The Importance Of Algae Consumption Of Oxygen

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Algae contribute to about half of all oxygen production(Chapman, 2013). They are photosynthetic, meaning that they produce their own food from sunlight, water, and nutrients, and are usually found in any water habitat(Smithsonian, 2016). The fact that algae produce oxygen is important because dissolved oxygen is very important to the health about of a water body(Water properties: dissolved oxygen, 2016). Human activity runoff is a major source of water pollution(Runoff, 2016). Runoff can pick up chemicals, fertilizers, spilled gasoline, and other toxic substances from urban, suburban, or large rural areas, and deposit them into the water, which contaminates the water(Runoff, 2016). Human activity runoff affects marine ecosystems through this …show more content…
Usually, the amount of phosphorus in a body of water controls the amount of algae in the water, so the more nutrients there are in water(because algae also require other nutrients, the right pH, temperature, and light levels to grow), the more algae that grows(General algae information, n.d). Algae are at the bottom of the food chain, and are primary producers, making algae essential to a healthy lake(General algae information, n.d). Although algae are important to bodies of water, too much algae can actually harm an ecosystem rather than help it(Nutrients: too much of a good thing, n.d). Algae may grow faster than the ecosystem can take if there is nutrient pollution(Nutrient pollution, 2016). Nutrient pollution is caused by too much nitrogen and phosphorus in the air and water(Nutrient pollution, 2016). It can also come from natural sources such as the weathering of rocks, it can come from oceans mixing because of currents, or the more common reason is that human sources, such as runoff and farming, cause nutrient pollution(What is nutrient pollution?, 2014). Also, if …show more content…
If the water moves rapidly, there is usually more dissolved oxygen while if the water is still, there is usually less dissolved oxygen(Water properties: dissolved oxygen, 2016). Also, the concentration of dissolved oxygen is related to the temperature(Water properties: dissolved oxygen, 2016). If there is too little dissolved oxygen in the water, then eutrophication can occur(Water properties: dissolved oxygen, 2016). Also, too many organisms living in a water body can cause eutrophication because bacteria in the water breathe oxygen as the organic matter decays after the organisms die(Water properties: dissolved oxygen, 2016). Eutrophication can also happen if there are too many nitrates and phosphates(Nutrient pollution- eutrophication, 2008). Too many nitrates and phosphates also can create algae blooms, which is a problem because when algae die, the bacteria that eat the dead algae use up a lot of oxygen, which further decreases the dissolved oxygen in the water, like the problem of too many organisms living in an aquatic ecosystem(Nutrient pollution- eutrophication, 2008). Other than triggering toxic algae blooms such as red tides or brown tides, eutrophication can encourage the growth of Pfiesteria, which is a single-celled organism that can release toxins into the water that can cause bleeding sores on the fish and eventually kill

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