Water Turbidity Effects Aquatic Life

From: Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation.

Turbidity Effects Aquatic Life

Increased turbidity in water causes environmental consequences such as reduction in ecological productivity, habitat quality, faster filling of lakes and affects the colour of the water.

The particles make the water absorb heat from the sunlight, resulting in the reduction of oxygen concentration in the water.

Turbid lakes or ponds bottom temperatures are generally lower than ones with low turbidity. In many lakes, lower temperatures means lower productivity.

Turbidity also interferes with the penetration of light. This reduces photosynthesis and thereby decreases the primary productivity upon which the fish food organisms depend. As a consequence, fish production is reduced.

For example, productivity of farm ponds and hatchery ponds.
Clear Intermediate Muddy
Ponds Ponds Ponds
Average turbidity, units less than 25 25-100 over 100
Fish yield, lbs per acre 161.5 94 29.3
Ratio of volumes of net plankton 12.8 1.6 1

In reservoirs, average volume of plankton in surface waters was 13.8 times greater in the clear reservoir than in the turbid one.

Also, by excluding light, turbidity makes it difficult for aquatic life to find food. Conversely, some organisms may be similarly protected from predators.

End of Water Turbidity Effects Aquatic Life

More on Water Turbidity…
Water Turbidity Effects on Fish

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Water Sediment and Particulates

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