Algae are organisms that live in the water. Algae can rapidly grow out of control, or “bloom,” when water is warm, slow-moving, and full of nutrients.
An organism that serves as a primary producer in a food chain. Autotrophs obtain energy and nutrients by harnessing sunlight through photosynthesis (e.g. algae, Cyanobacteria, vascular plants).
Food webs are often thought of hierarchically like a pyramid, with the Basal resources from primary production and detritus providing that large stable base that supports all the animals that comprise the rest of the food web.
A term that refers to the processes in Food webs that include how energy is transferred between organisms and the environment, and the other environmental and physical aspects that control and influence those processes in the water.
Biomass describes the energy in living organisms. Biomass is transferred when organisms eat each other, from producers to consumers.
A phylum of gram-negative bacteria that obtain energy via photosynthesis (Autotrophs). Commonly referred to as Blue-green Algae, Cyanobacteria are not scientifically classed as algae. Some Cyanobacteria produce toxins that can cause acute illness following consumption or skin exposure. Cyanobacteria blooms usually form in warm, slow-moving waters rich in nutrients and can cause significant problems for […]
Dissolved Organic carbon
The fraction of Organic carbon operationally defined as that which can pass through a filter with a pore size typically between 0.22 and 0.7 micrometres. When leaves from terrestrial plants are submerged in water, 20-40% of the total leaf mass can be leached within days, contributing to riverine Dissolved Organic carbon (DOC) concentrations.
Dissolved oxygen (DO) is a measure of how much oxygen is dissolved in the water – the amount of oxygen available to living aquatic organisms. The amount of Dissolved oxygen in a stream or lake can tell us a lot about its water quality.
Ecosystem Respiration (ER)
The mineralisation of organic matter by Autotrophs and Heterotrophs – measured by the consumption of Dissolved oxygen. High levels of ecosystem respiration has the potential to lead to low oxygen levels.
A process where water has an overabundance of nutrients – especially that of nitrogen and phosphorus. Algae and other plants feed on these nutrients causing excessive growth, in some instances resulting in Algal blooms. Eutrophication can have severe consequences for water quality.