The Effects of Fertilizers on Aquatic and Terrestrial Ecosystems

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1- b. What are the macronutrients found in agricultural fertilizers?

v Chemical fertilizers have 16 macronutrients that are necessary for plant development and growth.

v They include oxygen, hydrogen, and carbon, which are sourced from water and carbon dioxide (Chislock, Doster, Zitomer, and Wilson, 2013).

v Zinc, molybdenum, manganese, iron, copper, chlorine, magnesium, calcium, sulphur, potassium, phosphorous, and nitrogen, which are obtained from the soil.

 b. How do plants in terrestrial ecosystems (e.g. crop plants) respond to fertilization?

v The Brassica rapa’s response to fertilization is exactly similar to those responses of the aquatic systems to the P additions (Smith and Schindler, 2009).

v  Since N is regarded as the main scarce nutrient, terrestrial ecosystems is, therefore, extremely sensitive to the variations in the external addition of N.

v By that, N eutrophication of biosphere may, therefore, have a relatively long-term impact on the structure as well as the dynamics of the terrestrial ecosystem.

v  A number of terrestrial ecosystems are more likely to lose plant.

c. What normally limits growth?

v Limitation of light entry into the water by high concentration of inorganic rich solids have the potential of limiting the development and growth of suspended algae and benthic in the terrestrial ecosystems, just like in the same way it have always limited phytoplankton biomass present in turbid reservoirs (Smith, Tilman, and Nekola, 1999).

d. How do fertilizers affect these limits?

v Fertilizers affect the limits by enhancing the growth of crops and algae.

v The algae cover the water surface inhibiting light penetration, thus, affecting the limits.

e. What happens to growth in plants that receive more fertilizer than they require?

v It will alter the soil pH by creating too much salt in the soil.

v This inhibits the existence of useful microorganisms.

v The plants may also grow with poor root system.

v And according to Dania, Akpansubi, and Eghagara (2014), poor root system may lead to inadequate supply of nutrients and water to the plant.

v  The plant may finally fail to develop maximally or die.

2-h. What conclusions can you draw from your results?

v Inappropriate application of fertilizers in an ecosystem will lead to death of certain crops.

v It may also lead to growth of other crops like algae that may affect the development of other key plants in the ecosystem (Dania, Akpansubi, and Eghagara, 2014.)

b. What questions do your results raise?

v The questions being are on the efficient use of fertilizers to boost plant growth and the possible side effects.

c. What experiments would you suggest that would contribute to your understanding of this topic?

v The relative impact of fertilizer use on plants and aquatic animals and fish (Yang et al., 2014).

v  The experiment I would suggest would be about, “What is the relationship between fertilizer use and the health of other aquatic life?”


Chislock, M. F., Doster, E., Zitomer, R. A. and Wilson, A. E. 2013. Eutrophication: Causes,            Consequences, and Controls in Aquatic Ecosystems. Nature Education Knowledge      4(4):10

Dania, S., Akpansubi, P., and Eghagara, O. 2014. Comparative effects of different fertilizer          sources on the growth and nutrient content of Moringa (Moringa oleifera) seedling in a greenhouse trial. Advances in Agriculture.

Smith, V. andSchindler, D. 2009. Eutrophication science: where do we go from here? Trends in         Ecology and Evolution.

Smith, V., Tilman, G., and Nekola, J. 1999. Eutrophication: impacts of excess nutrient inputs on         freshwater, marine, and terrestrial ecosystems. Environmental Pollution. 100; 179-196.

Yang, X. et al. 2014. Scaling of nitrogen and phosphorus across plant organs in shrubland        biomes across Northern China. Scientific Reports.

August 04, 2023


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