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Nutrient Cycle in Aquaculture System

SA3323
DR HELENA KHATOON
School of Fisheries & Aquaculture Sciences
Universiti Malaysia Terengganu
What is nutrient cycle?
Nutrient cycle (or ecological recycling) - movement &
exchange of organic & inorganic matter back into
production of living matter
the
Process is regulated by food web pathways that
decompose matter into mineral nutrients
Occur within ecosystems
Begins with incorporation of substances into bodies
living organisms from non-living reservoirs
of
What is nutrient cycle?
Materials pass from organisms that first acquire
into bodies of organisms that eat them
them
Until they complete cycle & return to non-living world,
through decomposition
Refers to biodiversity within community food web
systems that loop organic nutrients or water supplies
back into production
Biogeochemical cycles
continually through both biotic & abiotic components
of ecosystems
cyclic pathways involving biological, geological &
chemical processes
driven directly or indirectly by incoming solar radiation
and gravity connect past, present, future forms of life
3 main categories of biogeochemical cycles
Hydrologic
hydrologic (water) cycle
Gaseous - involves exchanges
& oceans
among atmosphere, biosphere, soils



Carbon Cycle
Oxygen Cycle
Nitrogen Cycle
Sedimentary - involves
back
Phosphorous cycle
Sulfur cycle
materials that move from land to oceans and
Carbon Cycling in Aquatic Ecosystems
Carbon is an element that is the basis of all forms of life
on Earth

It moves through atmosphere, lithosphere, biosphere
hydrosphere
&
Carbon cycle regulates Earth's global temperature &
controls amount of carbon dioxide in atmosphere
As carbon recycles, it is reused by numerous
organisms
Carbon Cycling in Aquatic Ecosystems
Aquatic ecosystems are those that contain plants &
animals dependent on water
If too
cool
much CO
2
is removed from atmosphere, it will

If too
it will
much CO
2
is added (or remains in) atmosphere,
warm
4 main reservoirs
Lithosphere
Biosphere
Hydrosphere
Atmosphere -
Lithosphere
Largest reservoir for earth carbon - rocks such as limestone
(CaCO
3
) deposited as sediment on ocean floor & on continents

Enters
death, burial, compaction over geologic time
becoming sediment, marine sediments, sedimentary rock,
fossil fuels
Leaves - very slowly
weathering, uplifting over geologic time, volcanic activity
exception: combustion of fossil fuels



Biosphere
Biosphere is part of the
supports life of animals
Enters
Photosynthesis
consumption
Leaves
cellular respiration
death
earth & its atmosphere which
& other living organisms


Hydrosphere
Oceans - second largest reservoir of earths carbon which play role in regulating amount of
CO
2
in atmosphere

CO
2
is readily soluble in water - some stays dissolved in sea water, some removed by


marine photosynthesizing producers & some reacts with sea water to form carbonate ions
(CO
3
2-) & bicarbonate

Enters
ions (HCO
3
-)







Weathering
Leaching
runoff
diffusion
cellular respiration
Leaves



Photosynthesis
Diffusion
incorporation into sediments
Atmosphere


The gaseous envelope surrounding
Enters
the earth





cellular respiration
combustion of wood
combustion of fossil fuels
volcanic action
diffusion from ocean
Leaves
photosynthesis
diffusion from the ocean
Flow of carbon in form of carbon
dioxide from atmosphere to biosphere
(photosynthesis) and back to atmosphere (respiration)
balance
- is approximately in
Carbon cycle
Types of ecosystem
Marine - largest ecosystems on Earth
Most important subdivisions of marine ecosystems -
oceanic, deep-water, estuarine, coral reefs, inter-tidal
coastal ecosystems
Living organisms range from bacteria, algae, corals,
bivalves, fish & mammals
&

Freshwater
Major subdivisions - lakes & ponds, rivers & streams,
reservoirs, wetlands & groundwater
Living organisms include algae, fish, amphibians & plants
Carbon Source
Main source of the Earth's carbon is carbon dioxide
gas from submarine volcanic eruptions
Some of this carbon dioxide dissolves in ocean
Another part escapes into atmosphere through
evaporation of ocean
A further part is absorbed by marine biomass such
as plankton, algae & bacteria
Photosynthesis
Plants & algae in freshwater & phytoplankton
(marine organisms & algae) use sun's energy
photosynthesis

for
They convert carbon dioxide & water they have
absorbed into sugars & oxygen
They store sugars as energy & release oxygen back
into water
Fish
Freshwater algae & marine phytoplankton
fish
are food for
Fish inhale dissolved oxygen from water with
exhale carbon dioxide back into water
their gills &
They store carbohydrates they have eaten as energy &
excrete inorganic calcium carbonate & bicarbonate
These compounds are carried by currents to deep ocean
where they precipitate
Decomposition
Dead organisms decompose on the river, lake or
sea bottom and emit carbon dioxide
The gas recycles into the freshwater
where other organisms absorb them
evaporates into the atmosphere
and sea water
or the gas
Precipitation
Rainfall dissolves carbon dioxide in the atmosphere
returns it as a mild acid to ground & water systems
&
On the ground, rain water exposed carbonate rocks
such as limestone
Limestone remains of inorganic carbonates that
precipitated as excreta from fish & the skeletons of
dead fish, corals or other marine life
Run-Off
Rainwater accumulates beneath the soil as
groundwater & runs off via rivers & lakes into seas
Its carbon dioxide content is absorbed by
freshwater & marine organisms for photosynthesis
& aquatic carbon cycle resumes
Carbon cycle in freshwater & marine
Nitrogen & Phosphorus Cycle
N & P - essential nutrients for plant growth
Accelerated input of these two nutrients into
aquatic ecosystems due to human activities, is the
primary cause of most algal bloom problems
Nutrient cycle - the ways in which these elements
are transported & transformed within the
environment, is therefore essential to
understanding & effectively managing algal blooms
N & P cycles are fundamentally different to each
other
N cycling
is mostly
- most common element in atmosphere
mediated by living organisms
-
P cycling - is primarily a chemically mediated
process that originates with the weathering of rocks
Nitrogen cycle

Nitrates are produced & used in aquatic ecosystems through a
process called nitrogen cycle
Plant & animal by products first break down to produce ammonia

Bacteria within the water oxidize that ammonia to produce nitrites,
and then other bacteria colonies oxidize the nitrites to produce
nitrates

Nitrates are then used as a fertilizer for blue-green algae & aquatic
plants, which enables plants & blue green algae colonies to grow &
perform photosynthesis

Plants become food for aquatic animals, which produce ammonia-
rich waste, & nitrogen cycle begins again
Major nitrogen & categories
Plant & animal by products produce
ammonia
Protein in dead organic matter, such as in dead aquatic plants
breaks down into ammonia as organic matter decays

Waste from living aquatic animals, as well as the waste of
terrestrial animals that streams into waterways, also contains
ammonia
Ammonia is toxic to all aquatic animal life
Meanwhile, as the proteins and waste break down into ammonia,
the living plants within the aquatic ecosystem release oxygen into
the water as a by product of their photosynthesis
Bacteria oxidize ammonia to produce
nitrites
Nitrosomonas bacteria within the water bind ammonia in water with
oxygen released by plants & oxygen that is mixed into water from air
through movement at water's surface

Oxidized ammonia that the nitrosomonas produce is called nitrite,
also called NO
2

Like ammonia, NO
2
also toxic to aquatic animal life

Nitrosomonas bacteria oxidize ammonia in order to gain energy
through oxidation, which they use to fuel their metabolic
Bacteria colonies oxidize nitrite to
produce nitrates
Colonies of aquatic nitrospira bacteria then bind another
oxygen to the nitrite, to produce nitrate (NO
3
)

& ammonia, nitrate is also toxic to
is relatively neutral when compared
Though, like nitrates
aquatic animal life, it
those chemicals
to
It is also in the form of nitrogen that can be directly absorbed
by plants & cyanobacteria
Blue-green algae & plants metabolize nitrates to
produce amino acids
Cyanobacteria (blue-green algae) are
photosynthesis
aquatic bacteria that performs
Though individual cyanobacteria are single-celled organisms, they
grow in colonies that can become so large they're visible to the
naked eye
A cyanobacterium also makes up the plant cell's chloroplast, which
is what allows the plant to perform photosynthesis
Dead plant matter left over from feeding also releases ammonia into
aquatic ecosystem, fueling nitrogen cycle
Blue-green algae & plants metabolize nitrates to
produce amino acids
Amino acids make up protein
building block of life
molecules, & protein is an essential
Nitrate acts as a fertilizer for the aquatic plants
Plants then become food
ammonia-rich waste
for aquatic animals, which produce
Dead plant matter left over from feeding also releases ammonia into
aquatic ecosystem, fueling nitrogen cycle
Process of nitrogen cycle
Assimilation conversion
NH
4
+) by phytoplankton &

organic N
of inorganic N (mostly NO
3
or
other aquatic plants, into
Ammonification NH
4
+ (re)generation, resulting from
decomposition of dead organisms & breakdown of animal
wastes

Nitrification oxidation of NH
4
+ to NO
2
- & further oxidation
of NO
2
- to NO
3
- by aerobic bacteria, which obtain energy
through nitrification process
Process of nitrogen cycle
Recycling refers to repeated movement of N through different
organisms within an estuary via assimilation, ammonification &
nitrification
Sedimentation/resuspension organic N from dead organisms
falls to the ecosystems floor & is incorporated into sediments;
disturbance of sediments can return it to water
Sediment flux release of NH
4
+ from the sediments into overlying

water
Nitrogen cycle
Nitrogen cycle
Phosphorus cycle
Phosphorus is found in soils, rock minerals,
organisms & water
living
but unlike nitrogen it is not present in atmosphere
found by itself in nature
nor
Pure phosphorus is highly reactive & rapidly
combines with oxygen when exposed to air
In natural systems it usually exists as phosphate
Forms of phosphorus in water
Orthophosphate is the major form of biologically available
phosphorus found in water. It is usually present as a
combination of HPO
4
2- and H
2
PO
4
- depending on pH

Sum of all forms of phosphorus in water is known as Total
Phosphorus (TP)
Process of phosphorus cycle
Adsorption is process where PO
4
binds to the surface of solid particles

Desorption is reverse process where adsorbed PO4 is released into water

Assimilation uptake of PO
4
& conversion to organic phosphorus, by
phytoplankton & other organisms

Mineralisation release of PO
4
from organic compounds by microbial

breakdown
Sedimentation/resuspension organic & particulate phosphorus falls to
estuary floor & is buried in sediments; disturbance of sediments can return it
to water
Sediment flux release of PO
4
from sediments into overlying water

Phosphorus cycle
http://arnica.csustan.edu/carosella/Biol4050W03/figures/phosphorus_cycle.htm
Conclusion
Nitrogen & phosphorus contribute to problem
in our coastal waterways
of eutrophication
These nutrients are present in several forms
It is important to consider not just total nutrient conc. but
of different forms of nutrient
conc.
Dissolved inorganic nutrient conc. determine what plants
can access at any time
& algae
But total conc. tell us a lot more about what may become
available over time
There are important differences between nitrogen &
phosphorus cycles
Nitrogen is found in several different bioavailable forms,
can be lost to atmosphere though denitrification
&
Phosphorus cycle is dominated by one main bioavailable
form (PO
4
) but is complicated by its reversible movement

through both living organisms (assimilation-mineralisation)
& particulate phases (adsorption-desorption)
Phosphorus does not exist as a gas & can only be physically
removed by being flushed from estuary or through permanent
accumulation in sediments
Both N & P can be released from sediments under anoxic
conditions
A coupled reduction in input of these two nutrients is only
viable long-term approach to confronting problem of
eutrophication
But direct intervention techniques provide additional options
in the short term