from The Open University
Alternatively you can skip the navigation by pressing 'Enter'.
The world’s busiest railway 2015 – Mumbai Railway: Episode 4Saturday, 3rd October 2015 16:55 - BBC TwoThis final episode considers the challenges faced by the historic Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus - and asks what the... Read more: The world’s busiest railway 2015 – Mumbai Railway: Episode 4
The Bottom Line: Autumn 2015: Art and the Business of TasteSaturday, 3rd October 2015 17:30 - BBC Radio 4
The Great British Year: WinterMonday, 5th October 2015 21:00 - BBC Four
Canals: The Making of a Nation: HeritageTuesday, 6th October 2015 20:00 - BBC Four
The Bottom Line: Autumn 2015: Art and the Business of TasteAvailable for over a yearHow do you value something like a painting? What makes one artist worth more than another? Who decides what is in... Read more: The Bottom Line: Autumn 2015: Art and the Business of Taste
BBC Inside Science: Preserving global diversity: Kew specialAvailable for over a year
Countdown To Life: The Extraordinary Making Of You: The Final PushAvailable until Saturday, 31st October 2015 00:15
The ascent of woman: PowerAvailable until Friday, 30th October 2015 02:30
Who will lead Britain out of the European UnionPerhaps it's not surprising that campaigners against the European Union don't want to work... Read more: Who will lead Britain out of the European Union
OpenLearn Live: 2nd October 2015Two mathematicians who threw shapes, Brexit, canals -a collection of free learning through... Read more: OpenLearn Live: 2nd October 2015
Learning to teachThis free course, which comprises four study units, is aimed at people who are considering... Try: Learning to teach now
English: skills for learningThis course is for anybody who is thinking of studying for a university degree and would like to... Try: English: skills for learning now
Managing eutrophication is a key element in maintaining the earth's biodiversity....
Managing eutrophication is a key element in maintaining the earth's biodiversity. Eutrophication is a process mostly associated with human activity whereby ecosystems accumulate minerals. This unit explains how this process occurs, what its effects on different types of habitat are, and how it might be managed.
By the end of this unit you should be able to:
- Describe the principal differences between a eutrophic and an oligotrophic ecosystem.
- Explain the mechanisms by which species diversity is reduced as a result of eutrophication. (Questions 2.1 and 2.2)
- Contrast the anthropogenic sources that supply nitrogen and phosphorus to the wider environment, and describe how these sources can be controlled. (Question 3.1)
- Describe how living organisms can be used as monitors of the trophic status of ecosystems. (Question 4.1)
- Compare the advantages and disadvantages of three different methods for combating anthropogenic eutrophication. (Question 4.2)
- Current section: Introduction
- Learning outcomes
- 1 Introduction
- 2 Effects of eutrophication
- 3 Causes and mechanisms of eutrophication
- 4 Managing eutrophication
- 4.1 Measuring and monitoring eutrophication
- 4.2 Reducing eutrophication
- 4.3 Reducing the nutrient source
- 4.3 Reducing the nutrient source, continued
- 4.4 Reducing nutrient availability
- 5 Summary
Study this free course
Enrol to access the full course, get recognition for the skills you learn and track your progress. Make your learning visible!
Eutrophication describes the biological effects of an increase in the concentration of nutrients. The collective term ‘nutrients’ refers to those elements that are essential for primary production by plants or other photosynthetic organisms. Eutrophication is most often caused by increases in the availability of nitrogen and phosphorus, commonly present in soil and water in the form of nitrate and phosphate, respectively. However, altered concentrations of any plant nutrient may have a recognizable biological effect. Eutrophication can occur in any aquatic system (freshwater or marine), and the term is also used to describe the process whereby terrestrial vegetation is affected by nutrient-enriched soil water.
This OpenLearn course is an adapted extract relevant to The Open University course S216 Environmental science which is no longer taught by the University. If you want to study formally with us, you may wish to explore other courses we offer in this.
This is an extract from an Open University course which is no longer available to new students. If you found this interesting you could explore more free Environmental Science courses or view the range of currently available OU Environmental Science courses.
Copyright & revisions
Originally published: Monday, 16th May 2011
Last updated on: Thursday, 21st July 2011
- Creative-Commons: The Open University is proud to release this free course under a Creative Commons licence. However, any third-party materials featured within it are used with permission and are not ours to give away. These materials are not subject to the Creative Commons licence. See terms and conditions. Full details can be found in the Acknowledgements section.
- This site has Copy Reuse Tracking enabled - see our FAQs for more information.
If you enjoyed this, why not follow a feed to find out when we have new things like it? Choose an RSS feed from the list below. (Don't know what to do with RSS feeds?)
Remember, you can also make your own, personal feed by combining tags from around OpenLearn.
- Latest OpenLearn pages
- Latest pages from OpenLearn - Environmental Science
- Latest pages tagged - biodiversity
- Latest pages tagged - phytoplankton
- Latest pages tagged - ecosystem
- Latest pages tagged - algae
- Latest pages tagged - nitrogen
- Latest pages tagged - phosphorus
- Latest pages tagged - S216_1
- Latest comments on this page