February 15, 2009
BEE 3299 – Assignment 4.1
The attributes of the subcomponents that collectively make up
Lake Cayuga’s ecosystem are many and various, including biotic as
well as abiotic factors.
The biotic features of the lake include many of
the residential species, organisms and plants.
For example, the biotic
factors include the plants (algae) that can be found at the bottom of
the lake, as well as the many fish species and the (almost) invisible
microorganisms that are constantly moving about in the water.
other hand, the abiotic features of lake Cayuga include the actual
water that is in the lake, the rocks around and at the bottom of the
lake, as well as the physical attributes of the water (and the
These physical attributes include the tide, the
wind around/on the lake and the depth of the water.
Another attribute of the lake Cayuga ecosystem is the exchange
of matter and energy between its components.
Depending on the
season, the weather around the lake will affect the temperature of the
water in the lake as well as the surface movement of the water.
examples, in the winter the water will be extremely cold (maybe
frozen) and if it is a windy day, then the tide will be substantially
When it is a nice day, the sun will shine on lake Cayuga and
raise the temperature of the water.
Within the water, the exchange of
matter and energy continues as the many fish species eat each other,
the plants at the bottom of the lake and the tiny microorganism that
are constantly floating around.
In order to obtain energy, the plants in
lake Cayuga must absorb nutrients from the sun, water and soil at the
bottom of the lake.
Since the Lake Source Cooling (LSC) system
operates in lake Cayuga, this implies the lake will be warmer than
usual due to the release of heat from the warm water that is returned
into the lake. The heat released into the lake via the warm water from
the LSC project will raise the temperature of the entire lake as well as
change the chemical and mineral makeup of the water, which will
undoubtedly negatively affect the many fish species and plants that
were accustomed to living under different temperatures and
The most direct impact of the LSC project’s interaction with lake
Cayuga is to raise the temperature of the water.
As the water
temperature increases, the level of oxygen and other important
nutrients will change.
According to the reading from the Marietta
website, an increase in water’s concentration of phosphate (which can
be caused by temperature change) can have detrimental effects on the
fish and plant species living in the water.
For example, extremely high
levels of phosphate in the water will cause an overgrowth of algae,