Eutrophication of the sea

Oxygen, light and mineral substances are very important for the sea, as they allow organisms to develop. These nutrients melt into the water and their excessive presence makes the sea particularly rich in organisms. In fact the result is an intense growth of algae and aquatic plants that develop rapidly, altering the balance of the ecosystem. Herbivores that eat algae and plants are not enough and do not manage to control these vegetal populations, that form a large quantity of decomposing material as they die. The decomposition and fermentation of dead organisms means consumption of oxygen, which is less and less available in the environment for those organisms that need it to survive. As a consequence the number of organisms drastically drops. This situation might occur in the Adriatic sea, where the Po river waters collect the agricultural, industrial and urban waste coming from the plain of the Po. These polluted waters are rich in nutrients and in the summer of 1989 a phenomenon of euthrophication occurred in the Adriatic sea, which was largely covered by a layer of mucilage produced by unusually growing algae.

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From the Multimedia section

  • water

    Map of water scarcity

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    Availability of water resources

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    life

    Algae proliferation

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    Water and man

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    Water and sustainability

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    Components of the water footprint

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  • air

    The polar bear will become extinct

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    life

    Algae living in heavily polluted

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    air

    Desertification

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  • water

    Map of water scarcity

    Look

    water

    Availability of water resources

    Look
  • life

    Algae proliferation

    Look

    water

    Water and man

    Listen
  • water

    Water and sustainability

    Listen

    water

    Components of the water footprint

    Look
  • water

    Map of water scarcity

    Look
  • water

    Availability of water resources

    Look
  • life

    Algae proliferation

    Look

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