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Eutrophication

Mans impact on the environment


Objectives
All organisms cause changes in their environments, and these
changes can be beneficial or detrimental. Especially, Humans are
some of the most powerful change agents to an environment and
that can upset the delicate balance of an ecosystem.

Changes in the environment can have different effects on different organisms.
.
Definition
Eutrophication is an increase in the concentration of chemical nutrients in an
ecosystem to an extent that increases in the primary productivity of the
ecosystem. Depending on the degree of eutrophication, subsequent negative
environmental effects such as anoxia and severe reductions in water quality,
fish, and other animal populations may occur.

Eutrophication is a process whereby water bodies, such as lakes, estuaries, or
slow-moving streams receive excess nutrients that stimulate excessive plant
growth (algae, periphyton attached algae, and nuisance plants weeds). This
enhanced plant growth, often called an algal bloom, reduces dissolved oxygen
in the water when dead plant material decomposes and can cause other
organisms to die. Nutrients can come from many sources, such as fertilizers
applied to agricultural fields, golf courses, and suburban lawns; deposition of
nitrogen from the atmosphere; erosion of soil containing nutrients; and sewage
treatment plant discharges. Water with a low concentration of dissolved oxygen
is called hypoxic.


Sustainability
• Sustainable development is a process of developing land, cities,
business, communities, and so on that "meets the needs of the present
without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own
needs”

• (UN report 1987)
• Providing for today without effecting the provison
of the resource in the future

• Using a resource at a slower rate than its
creation
Objectives
• All organisms cause changes in their environments, and
these changes can be beneficial or detrimental.
Especially, Humans are some of the most powerful
change agents to an environment and that can upset the
delicate balance of an ecosystem

Knowledge and Skills
• Discuss the importance of sustainable development
• Discuss the moral obligations of man in conservation
and environmental protection
• Develop an awareness of personal lifestyle impact on
the environment
• Adopt a stand towards sustainability and conservation
and be able to hold discussions using specific examples
to justify their claims

Sustainability: Consumption of resource must be
equal or less than nature’s ability to replenish itself
Grand Banks, Canada, North Atlantic
•50 years ago, cod abundant
•Early 20th century, factory trawlers used.
•These vessels can net, fillet and freeze
enormous amounts of fish.

•Cod disappeared after a few decades of
such fishing.

•In 1992, Canadian Government imposed a
ban on cod fishing. However, cod
population did not recover for the past 11
years.
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further readings

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Earth has nearly 6.5 billion inhabitants,
more than half in six countries
In 1 second: 5 babies born
2 people die

Time required for nature to form 1 inch of topsoil
= 200 to 1000 years.

50 acres of rain forest
is destroyed every minute.

Earth lit up at night, as seen from space


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possible solutions
• set quotas
• limit use of harmful technology
• aquaculture
• education - switching consumer’s diet
• impose minimum size/age caught (ensure
young mature into adults for continued
reproduction)
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• New water
John C. Sawhill (1936-2000), president
The Nature Conservancy, 1990-2000
“In the end,
Our society will be defined
Not only by what we can create,
But what we choose not to destroy.”