Eutrophication

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  • With the increase in fertilisers used in agriculture
  • When it rains, these fertilisers would be washed off the land into rivers and lakes
  • algal blooms
  • Other waste from residential and urban areas are also washed into the waters
  • The resulting increase of nitrate and phosphate in the water encourages algae growth
  • With excessive algae forming on the surface of the water, light will be unable to pass through the algae and the water to reach the plants, reducing growth and causing die-offs of aquatic plants and lowering the success of predators that need light to pursue and catch prey, causing them to die off as well due to the lack of resources to find food
  • When the algal blooms start to die off
  • microbial decomposition severely depletes dissolved oxygen, creating a ‘dead zone' lacking sufficient oxygen to support most organisms.
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