Nutrient pollution refers to a form of pollution in which nutrients, usually nitrogen and phosphorus, which are present in high concentrations is harmful to the ecosystem. Nutrient pollution is primarily a problem in aquatic ecosystems such as streams, rivers, bays and lakes. The issue of concern in lakes and relatively closed or contained bays, as well as Chesapeake Bay. Nutrient pollution caused primarily by the use of mineral fertilizers in agriculture, and waste from animal operations. The negative effects of this pollution are disturb, damage or destroy aquatic ecosystems, which can often have negative impacts on the environment, destroying the fishing industry.
This article provides a brief overview of nutrient pollution, including its causes in agriculture and its effects on the transport and fishing industries. The article concludes some specific recommendations that can be done to prevent this type of pollution, both for the farmers, as well as concerned citizens.
How to nutrient pollution?
Nutrients such as nitrogen and phosphorus are essential for all living ecosystems. Phosphorus is present in the soil, and usually originates from the underlying rocks or geological substrates. Nitrogen is present in the atmosphere, but only enters the ecosystem through a complex process of nitrogen fixation, which is implemented primarily of certain plants and bacteria. Plant growth is limited availability of nitrogen, phosphorus and other nutrients, so in agriculture, crop yields can often be improved by applying fertilizers containing these nutrients.
Plants, however, will only use a certain amount of nutrients, after as much as they need, then they are limited by other factors, such as the availability of sunlight or water, and the remainder of the nutrients remain in the soil, where the leeches when rains, and flees to the groundwater or nearby streams.
While nutrients are beneficial for some plants, excessive nutrients can cause problems in aquatic ecosystems, primarily because it can cause algae blooms. Algae, which are fast-growing microbes and simple plants to respond to the influx of nutrients, which is growing rapidly. New growth can choke out existing plants, cloud water and clog waterways. When the algae begin to die, the process uses the dissolved oxygen, and if the algae bloom is large enough, can create a dead zone. This process is called eutrophication. Eutrophication is primarily a problem in lakes and enclosed bodies of water, but it occurs in rivers and bays, as well. Even in areas where eutrophication does not occur, nutrients still can harm and disrupt ecosystems, altering the balance of different types.
Impact on fisheries:
The issue of pollution caused by runoff of nutrients from agriculture is not just a question of environmental protection. This form of pollution has immediate and tangible economic impacts. When the aquatic ecosystem is disturbed, the population of all animals, including fish, crabs, oysters and other shellfish, are disrupted. In many cases, as in the Chesapeake Bay, the entire fishing industry was destroyed. Entire cities, rely on fishing for their livelihood, were driven to the economic collapse as a result of the last populations of fish, partly because of nutrient pollution, in combination with other types of agricultural and industrial pollution.
The causes of nutrient pollution:
The vast majority of cases of pollution caused by nutrients within agriculture. The main culprits are two excessive use of fertilizers for growing crops and breeding business waste runoff on farming operations, such as pig farms and chicken farms.
Nutrient runoff is wasted resources:
Because nutrients are valuable inputs in the agricultural process, including nutrient pollution, unnecessary waste, waste from the entrance, or lose a resource that is discarded. In sustainable agricultural practices, the farmer will only apply to the amount of fertilizer needed, and nutrients are taken up entirely of crops that are grown. In sustainable animal production, animal waste will be collected and used as fertilizer for other crops. For example, traditional agricultural methods to use cow manure and large animals, as well as chicken and pig waste to fertilize other crops.
Point to Hope:
This last point is the realization of hope. Nutrient pollution is not necessary, it is ineffective. This problem can be solved. But there are other ways in which people can prevent or reduce the effects of this form of pollution. One simple but powerful solution to create a buffer zone, wild green spaces, along roads. By filling in areas along streams and rivers with abundant plant growth, plants will extract nutrients from the water before it flows into the river, and use it for their growth. Preservation and restoration of wetlands also has a similar effect, filtering nutrients from water, and plants can use them for their own growth. Raising awareness about these issues, we can ultimately solve the problem of nutrient pollution.