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Are fertilizers dangerous enough to kill wildlife?


Gebraroest
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For my chemistry class, I have to make a fictional news report in regards to

• Golf courses use fertilizer and irrigation systems to sustain the vegetation. However, chemical substances, when combined with water, may run off and pollute local water systems.

 

At first I had a brilliant idea of me doing a news report of beavers or some other aquatic animal found dead because they drank the water that was containmented with fertilizer, now I'm starting to have my doubts, are fertilizers able to seriously harm or kill small animals? And if so, what is the most dangerous kind of fertilizer?

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You could frame your article about how happy the beavers are for the extra fertilizer... something about it helping tree growth in the region and them having extra materials for building dams.

 

"This just in... Bruno the brown beaver thanks golf course field crew for their use of extra fertilizers. He was quoted as saying, "Thanks to them, I was able to add a second story and a guest bathroom to my dam."

 

After all... It is fiction, right? Why not have some fun with it? ;)

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There really *isn't* that much of a negative impact so long as the fertilizer is applied properly. You don't spread it when it might rain, because a hard rain will lead to runoff, which is slightly harmful, and a waste of money.

And most fertilizer is either nitrogen or lime or things like that...which I don't see as being too incredibly harmful. But that's just what I think, I'm no chem expert.

Modern fertilizers are actually quite safe, and most farmers/groundskeepers understand how to apply them safely.

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That's a good idea, but my report has to talk about the negative impact of fertilizers :(

Ah... Then perhaps your best bet is to explore the idea of plankton blooms and the resulting dead zones which occur from fertilizer runoff into the water. Essentially, the fertilizer causes a huge surge of algae growth, and that growth leads to a lack of oxygen in the water (which kills animals, fish, and even other plants).

 

If you're looking for a realistic angle, that might be a good path to explore.

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dead_zone_%28ecology%29

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Algal_bloom

 

EDIT: It seems CharonY beat me to the same idea by just a few short seconds. :D

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Aw that's huge disappointment lol.. thanks for the advice guys, I'll talk about the report of dead fishes due to explosive growth of algae lol. Thanks guys! You've been a great help & This is a really friendly community! :)


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Oh, iNow, you mentioned plants and animals will die due to lack of oxygen.

What kind of plant and animal did you have in mind? I could still make the beaver idea work! Lol

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Oh, iNow, you mentioned plants and animals will die due to lack of oxygen.

What kind of plant and animal did you have in mind? I could still make the beaver idea work! Lol

I like your enthusiasm, but that would be tough since beavers tend to live above water where oxygen is still available to them in the air, and the death of animals to which I referred above was specific to animals living under water where the lack of oxygen due to algal bloom has its impact. That means things like fish, clams, oysters, lobsters, and other similar.

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However, you might be able to say that the hypoxic environment caused their normal food source (aquatic plants and things like that) to die which caused the beavers to get thin, emaciated, and maybe even starve in some instances. That could work... Just bear in mind that they also eat the inner bark of trees, so that would help reduce the impact of the lost aquatic plants in their diet. It could be a vitamin deficiency issue... Less aquatic plants in their diet so they're not getting the vitamins and minerals they need so they are more prone to illness and disease.

 

I should probably stop now. While I'm having fun with this, it's your assignment, not mine. ;) Good luck.

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Some oxygen will go from the air into the water, but it happens at a much slower pace than the algal growth uses up that oxygen. So, the fertilizer makes the algae grow like it's on steroids, the algae uses up a large amount of oxygen, and the water becomes an environment of very low oxygen. While oxygen from the air will enter the water, it won't enter in a fast enough pace to keep up with how quickly algae is using that oxygen... especially when the algae is boosted by fertilizer runoff.

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For my chemistry class, I have to make a fictional news report in regards to

 

 

At first I had a brilliant idea of me doing a news report of beavers or some other aquatic animal found dead because they drank the water that was containmented with fertilizer, now I'm starting to have my doubts, are fertilizers able to seriously harm or kill small animals? And if so, what is the most dangerous kind of fertilizer?

 

Fertiliser isn't itself all that dangerous. However run off can cause cyanobacteria or dinoflagellate blooms. These produce toxins that can kill people and animals.

 

Cyanobacteria are also called blue-green algae, and that cyanobacteria blooms are often called algal blooms, despite cyanobacteria being bacteria rather than algae. However dinoflagellates are actually algae.

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For my chemistry class, I have to make a fictional news report

 

I'm a bit confused as to why a science class would be told to write fiction (that task should be left for a literature class). If you wrote one, would the teacher accept a factual news report?

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I'm a bit confused as to why a science class would be told to write fiction (that task should be left for a literature class). If you wrote one, would the teacher accept a factual news report?

 

My guess is the teacher wants them to write a piece of 'faction': A piece, in the style of a news report, put together from imagination but using real data and/or incidents:

 

Faction, a neologism, in literature, describes a text as based on real historical figures, and actual events, woven together with fictitious allegations.

 

Or something along those lines.

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