The enrichment of a terrestrial or aquatic ECOSYSTEM by the addition of nutrients, especially nitrogen and phosphorus, that results in a superabundant growth of plants, ALGAE, or other primary producers. It can be a natural process or result from human activity such as agriculture runoff or sewage pollution. In aquatic ecosystems, an increase in the algae population is termed an algal bloom.
Water Pollution, Chemical
Free-floating minute organisms that are photosynthetic. The term is non-taxonomic and refers to a lifestyle (energy utilization and motility), rather than a particular type of organism. Most, but not all, are unicellular algae. Important groups include DIATOMS; DINOFLAGELLATES; CYANOBACTERIA; CHLOROPHYTA; HAPTOPHYTA; CRYPTOMONADS; and silicoflagellates.
Oceans and Seas
A great expanse of continuous bodies of salt water which together cover more than 70 percent of the earth's surface. Seas may be partially or entirely enclosed by land, and are smaller than the five oceans (Atlantic, Pacific, Indian, Arctic, and Antarctic).
A functional system which includes the organisms of a natural community together with their environment. (McGraw Hill Dictionary of Scientific and Technical Terms, 4th ed)
Harmful Algal Bloom
An algal bloom where the algae produce powerful toxins that can kill fish, birds, and mammals, and ultimately cause illness in humans. The harmful bloom can also cause oxygen depletion in the water due to the death and decomposition of non-toxic algae species.
A rating of a body of water based on measurable physical, chemical, and biological characteristics.
An element with the atomic symbol N, atomic number 7, and atomic weight [14.00643; 14.00728]. Nitrogen exists as a diatomic gas and makes up about 78% of the earth's atmosphere by volume. It is a constituent of proteins and nucleic acids and found in all living cells.
Multicellular marine macroalgae including some members of red (RHODOPHYTA), green (CHLOROPHYTA), and brown (PHAEOPHYTA) algae. They are widely distributed in the ocean, occurring from the tide level to considerable depths, free-floating (planktonic) or anchored to the substratum (benthic). They lack a specialized vascular system but take up fluids, nutrients, and gases directly from the water. They contain CHLOROPHYLL and are photosynthetic, but some also contain other light-absorbing pigments. Many are of economic importance as FOOD, fertilizer, AGAR, potash, or source of IODINE.
A mass of organic or inorganic solid fragmented material, or the solid fragment itself, that comes from the weathering of rock and is carried by, suspended in, or dropped by air, water, or ice. It refers also to a mass that is accumulated by any other natural agent and that forms in layers on the earth's surface, such as sand, gravel, silt, mud, fill, or loess. (McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific and Technical Terms, 4th ed, p1689)
Water Pollutants, Chemical
One of the three domains of life (the others being BACTERIA and ARCHAEA), also called Eukarya. These are organisms whose cells are enclosed in membranes and possess a nucleus. They comprise almost all multicellular and many unicellular organisms, and are traditionally divided into groups (sometimes called kingdoms) including ANIMALS; PLANTS; FUNGI; and various algae and other taxa that were previously part of the old kingdom Protista.
The presence of bacteria, viruses, and fungi in water. This term is not restricted to pathogenic organisms.
The sequence of transfers of matter and energy from organism to organism in the form of FOOD. Food chains intertwine locally into a food web because most organisms consume more than one type of animal or plant. PLANTS, which convert SOLAR ENERGY to food by PHOTOSYNTHESIS, are the primary food source. In a predator chain, a plant-eating animal is eaten by a larger animal. In a parasite chain, a smaller organism consumes part of a larger host and may itself be parasitized by smaller organisms. In a saprophytic chain, microorganisms live on dead organic matter.
The science, art or practice of cultivating soil, producing crops, and raising livestock.
Conservation of Natural Resources
The protection, preservation, restoration, and rational use of all resources in the total environment.
Any significant change in measures of climate (such as temperature, precipitation, or wind) lasting for an extended period (decades or longer). It may result from natural factors such as changes in the sun's intensity, natural processes within the climate system such as changes in ocean circulation, or human activities.
The branch of science concerned with the interrelationship of organisms and their ENVIRONMENT, especially as manifested by natural cycles and rhythms, community development and structure, interactions between different kinds of organisms, geographic distributions, and population alterations. (Webster's, 3d ed)
Encyclopedias as Topic
A partially enclosed body of water, and its surrounding coastal habitats, where saltwater from the ocean mixes with fresh water from rivers or streams. The resulting mixture of seawater and fresh water is called brackish water and its salinity can range from 0.5 to 35 ppt. (accessed http://oceanservice.noaa.gov/education/kits/estuaries/estuaries01_whatis.html)
Annelids of the class Hirudinea. Some species, the bloodsuckers, may become temporarily parasitic upon animals, including man. Medicinal leeches (HIRUDO MEDICINALIS) have been used therapeutically for drawing blood since ancient times.