Worksheet 2.4: Nutrients and eutrophication in coastal waters

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Worksheet 4: Nutrients and eutrophication in coastal waters.

Nutrients and eutrophication in coastal waters.

Have another read of the page on Eutrophication in coastal waters in the section on Oceanic Nutrients. Then read the text below.

More than 60% of the world's population lives within 100 kilometers of the coast and future population growth in the coastal region is predicted to be greater than anywhere else on Earth. We not only use the coast as a place to live but also for commercial activities such as mineral extraction, disposal of waste products such as sewage and industrial waste, fishing and tourism. Large populations and high levels of industrial activity mean that in some coastal areas human activity has damaged natural ecosystems.

One of the main problems affecting coastal waters are the high levels of nitrogen and phosphorous based pollutants entering the water. These pollutants come mainly from human activities and include inputs from agriculture, industry and vehicles. Many of these pollutants can be used by phytoplankton as nutrients. Overloading coastal waters with nutrients results in excessive phytoplankton growth. Large growths of phytoplankton are known as blooms and these large blooms can have undesirable effects.


1. Create a poster which describes the text above. You can draw the poster on your own (or in a group), you can also use pictures from magazines or the web.

2. Do an internet-search on nutrients and the problem of eutrophication in coastal waters. See whether you can find out more information about eutrophication in coastal waters.


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About this page:

author: Dr. Yvonne Schleicher- University of Nürnberg, Nürnberg, Germany
scientific reviewing: Dr. Lucinda Spokes - School of Environmental Sciences, University of East Anglia, Norwich, U.K.
educational reviewing: Dr. Helmut Schrettenbrunner and Julia Heres - University of Nürnberg, Nürnberg, Germany
last update: 2003-11-07

Last modified: Thursday, 16 May 2019, 4:28 PM