Florida has a large amount of lakes and they are all created differently. They may all look the same but they are actually different from one another. Scientists that study lakes group them together based on the ecologically-relevant criteria that is know as trophic state. These groups of what is in a lake determine which group they are in.
The factors that contribute are lake quality and the amount of nutrients in the water.The typical nutrients in lakes are phosphorus and nitrogen. The amount of these nutrients depends on the general lake productivity.
Plants and phytoplankton need nutrients to grow and enhance the aquatic wildlife. The different trophic states are as following
- Oligotrophic, nutrient poor, clear, blue water
- Mesotrophic, clear, blue water with intermediate nutrients
- Eutrophic is murky with nutrient rich, dark water
A clear and blue lake does not always mean it is a healthy lake. The health of a lake depends on how it was formed and any abnormal problems such as pollution that are occurring.
Eutrophication can happen to many lakes that are near farmland. The runoff of the farmland will go into the lakes and increase the amount of nutrients in the water. This will cause the plants to over grow. The excessive amounts of nutrients creates unhealthy lakes.
Origin of Lakes
The trophic state of a lake depends on how it started. Florida lakes are different than northern lakes by the hydrogeological lake formations. Northern lakes have carved out depressions from glacial processes. “For example, most northern lakes formed via glacial processes; as glacial sheets retreated northwards across the continents they gouged out large crevasses and depressions along the continent.” Most of the northern lakes were created by nutrient poor and clear water
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