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Arts FINAL AHS 2.docx

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McDougle 2. Eutrophication in fresh and salt bodies of water has proven to be an environmental issue that depletes ecosystems as a result of simplification.According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, eutrophication is “the process by which a body of water becomes enriched in dissolved nutrients that stimulate the growth of aquatic plant life usually resulting in the depletion of dissolved oxygen” (“Eutrophication”). When nutrients increase the growth of plant life within bodies of water, the plants prevent the penetration of sunlight and reduce the amount of oxygen within the water. When the algae block the sunlight, other plant life at the bottom of the water cannot receive the sunlight to carry out photosynthesis and therefore cannot release oxygen.Also, when the algae die and float to the bottom, oxygen is used in its decomposition, reducing the oxygen available to the other parts of the ecosystem, like fish. Because of this, the other species cannot carry out processes that require oxygen, such as cellular respiration. When the species die within the water, the biodiversity decreases and the ecosystem goes from a complex system to a simple system—relating to Wessel’s idea of entropy. Because the influx of nutrients initiating eutrophication result from human interference, humans are responsible for the ecosystem reduction that results from eutrophication. Eutrophication relates to entropy because it takes complex ecosystems and simplifies them to the point they cannot function. Asolution to eutrophication—and to many of the Earth’s prevalent water issues—would be if humans realized their impact, valued the importance of water, and appreciated the species they coexist with. Each of the writers studied this semester support the idea of change and advocate for humans to take responsibility. Specifically, Leopold indicates the value of water as a unifier among all species. He describes not just how “the enthusiasm of geese for . . . water is a subtle thing,” but how cardinals, grouse, meadow-mice, and the many other organisms in contact with water’s influential presence reap its benefits.Although humans use water and build structures around it, their tendency to overlook its role in nature and its impact on every McDougle 2 ecosystem results in their heedless treatment of it. Wessels also believes that the solution to eutrophication and environmental issues in general is human awareness and appreciation. He blames progress within mankind for the “loss of clean air and water, loss of other species who are truly part of our ancestral tree” (Wessels xiv). The lack of connection between humans and the species they coexist with contributes to the harm humans create. Just as Leopold and Wessels advocate for, if humans were to better appreciate water and the species they inhabit th
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