EUTROPHICATION AND HARMFUL ALGAL BLOOMS

 

Eutrophication is a syndrome of ecosystem, response to the addition of artificial or natural substances such as nitrates and phosphates through fertilizer, sewage, etc that fertilize the aquatic ecosystem.

The growth of green algae which we see in the lake surface layer is the physical identification of an Eutrophication.

Some algae and blue-green bacteria thrive on the excess ions and a population explosion covers almost entire surface layer is known as algal bloom.  Nitrogen testing is a technique to find the optimum amount of fertilizer required for crop plants. It will reduce the amount of nitrogen lost to the surrounding area.

 

 

HARMFUL ALGAL BLOOMS

Algae or phytoplankton are microscopic organisms that can be found naturally in coastal waters. They are major producers of oxygen and food for many of the animals that live in these waters.

Algal blooms can be any color, but the most common ones are red or brown.

Most algal blooms are not harmful but some produce toxins and do affect fish, birds, marine mammals and humans.

Use of algae

Most species of algae or phytoplankton serve as the energy producers at the base of the food web, without which higher life on this planet would not exist.

Why Red Tide is a misnomer?

“Red Tide” is a common name for such a phenomenon where certain

phytoplankton species contain pigments and “bloom” such that the human eye perceives the water to be discoloured.

Blooms can appear greenish, brown, and even reddish orange depending upon the type of organism, the type of water, and the concentration of the organisms.

The term “red tide” is thus a misnomer because blooms are not always red, they are not associated with tides, they are usually not harmful, and some species can be harmful or dangerous at low cell concentrations that do not discolour the water.

What are the causes of these blooms?

Two common causes are nutrient enrichment and warm waters.

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