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Aquatic Ecosystems and EutrophicationAquatic ecosystems are those which are found in lakes andoceans.Like most land-based (“Terrestrial”) ecosystems,they have producers, consumers, and decomposers.Fig. 1—a typical lake ecosystem:
One key factor for aquatic ecosystems is the degree towhich sunlight can penetrate the water.Since water isMUCH more dense than air, the sunlight will only penetrateso deeply into a lake.The region of maximum penetrationof sunlight is called the LIMNIC zone (see diagram above).Organisms can live below this region, but plants generallycannot live any deeper than this.In the lower regions of thelake, decomposers and bottom-dwelling organisms (Benthicorganisms) tend to feed on dead organic material.In the absence of disturbances, aquatic ecosystems tend tobecome stable.However, the introduction of waterpollution, in the form of agricultural run-off, can ruin anaquatic ecosystem through the process calledEUTROPHICATION.It works like this: