Where do aquatic animals get their nitrogen?
Aquatic organisms need nitrogen to live and can find it in different sources throughout nature. There are two ways a living organism can get the nitrogen it needs: Eat aquatic plants, such as blue-green algae, which take nitrogen from the water and convert it to ammonia or nitrate.
How does nitrogen get into the ecosystem?
Bacteria in the ocean take the nitrogen, make it into ammonium, then into nitrate. Now, it is used by primary producers, eaten by consumers, and excreted out. The decomposers can now decompose the waste. The bacteria perform denitrification and release nitrogen into the atmosphere.
What is nitrogen in aquatic ecosystems?
Nitrogen and phosphorus are nutrients that are natural parts of aquatic ecosystems. Nitrogen is also the most abundant element in the air we breathe. Nitrogen and phosphorus support the growth of algae and aquatic plants, which provide food and habitat for fish, shellfish and smaller organisms that live in water.
How does nitrogen and phosphorus get into aquatic ecosystems?
In particular, N and P are attached to soil particles that are transported via storm water runoff directly to receiving surface waters such as streams, rivers, lakes, wetlands, and oceans.
How do fish produce nitrogen?
Ammonia is formed from the metabolism of protein and is the major waste product of fish. The majority of ammonia from fish is excreted through the gills, with relatively little being lost through urine and feces. Ammonia is also formed as uneaten feed or other organic matter in an aquarium decomposes.
How do plants get nitrogen?
Plants cannot themselves obtain their nitrogen from the air but rely mainly on the supply of combined nitrogen in the form of ammonia, or nitrates, resulting from nitrogen fixation by free-living bacteria in the soil or bacteria living symbiotically in nodules on the roots of legumes.