Write critical notes on the following:


Write critical notes on the following:

(a) Eutrophication

(b) Biological magnification

(c) Groundwater depletion and ways for its replenishment


(a) Eutrophication:- It is the natural ageing process of a lake caused due to nutrient enrichment. It is brought down by the runoff of nutrients such as animal wastes, fertilizers, and sewage from land which leads to an increased fertility of the lake. As a result, it causes a tremendous increase in the primary productivity of the ecosystem. This leads to an increased growth of algae, resulting into algal blooms. Later, the decomposition of these algae depletes the supply of oxygen, leading to the death of other aquatic animal life.

(b) Biological magnification: - To protect the crops from the several diseases and pests, a large number of pesticides are used. These pesticides reach the soil and are absorbed by plants with water and minerals from the soil. Due to rain, these chemicals can also enter water sources and into the body of aquatic plants and animals. As a result, chemicals enter the food chain. Since these chemicals cannot be decomposed, they keep on accumulating at each trophic level. The maximum concentration is accumulated at the top carnivore’s level. This increase in the concentration of pollutants or harmful chemicals with an increase in the trophic level is called biological magnification. For example, high DDT concentrations were found in a pond. The producers (phytoplankton) were found to have 0.04 ppm concentration of DDT. Since many types of phytoplankton were eaten by zooplankton (consumers), the concentration of DDT in the bodies of zooplankton was found to be 0.23 ppm. Small fish that feed on zooplankton accumulate more DDT in their body. Thus, large fish (top carnivore) that feed on several small fish have the highest concentration of DDT.

(c) Ground water depletion and ways for its replenishment: - The level of ground water has decreased in the recent years. The source of water supply is rapidly diminishing each year because of an increase in the population and water pollution. To meet the demand of water, water is withdrawn from water bodies such as ponds, rivers etc. As a result, the source of ground water is depleting. This is because the amount of groundwater being drawn for human use is more than the amount replaced by rainfall. Lack of vegetation cover also results in very small amounts of water seeping through the ground. An increase in water pollution is another factor that has reduced the availability of ground water.

Measures for replenishing ground water:-

(i) Preventing over-exploitation of ground water

(ii) Optimizing water use and reducing water demand

(iii) Rain water harvesting

(iv) Preventing deforestation and plantation of more trees

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