Academic Master

Environmental Science

Eutrophication and its Effects on the Ecosystem

Eutrophication is a situation whereby water is enriched by excess nutrient salts (phosphates and nitrates) which in the long run alters the physical composition of the ecosystem. The changes caused include the death of fish species, aquatic plants and algae growth increases, there is also the decline of the quality of water.

Effects on the Ecosystem

An optimum amount of algae in water promotes growth and increases the number of fish. When the algae overgrow on the hand, it causes disequilibrium in water. There is discolouration of water which is caused by specific constituents such as zooplankton, fungi, and bacteria. The level of oxygen concentration decreases majorly in deep lakes towards the end of autumn and summer. Good fish disappear in the water, and unwanted fish such as carp then replace them. Eutrophication also changes the smell and taste of water.

In many cases, the cyanobacteria that produce the red tide generates strong toxins that are poisonous. The toxins can also lead to the death of animals and human beings if consumed on drinking water.

Effects of Sediment Pollution

Sediment pollution is a state whereby organic pollutants and other heavy metals lead to pollution. The sediments incase explicitly polluted contributes to the pollution of water. The sediments that keep on accumulating in water body’s cause’s death of aquatic life.

Trophic Status of the Lake

The lake has a high phosphorus concentration of about 46 micrograms per litre. By use of Carson’s Trophic State Index Lake Trophic Classification Diagram showed that the lake has a eutrophic status. This meant that the lake has a high concentration of phosphor which is high than the actual level of the lake. Due to this, the Secchi depth transparency automatically will be minimal due to eutrophic nature of the lake and the high levels of the phosphor. The end of the lake will be increased growth of algae which will limit light penetration. This will in turn cause death of aquatic life in the lake.

To reduce the amount of phosphorus in the lake, one needs to change the rate of water that flows into the lake. By this, the amount of phosphorus that is accumulated in the lake will reduce the inflow water also contains some phosphorus.

Impacts of the lake to the Gulf of Mexico

Most of the water that flows into the Gulf of Mexico contains a high concentration of phosphorus. This implies that there will be an overgrowth of algae which will lead to the death of aquatic life and cause a bad smell to the environment.

Cultural Eutrophication

This is the process whereby human activities such as farming accelerates natural eutrophication. The human activities increase nutrient salts into the lakes and rivers.

Ways of Reducing Phosphorus and Nitrogen in Lakes and Streams

One of the best ways to do this is by avoiding the use of fertilizer that contains phosphorus. It is essential to always check the bags before buying to look for the formula used in the fertilizer. It is also important to avoid cutting down on deep-rooted plants that are along the shoreline. These plants such as flowers and trees help in absorbing the nutrients before they go into the lake. Managing the nutrients by use of the properly provided plans which will ensure effectiveness and also protect the water bodies. The plans are meant to guide individuals on what kind of nutrients to use.



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