BY5.8 Fertilisers

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Nitrogen containing fertilisers:

  • crop harvesting removes mineral elements
  • cropping interrupts the naural cycle of nutrients
  • nutrients can be replaced through the addition of fertilisers
  • most fertilisers supply nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium
  • use of fertilsiers has led to use of pooerer areas of land for agriculture
  • overruse has led to environemtal problems
  • minerals may be washed into waterwats and increase algae growth
  • this contriutes to eutrophication

Problems caused by fertilisers:

  • reduced specieis diversity in grasslands
    • fertilisers increase the growth of grasses and plants sucj as netle whch shade out smaller plants
  • nitrates leaching into rivers
    • europhication is a natural process where the concentration of salts builds up in the water
    • the salts necessary for eutophication are mainly nitrates and phospahtes
    • leaching of these salts intot ehsurrounding land is a slow and natural porcess
    • but sewage and fertilisers are an additional source of salts
  • nitrate is highly soluble and readily leached from the soil and washed into rivers
  • this leads to algal bloom where the water becomes densely populated with species of algae as their growth is enhanced by the availability of nutrients
  • the water becomes green and light is unable to penetrate it
  • plants in deeper regions of water are unable to photosynthesise
  • general decrease…


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