Role of Cyanobacteria in Eutrophication

The cyanobacteria are the causative agents of blooms in aquatic systems such as marine, estuarine, and freshwater ecosystems. Climate change and eutrophication progress the reproduction of the cyanobacteria. The cyanobacteria identified in the freshwater lakes include Anabaena, Microcystis, and Cylindrospermopsis. The cyanobacteria found in the saltwater ecosystem include Lyngbya, Trichodesmium, and Synechococcus. Cyanobacteria can absorb a large amount of phosphorous for aiding their metabolism. Great flexibility in the type of nitrogen source used for metabolism supports them in the formation of blooms in eutrophication. The diazotrophs utilize molecular nitrogen for the metabolisms. The formation of the blooms in the water bodies is associated with the concentration of phosphorus and nitrogen. A drop in the N and P concentration will force the cyanobacteria the formation of blooms. The formation of blooms for favoring the eutrophication is promoted by the increased temperature. The presence of the raw materials for photosynthesis in excess volumes can cause eutrophication of the lake by the action of the cyanobacteria.

Causes of Eutrophication:
The eutrophication of the lake is normally carried out by the cyanobacteria in natural conditions due to the gradual deposition of sediments in the lake over a long period. Human activities are one of the leading actions for promoting cyanobacterial blooms and eutrophication. The over-usage of nitrogenous fertilizers is one of the causes of eutrophication. The flooding due to excess rainfall will carry the excess nitrogenous fertilizers from the agricultural spots to the freshwater bodies. These nitrogen-enriched conditions will trigger cyanobacteria to undergo excessive replication and result in the formation of blooms. The hypoxia conditions generated will destroy the normal lifestyle of the aquatic species and will promote the eutrophication of the lake. The quality of water is adversely affected.

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Consequences of Eutrophication caused by Cyanobacterial Blooms:

The purity of the water is significantly reduced by the eutrophication by the cyanobacteria and the blooms tend to be foul-smelling, noxious, and significantly lower the quality of water in the lakes. The high rate of photosynthesis will lower the dissolved carbon dioxide levels in the water. This will simultaneously raise the pH of the water. The organisms employing chemosensory measures for the detection of food sources are blinded by the rise of the pH in the water. This will lead to the nutritional deprivation and death of most of the organisms thriving in the bottom of the bed. The death of these blooms will force the microbes to utilize the oxygen present in the water and will trigger the condition of hypoxia in the lake. These regions of the lakes are called dead zones because of their oxygen-deprived nature and it cannot a large amount of life. The toxins such as the anatoxin and microcyst in are generated by the action of cyanobacteria during the formation of blooms. These toxins can destroy fisheries, elevate the health risk in the human population depended on the respective water source.

Control Measures of Eutrophication:

Various control measures had been formulated for reducing eutrophication in the lakes. The measures include:

The changing of the ratio of nutrients will trigger an unfavorable environment for eutrophication.

The employment of proper levels of herbicides and algaecides.

The water-based stains are employed for the shading of the water bodies.

The physical mixing inhibits the formation of cyanobacterial blooms.

The diversion of abundant nutrients in the lake will inhibit eutrophication.

The biomanipulation is employed for the restoration of the native conditions of the lake.

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