FINAL AHS 2 - McDougle 2 Eutrophication in fresh and salt...

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McDougle 2. Eutrophication in fresh and salt bodies of water has proven to be an environmental issue that depletes ecosystems as a result of simplification. According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, eutrophication is “ the process by which a body of water becomes enriched in dissolved nutrients that stimulate the growth of aquatic plant life usually resulting in the depletion of dissolved oxygen” (“Eutrophication”). When nutrients increase the growth of plant life within bodies of water, the plants prevent the penetration of sunlight and reduce the amount of oxygen within the water. When the algae block the sunlight, other plant life at the bottom of the water cannot receive the sunlight to carry out photosynthesis and therefore cannot release oxygen. Also, when the algae die and float to the bottom, oxygen is used in its decomposition, reducing the oxygen available to the other parts of the ecosystem, like fish. Because of this, the other species cannot carry out processes that require oxygen, such as cellular respiration. When the species die within the water, the biodiversity decreases and the ecosystem goes from a complex system to a simple system—relating to Wessel’s idea of entropy. Because the influx of nutrients initiating eutrophication result from human interference, humans are responsible for the ecosystem reduction that results from eutrophication. Eutrophication relates to entropy because it
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  • Fall '13
  • Fleischmann
  • Wessels

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