Problems

15.1. (a) Suppose that you are given the task of determining the habitat of a benthic organism, say a worm or a clam. Make a list of questions you would need to know the answer to in order to specify the habitat fairly completely.

(b) Suppose, instead, that you were asked to specify the organism's niche. What else would you want to ask?

15.2. Adding composted manure improves the friability and nutrient-holding capacity of a soil. Why is it better for the manure to be composted instead of being added untreated?

15.3. A lake receiving conventionally treated wastewater is starting to show signs of eutrophication. You might be able to control the algal blooms by upgrading the treatment plant for nutrient removal, but you must determine whether to require nitrification/denitrification, phosphorus removal, or something else. How could you determine the limiting nutrient in a laboratory experiment? What limiting nutrients would you test for?

15.4. Name one or two advantages that each of the following types of phytoplankton has over the other for survival in lakes: cyanobacter, diatoms, dinoflagellates.

15.5. Draw an hypothetical energy-flow diagram for a river as it travels from its source to its mouth. Show the allochthanous inputs, the different kinds of dissolved and particulate organic matter, and exchanges with sediments, floodplains, salt marshes, and its ocean discharge. Perform a similar analysis for nitrogen.

15.6. What advantages and disadvantages do constructed wetlands for wastewater treatment have over conventional biological wastewater treatment?

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