Primary Nutrients and Eutrophication
An overabundance of nutrients—primarily nitrogen and phosphorus—in water starts a process called eutrophication.
Nitrogen and phosphorus are essential to all life. Both are essential aquatic nutrients for plant growth.
Algae feed on the nutrients, growing, spreading, and turning the water green. Algae blooms can smell bad, block sunlight, and even release toxins in some cases.
Aquatic vegetation of the free floating type such as algae depends on dissolved nitrogen and phosphorus compounds for nutrient supply. Growth of these species may also be influenced by the availability of other required elements.
Dense, rapidly multiplying algal growths or blooms sometimes occur in water bodies that periodically receive increased concentrations of nitrogen or phosphorus. These dense growths are generally undesirable to water uses and may interfere with other forms of aquatic life.
If the water body undergoes an algae bloom, then algal debris accumulates as a result of the sudden die back of the algal bloom.
The decomposition of this oxidizable bloom consumes dissolved oxygen. If dissolved oxygen get lower, aquatic life and fish are stressed. If it gets very low many organisms will die.
The enrichment of a water body with nutrients is termed eutrophication. High production is stimulated by increased amounts of primary nutrients. It is accompanied by a high rate of growth of plant material in the water.
Troublesome production rates of vegetation presumably can only occur when optimum supplies of all nutrients are present and available. It seems obvious that the rates at which nutrients can become available must be considered.
End of Primary Nutrients and EutrophicationNext Topics about Primary Nutrients and Eutrophication…
The Concept of Eutrophication
Significance of the Primary Nutrients
Chemical Water Quality Parameters
Toxic Constituents in Water
Pesticides in Water
Oil in Water
Go Back to:
Physical Water Quality
Chemical Water Quality
Biological Water Quality
Water Basics 101
School Science Kits
Water information presented for Science Students, Parents and Teachers
Water Test Kits
School Water Test Kits