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And this is happening on a macro scale.

This is another one, and you’ve probably seen this, especially in places that might have sewage runoff. But now since they’re getting all of these phosphates, the algae can go crazy.

Let’s say this is a lake of it and we already eutrolhication that things like phosphates are the rate-limiting factors for plants.

Once this algae dies, and it starts to float down, that can be food for bacteria. And so you might think that this is a good thing but as we’ll see over the course of this video, this is really about over-nourishment, and over-nourishment to the point that it’s actually causing very bad things to happen in our biosphere.

Eutrophication and dead zones

And the biggest culprit here tends to be phosphates, the phosphorous in them, and that helps the plants grow more. And because of that, we humans have added a lot of nitrogen and especially phosphates to plants in order to grow them better, because we need the plants to live, to have more food. And it actually creates what we call dead zones.

Eu referring to well and then trophic or trophia, referring to nourished, or nourishment. This is potential eutrophication in this picture. And you see they are typically concentrated where we have more industrialized nations, where we have either more agriculture happening, more industrial agriculture, where they might be using more fertilizer and also where you might have more ehtrophication from cities that will have nutrients like the phosphates, that will cause this eutrophication to happen.


That could be food for bacteria, and as the bacteria consume it, they also use oxygen. So the general idea, we’ve already talked about things like nitrogen and especially phosphorous being a rate-limiting factor for how fast plants can grow. Eutrophicwtion algae can go crazy and grow all over the surface of the lake. And so the irony here is, by having this fertilizer runoff, by having these extra phosphates, this eutrophication, by allowing one thing to grow far more than it would have otherwise, it actually ends up depleting the oxygen that keeps other things from growing.

We talked about that in the nitrogen and the phosphorous cycle videos. And you might say okay, well why is this bad? In order to ensure that the crops grow as much eutrophicatioj they can, we add fertilizer to it, and a lot of that fertilizer might be nitrogen, it might be phosphorous in the form of phosphates, so we add fertilizer. If you’re seeing this message, it means we’re having trouble loading external resources on our website.

And it comes from, or it’s derived from, the Greek for well nourished. Let me show you some more. And so, you could have photosynthetic organisms like algae in this lake and if it didn’t have the fertilizer you might just have a little bit of the algae.

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Eutrophication and dead zones. You can see the algeal, algal blooms throughout this area.


Eutrophication POGIL

So these are all the crops that we’re growing. Intro to biogeochemical cycles. It’s making the water less clear. And this is a serious problem. On one level, phosphates and fertilizers, nitrates seem like a good thing, it’s helping eutrophicatipn grow more crops, but we have to be very careful with where it actually ends up.

Pogil Activities For Ap Biology Eutrophication Answers

We have some pictures here. It’s really happening because there’s extra nutrients that are allowing these algal pofil or aldral algo, I don’t know, to go out of control and when they decompose the bacteria is sopping up all the oxygen, nothing else can live.

We’ve already talked about the role of oxygen in respiration. So this is a serious ecological thing that eutrophicatoin have to think about. Now a lot of times when we think of ocean animals, so when we think of, I’ll eutrophicaation draw a little fish here, and so that’s a little fish, we don’t often think about the necessity of oxygen in the water. And this is, let’s say that’s a farm, right over there on the land where we’re growing our crops.

So what has happened is, so let’s say that potil right over here is some land. But now all of a sudden, if this bacteria, because they’re able to decompose all this algae that is dying, if they’re consuming all of the oxygen, well it depletes the oxygen from the water so that the ocean animals can’t live there anymore.