Benefits of Cultural Eutrophication
Eutrophication is the development where lakes age as a result of addition of nutrients (Miller & Spool, 2011). The process is commonly slow but is quickly facilitated by either natural or human activities. The nutrients have an effect of stimulating the growth of free floating marine plants called phytoplankton that negatively influence animal life in the system. Cultural Eutrophication is caused by man-made activities such as land clearing, farming, and industrial activities that result in addition of phosphates and nitrates in bays, estuaries, lakes and even rivers (Laws, 2000).
Sediments arising from human activities are considered to be pollutants in excess but if introduced in moderations or monitored, then they can have benefits in terms of food production, formation of useful rocks through sedimentation, and sources of fertilisers (Miller & Spoolman, 2011). In terms of food production is that water bodies that are mesotropic—higher nutrient inputs and primary rates of production—are very good breeding grounds for fish and other aquatic life. These sites are very essential when searching for food since the rate of production is very high resulting in many animals for harvesting. Also the sediments containing phospahates and nitrates can accumulate in water beds over sometime resulting in sedimentary rocks. Sedimentary rocks such as limestone can be very useful in cement production so as Gypsum that is used in the ceramic industry. Furthermore, the sediments accumulating in the water beds are very nutritious and can be recycled through harvesting and used as fertiliser in farms. The fertilisers harvested are both organic and inorganic and are cheaper hence assist greatly in farm production.
The negative and positive effects of cultural eutrophication can be balanced through making sure that nutrient levels do not accumulate to hypereutrophic levels or if excessive levels are attained, then interventions be introduced to balance them (Scholten, 2005). Preventive measures to negative effects of eutrophication are: treatment of run-offs from agricultural and industrial lands; reduced use of lawn fertilisers; and purchasing detergents and fertilizers that are low in phospahates. Recovering of hypereutrophic levels are attained through: introduction of inverterbrates such as dragon-flies, mayflies and other flies that would recolonise the system; and oxygen replenishment strategies such as direct oxygenation of water (Scholten, 2005).
Laws, E. A. (2000). Aquatic Pollution: An Introductory Text. Canada: Wiley and Sons. pp. 60-67
Miller, T.G., & Spoolman, S. (2011). Cengage Advantage Books: Living in the Environment. Ohio: Cengage Learning. Pp. 536-538
Scholten, M.C. (2005). Eutrophication Management and Ecotoxicology. New York: Springer. Pp. 3-34