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And the biggest culprit here tends to be phosphates, the phosphorous in them, and that helps the plants grow more. So this is a serious ecological thing that we have to think about. To log in and use all the features of Khan Academy, please enable JavaScript in your browser. The algae can go crazy and grow all over the surface of the lake.

And it’s not just fertilizers, even some detergents in the past, they have, you have sodium phosphates, which once again, can cause this eutrophication. And so, you could have photosynthetic organisms like algae in this lake and if it didn’t have the fertilizer you might just have a little eutrophictaion of the algae.

So what has happened is, so let’s say that this right over here is some land. It’s making the water less clear. But now since they’re getting all of these phosphates, the algae can go crazy. Let’s say this is a lake of it and we already know that things like phosphates are the rate-limiting factors for plants. And you see they are typically concentrated where we have more industrialized nations, where we have either more agriculture happening, more industrial agriculture, where pogi, might be using more fertilizer and also where you might have more runoff from cities that will have nutrients like the phosphates, eugrophication will cause this eutrophication to happen.

We’ve already talked about the role of oxygen in respiration. This is potential eutrophication in this picture. Now a lot of times when we think of ocean animals, so when we think of, I’ll just draw a little fish here, and so that’s a little fish, we don’t often think about the necessity of oxygen in the water.

Once this algae dies, and it starts to float down, that can be food for bacteria. On one level, phosphates and fertilizers, nitrates seem like a good thing, it’s helping us grow more crops, but we have to be very careful with where it actually ends up.


And this is, let’s say that’s a farm, right over there on the land where we’re growing our crops. That could be food for bacteria, and as the bacteria consume it, they also use oxygen. We have some pictures here. Eutrophicagion then we have a Dead Zone.

Pogil Activities For Ap Biology Eutrophication Answers

And this is a serious problem. And if you were to zoom in, let’s say on the Caspian Sea, you can see this in more detail, you can visually see this. Intro to biogeochemical cycles. But ocean animals need oxygen just like we do, and they get that oxygen, waves can crash and as the waves crash it brings in oxygen from the surface that ocean animals can use in order to live, in order to do their respiration.

It could just make the surface of the water a little bit less clear, a little bit green, but hey, there’s living things eutrophicwtion.

Well the issue is what happens once this algae dies. And it actually creates what we call dead zones. So these are all the crops that we’re growing.

Eutrophication eutropication dead zones. Let me show you some more. So, right over here is a satellite image of the Caspian Sea and you can see the eutrophication.

We talked about that in the nitrogen and the phosphorous cycle pkgil.

The bacteria will consume all of euttophication oxygen in the water. So the general idea, we’ve already talked about things like nitrogen and especially phosphorous being a rate-limiting factor for how fast plants can grow. And so the irony here is, by having this fertilizer runoff, by having these extra phosphates, this eutrophication, by allowing one thing to grow far more than it would have otherwise, it actually ends up depleting the oxygen that keeps other things from growing.

You eutrophicaton see the algeal, algal blooms throughout this area. And it comes from, or it’s derived from, the Greek for well nourished.

And so this is where that algae is getting over-nourished. So right over here is kind of a global picture of dead zones that we have eutrophicatkon you see them all through the world.

If you’re seeing this message, it means we’re having trouble loading external resources on our website. It’s getting way more phosphates than would have typically happened just if there wasn’t fertilizer, if there wasn’t this runoff happening.


And you might say okay, well why is this bad? So this fish is going to die and other animals like it aren’t going to live because there’s not gonna be enough oxygen in that water.

Eutrophication and dead zones

And this is happening on a macro scale. Eu referring to well and then trophic or trophia, referring to nourished, or nourishment.

So you have more phosphates in this, let’s say this is a lake of some kind, so I’ll make it big. This is another one, and you’ve probably seen this, especially in places that might have sewage runoff.

That helps the plants grow more, which seems like a good thing, but there’s another side effect that happens because of this. Video transcript – We’re now going to talk about something called eutrophication. And so you might think that this is a good thing but as we’ll see over the course of this video, this is really about over-nourishment, and over-nourishment to the point that it’s actually causing very bad things to happen in our biosphere.

And because of that, we humans have added a lot of nitrogen and especially phosphates to plants in order to grow them better, because we need the plants to live, to have more food.

It’s really happening because there’s extra nutrients that are allowing these algal blooms or aldral algo, I don’t know, to go out of control and when they decompose the bacteria is sopping up all the oxygen, nothing else can live.

Eutrophication and dead zones (video) | Khan Academy

As the water, either due to rain or irrigation for the crops, as the water flows from those crops into local streams and rivers, it’ll eventually find its way into local streams and rivers. Science Biology Ecology Biogeochemical cycles. In order to ensure that the crops grow as much as they can, we add fertilizer to it, and a lot of that fertilizer might be nitrogen, it might be phosphorous in the form of phosphates, so we add fertilizer.

But now all of a sudden, if this bacteria, because they’re able to decompose all this algae that is dying, if they’re consuming all of the oxygen, well it depletes the oxygen from the water so that the ocean animals can’t live there anymore.