins working their way into humans is the case of shellfish poisoning.[13] Biotoxins created during algal blooms are taken up by shellfish (mussels, oysters), leading to these human foods acquiring the toxicity and poisoning humans. Examples include paralytic, neurotoxic, and diarrhoetic shellfish poisoning. Other marine animals can be vectors for such toxins, as in the case of ciguatera, where it is typically a predator fish that accumulates the toxin and then poisons humans. Nitrogen can also cause toxic effects directly. When this nutrient is leached into groundwater, drinking water can be affected because concentrations of nitrogen are not filtered out. Nitrate (NO3) has been shown to be toxic to human babies. This is because bacteria can live in their digestive tract that convert nitrate to nitrite (NO2). Nitrite reacts with hemoglobin to form methemoglobin, a form that does not carry oxygen. The baby essentially suffocates as its body receives insufficient oxygen. [citation needed] Algal blooms can present problems for ecosystems and human society An algal bloom is a relatively rapid increase in the population of (usually) phytoplankton algae in an aquatic system. ... Toxic redirects here, but this is also the name of a song by Britney Spears; see Toxic (song) Look up toxic and toxicity in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... == HEADLINE TEXT== Food chains, food webs and/or food networks describe the feeding relationships between other species to another within an ecosystem. ... A neurotoxin is a toxin that acts specifically on nerve cells – neurons – usually by interacting with membrane proteins such as ion channels. ... Hepatotoxicity (from hepatic toxicity) is chemical-driven liver damage. ... Cooked mussels Shellfish is a term used to describe shelled molluscs and crustaceans used as food. ... Paralysed redirects here. ... Diarrhea, also spelled diarrhoea (see spelling differences), is a condition in which the sufferer has frequent watery, loose bowel movements (from the Greek word διάρροια; literally meaning through-flowing). Acute infectious diarrhea is a common cause of death in developing countries (particularly among infants), accounting for 5 to 8 million deaths... In epidemiology, a vector is an organism that does not cause disease itself but which spreads infection by conveying pathogens from one host to another. ... Chemical structure of the ciguatoxin CTX1B Ciguatera is a foodborne illness poisoning in humans caused by eating marine species whose flesh is contaminated with a toxin known as ciguatoxin, which is present in many micro-organisms (particularly, the micro-algae Gambierdiscus toxicus) living in tropical waters. ... Leaching is the process of extracting a substance from a solid by dissolving it in a liquid. ... Missing main definition------ someone add if you know it please. ... Trinitrate redirects here. ... For the Physics term GUT, please refer to Grand unification theory The gastrointestinal or digestive tract, also referred to as the GI tract or the alimentary canal or the gut, is the system of organs within multicellular animals which takes in food, digests it to extract energy and nutrients, and... // Definition The nitrite ion is NO2−. A nitrite compound is one that contains this group, either an ionic compound, or an analogous covalent one. ... Structure of hemoglobin. ... Methemoglobin (also hemiglobin) is a type of hemoglobin that is produced by the oxidation of the ferrous iron contained in hemoglobin to ferric iron which doesnt have the capacity for carrying oxygen. ... Suffocation can mean two things: Suffocation, or Asphyxia, is a medical condition where the body is depraved of oxygen. ...


Sources of high nutrient runoff

Characteristics of point and nonpoint sources of chemical inputs (from Carpenter et al, 1998; modified from Novonty and Olem 1994)
Point Sources
  • Wastewater effluent (municipal and industrial)
  • Runoff and leachate from waste disposal systems
  • Runoff and infiltration from animal feedlots
  • Runoff from mines, oil fields, unsewered industrial sites
  • Overflows of combined storm and sanitary sewers
  • Runoff from construction sites >20,000 m²


Nonpoint Sources

  • Runoff from agriculture/irrigation
  • Runoff from pasture and range
  • Urban runoff from unsewered areas
  • Septic tank leachate
  • Runoff from construction sites <20,000 m²
  • Runoff from abandoned mines
  • Atmospheric deposition over a water surface
  • Other land activities generating contaminants

In order to gauge how to best prevent eutrophication from occurring, specific sources that contribute to nutrient loading must be identified. There are two common sources of nutrients and organic matter: point and nonpoint sources. Nonpoint source pollution (NPS) does not come from a single source like point source pollution. ...


Point sources

Point sources are directly attributable to one influence. In point sources the nutrient waste travels directly from source to water. It has been suggested that this article or section be merged with Point source (sound), Point source (light), Point source (heat), Point source (radio) and Point source (fluid) (Discuss) A point source of pollution is a single identifiable localized source of air, water, thermal, noise or light pollution. ...


Nonpoint sources

Nonpoint source pollution (also known as 'diffuse' or 'runoff' pollution) is that which comes from ill-defined and diffuse sources. Nonpoint sources are difficult to regulate and usually vary spatially and temporally (with season, precipitation, and other irregular events). This article or section is in need of attention from an expert on the subject. ... Act of God is a common legal term for events outside of human control, such as sudden floods or other natural disasters, for which no one can be held responsible. ...


It has been shown that nitrogen transport is correlated with various indices of human activity in watersheds,[14][15] including the amount of development.[9] Agriculture and development are activities that contribute most to nutrient loading. There are three reasons that nonpoint sources are especially troublesome:[7] Urban planning is concerned with the ordering and design of settlements, from the smallest towns to the worlds largest cities. ...


Soil retention

Nutrients from human activities tend to accumulate in soils and remain there for years. It has been shown[16] that the amount of phosphorus lost to surface waters increases linearly with the amount of phosphorus in the soil. Thus much of the nutrient loading in soil eventually makes its way to water. Nitrogen, similarly, has a turnover time of decades or more. Loess field in Germany Surface-water-gley developed in glacial till, Northern Ireland Soil is a complex mixture of materials, principally ground up rock and water. ... General Name, symbol, number phosphorus, P, 15 Chemical series nonmetals Group, period, block 15, 3, p Appearance waxy white/ red/ black/ colorless Standard atomic weight 30. ...


Runoff to surface water and leaching to groundwater

Nutrients from human activities tend to travel from land to either surface or ground water. Nitrogen in particular is removed through storm drains, sewage pipes, and other forms of surface runoff. Nutrient losses in runoff and leachate are often associated with agriculture. Modern agriculture often involves the application of nutrients onto fields in order to maximise production. However, farmers frequently apply more nutrients than are taken up by crops[17] or pastures. Regulations aimed at minimising nutrient exports from agriculture are typically far less stringent than those placed on sewage treatment plants (Carpenter et al., 1998) and other point source polluters. A storm drain, storm sewer, or stormwater drain (in Australia) system is designed to drain excess rain and ground water from an area. ... Runoff flowing into a stormwater drain Surface runoff is water, from rain, snowmelt, or other sources, that flows over the land surface, and is a major component of the water cycle[1][2]. Runoff that occurs on surfaces before reaching a channel is also called overland flow. ... Leachate is the liquid produced when water percolates through any permeable material. ...


Atmospheric deposition

Nitrogen is released into the air because of ammonia volatilization and nitrous oxide production. The combustion of fossil fuels is a large human-initiated contributor to atmospheric nitrogen pollution. Atmospheric deposition (e.g., in the form of acid rain) can also effect nutrient concentration in water,[18] especially in highly industrialized regions. For other uses, see Ammonia (disambiguation). ... Volatilisation is the process whereby a dissolved sample is vaporised. ... This article is about the chemical reaction combustion. ... Fossil fuels are hydrocarbon-containing natural resources such as coal, petroleum and natural gas. ... The term acid rain is commonly used to mean the deposition of acidic components in rain, snow, fog, dew, or dry particles. ...


Other causes

Any factor that causes increased nutrient concentrations can potentially lead to eutrophication. In modeling eutrophication, the rate of water renewal plays a critical role; stagnant water is allowed to collect more nutrients than bodies with replenished water supplies. It has also been shown that the drying of wetlands causes an increase in nutrient concentration and subsequent eutrophication booms.[19] Water stagnation occurs when water stops flowing. ... A subtropical wetland in Florida, USA, with an endangered American Crocodile. ...


Prevention and reversal

Eutrophication poses a problem not only to ecosystems, but to humans as well. Reducing eutrophication should be a key concern when considering future policy, and a sustainable solution for everyone, including farmers and ranchers, seems feasible. While eutrophication does pose problems, humans should be aware that natural runoff (which causes algal blooms in the wild) is common in ecosystems and should thus not reverse nutrient concentrations beyond normal levels. It has been suggested that Small-scale agriculture be merged into this article or section. ...


Effectiveness

Cleanup measures have been mostly, but not completely, successful. Finnish phosphorus removal measures started in the mid-1970s and have targeted rivers and lakes polluted by industrial and municipal discharges. These efforts have had a 90% removal efficiency.[20] Still, some targeted point sources did not show a decrease in runoff despite reduction efforts.


Minimizing nonpoint pollution: future work

Nonpoint pollution is the most difficult source of nutrients to manage. The literature suggests, though, that when these sources are controlled, eutrophication decreases. The following steps are recommended to minimize the amount of pollution that can enter aquatic ecosystems from ambiguous sources.


Riparian buffer zones

Studies show that intercepting non-point pollution between the source and the water is a successful mean of prevention (Carpenter et al., 1998). Riparian buffer zones,an interface between a flowing body of water and land, have been created near waterways in an attempt to filter pollutants; sediment and nutrients are deposited here instead of in water. Creating buffer zones near farms and roads is another possible way to prevent nutrients from traveling too far. Still, studies have shown[21] that the effects of atmospheric nitrogen pollution can reach far past the buffer zone. This suggests that the most effective means of prevention is from the primary source. A riparian zone schematic from the Everglades. ... This article or section cites very few or no references or sources. ...


Prevention policy

Laws regulating the discharge and treatment of sewage have led to dramatic nutrient reductions to surrounding ecosystems,[7] but it is generally agreed that a policy regulating agricultural use of fertilizer and animal waste must be imposed. In Japan the amount of nitrogen produced by livestock is adequate to serve the fertilizer needs for the agriculture industry.[22] Thus, it is not unreasonable to command livestock owners to clean up animal waste — which when left stagnant will leach into ground water. Spreading manure, an organic fertilizer Fertilizers (also spelled fertilisers) are compounds given to plants to promote growth; they are usually applied either via the soil, for uptake by plant roots, or by foliar feeding, for uptake through leaves. ... Leaching is the process of extracting a substance from a solid by dissolving it in a liquid. ...


Nitrogen testing and modeling

Soil Nitrogen Testing (N-Testing) is a technique that helps farmers optimize the amount of fertilizer applied to crops. By testing fields with this method, farmers saw a decrease in fertilizer application costs, a decrease in nitrogen lost to surrounding sources, or both.[23] By testing the soil and modeling the bare minimum amount of fertilizer needed, farmers reap economic benefits while the environment remains clean.


Organic Farming

Researchers at the National Academy of Sciences found that that organically fertilizing fields "significantly reduce harmful nitrate leaching" over conventionally fertilized fields.[24] President Harding and the National Academy of Sciences at the White House, Washington, DC, April 1921 The National Academy of Sciences (NAS) is a corporation in the United States whose members serve pro bono as advisers to the nation on science, engineering, and medicine. ...


Natural state of algal blooms

Although the intensity, frequency and extent of algal blooms has tended to increase in response to human activity and human-induced eutrophication, algal blooms are a naturally-occurring phenomenon. The rise and fall of algae populations, as with the population of other living things, is a feature of a healthy ecosystem.[25] Rectification actions aimed at abating eutrophication and algal blooms are usually desirable, but the focus of intervention should not necessarily be aimed at eliminating blooms, but towards creating a sustainable balance that maintains or improves ecosystem health.


See also

It has been suggested that Anoxic sea water, Oxygen minimum zone, and Hypoxic zone be merged into this article or section. ... This is a list of topics related (in whole or in part) to (a) phenomena in the natural environment which have a definite or significantly possible connection with human activity or (b) features of human activity which have a definite or significantly possible connection with the natural environment, even if... Oligotrophic refers to any environment that offers little to sustain life. ... There are very few or no other articles that link to this one. ...

References

  1. ^ Bartram, J., Wayne W. Carmichael, Ingrid Chorus, Gary Jones,is not hat easy and Olav M. Skulberg. 1999. Chapter 1. Introduction, In: Toxic Cyanobacteria in Water: A guide to their public health consequences, monitoring and management. World Health Organization. URL: WHO
  2. ^ Rodhe, W. 1969 Crystallization of eutrophication concepts in North Europe. In: Eutrophication, Causes, Consequences, Correctives. National Academy of Sciences, Washington D.C., Standard Book Number 309-01700-9, 50-64.
  3. ^ ILEC/Lake Biwa Research Institute [Eds]. 1988-1993 Survey of the State of the World's Lakes. Volumes I-IV. International Lake Environment Committee, Otsu and United Nations Environment Programme, Nairobi.
  4. ^ [http://www.cbd.int/doc/case-studies/inc/cs-inc-iucn-12-en.pdf "Barotse Floodplain, Zambia: local economic dependence on wetland resources."] Case Studies in Wetland Valuation #2: IUCN, May 2003.
  5. ^ APIS. 2005. Website: Air Pollution Information System Eutrophication
  6. ^ Hornung M., Sutton M.A. and Wilson R.B. [Eds.] (1995): Mapping and modelling of critical loads for nitrogen - a workshop report. Grange-over-Sands, Cumbria, UK. UN-ECE Convention on Long Range Transboundary Air Pollution, Working Group for Effects, 24-26 October 1994. Published by: Institute of Terrestrial Ecology, Edinburgh, UK.
  7. ^ a b c Smith, V.H.; G.D. Tilman, and J.C. Nekola (1999). "Eutrophication: impacts of excess nutrient inputs on freshwater, marine, and terrestrial ecosystems". Environmental Pollution 100: 179-196. 
  8. ^ Horrigan, L.; R. S. Lawrence, and P. Walker (2002). "How sustainable agriculture can address the environmental and human health harms of industrial agriculture". Environmental health perspectives 110: 445-456. 
  9. ^ a b Bertness et al. 2001
  10. ^ Anderson D.M. 1994. Red tides. Scientific American 271:62-68.
  11. ^ Lawton, L.A.; G.A. Codd (1991). "Cyanobacterial (blue-green algae) toxins and their significance in UK and European waters". Journal of Soil and Water Conservation 40: 87-97. 
  12. ^ Martin, A.; G.D. Cooke (1994). "Health risks in eutrophic water supplies". Lake Line 14: 24-26. 
  13. ^ Shumway, S.E. (1990). "A review of the effects of algal blooms on shellfish and aquaculture". Journal of the World Aquaculture Society 21: 65-104. 
  14. ^ Cole J.J., B.L. Peierls, N.F. Caraco, and M.L. Pace. (1993). Nitrogen loading of rivers as a human-driven process. Pages 141-157 in M.J. McDonnell and S.T.A. Pickett, editors. Humans as components of ecosystems. Springer-Verlag, New York, New York, USA.
  15. ^ Howarth R.W., G. Billen, D. Swaney, A. Townsend, N. Jaworski, K. Lajtha, J.A. Downing, R. Elmgren, N. Caraco, T. Jordan, F. Berendse, J. Freney, V. Kudeyarov, P. Murdoch, and Zhu Zhao-liang. 1996. Regional nitrogen budgets and riverine inputs of N and P for the drainages to the North Atlantic Ocean: natural and human influences. Biogeochemistry 35:75-139.
  16. ^ Sharpley A.N., T.C. Daniel, J.T. Sims, and D.H. Pote. 1996. Determining environmentally sound soil phosphorus levels. Journal of Soil and Water Conservation 51:160-166.
  17. ^ Buol S. W. 1995. Sustainability of Soil Use. Annual Review of Ecology and Systematics 26:25-44.
  18. ^ Paerl H. W. 1997. Coastal Eutrophication and Harmful Algal Blooms: Importance of Atmospheric Deposition and Groundwater as "New" Nitrogen and Other Nutrient Sources. Limnology and Oceanography 42:1154-1165.
  19. ^ Mungall C. and D.J. McLaren. 1991. Planet under stress: the challenge of global change. Oxford University Press, New York, New York, USA.
  20. ^ Raike A., O.P. Pietilainen, S. Rekolainen, P. Kauppila, H. Pitkanen, J. Niemi, A. Raateland, J. Vuorenmaa. 2003. Trends of phosphorus, nitrogen, and chlorophyll a concentrations in Finnish rivers and lakes in 1975-2000. The Science of the Total Environment 310:47-59.
  21. ^ Angold P. G. 1997. The Impact of a Road Upon Adjacent Heathland Vegetation: Effects on Plant Species Composition. The Journal of Applied Ecology 34:409-417.
  22. ^ Kumazawa K. 2002. Nitrogen fertilization and nitrate pollution in groundwater in Japan: Present status and measures for sustainable agriculture. Nutrient Cycling in Agroecosystems 63:129-137.
  23. ^ Huang W. Y., Y. C. Lu, and N. D. Uri. 2001. An assessment of soil nitrogen testing considering the carry-over effect. Applied Mathematical Modelling 25:843-860.
  24. ^ (2006-3-21) "Reduced nitrate leaching and enhanced dentrifier activity and efficiency in organically fertilized soils". Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Retrieved on 2007-09-30. 
  25. ^ Cite error 8; No text given.
  • Bertness M.D., P.J. Ewanchuk, and B.R. Silliman. 2002. Anthropogenic modification of New England salt marsh landscapes. Ecology 99:1395-1398.
  • O’Brien, J.W. 1974. The dynamics of nutrient limitation of phytoplankton algae: A model reconsidered. Ecology 55, 135-141.
  • Carpenter, S.R., N.F. Caraco, and V.H. Smith. 1998. Nonpoint pollution of surface waters with phosphorus and nitrogen. Ecological Applications 8:559-568.

is the 299th day of the year (300th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1994 (MCMXCIV) The year 1994 was designated as the International Year of the Family and the International Year of the Sport and the Olympic Ideal by the United Nations. ... Year 2007 (MMVII) is the current year, a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar and the AD/CE era in the 21st century. ... is the 273rd day of the year (274th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ...

External links

  • NutrientNet, an online nutrient trading tool developed by the World Resources Institute, designed to address issues of eutrophication. See also the PA NutrientNet website designed for Pennsylvania's nutrient trading program.


  Results from FactBites:
 
Eutrophication (668 words)
Cultural or anthropogenic "eutrophication" is water pollution caused by excessive plant nutrients.
Studies of gas exchange and internal mixing in ELA lake 227 during the early 1970's clearly demonstrated that algae in lakes were able to obtain sufficient carbon dioxide, via diffusion from the atmosphere to the lake water, to support eutrophic blooms.
Eutrophication research at the ELA has continued in Lake 227, albeit on a much reduced scale.
Lake Eutrophication (574 words)
Other activities that contribute to eutrophication are lawn and garden fertilizers, faulty septic systems, washing in or near the lake, erosion into the lake, dumping or burning leaves in or near a lake, and feeding ducks.
Eutrophic water was water high in nutrients and, by extension, a eutrophic lake was a lake that contained eutrophic water.
Now a eutrophic lake may not only be a lake with high levels of nutrients, but also a very shallow pond, full of rooted aquatic plants, that may or may not have high nutrient levels.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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