FAQ: What Are The Biological Processes That Can Affect Dissolved Oxygen Concentration?

Dissolved oxygen concentrations are constantly affected by diffusion and aeration, photosynthesis, respiration and decomposition. While water equilibrates toward 100% air saturation, dissolved oxygen levels will also fluctuate with temperature, salinity and pressure changes ³.

What biological factors affect dissolved oxygen?


  • Aquatic life- animals living in water use up dissolved oxygen.
  • Elevation- the amount of oxygen in elevation increases.
  • Salinity (saltiness)- Salty water holds less oxygen than fresh water.
  • Temperature- cold water holds more dissolved oxygen than warm water.

What are the biological effect of oxygen in the ocean?

Biological oxygen consumption that results during this time due to the respiration of all the consumers. These range from miniscule bacteria to the zooplankton, and up to the higher organisms such as fish.

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What most directly affects the amount of dissolved oxygen in a body of water?

As the chart shows, the concentration of dissolved oxygen in surface water is affected by temperature and has both a seasonal and a daily cycle. Cold water can hold more dissolved oxygen than warm water. In winter and early spring, when the water temperature is low, the dissolved oxygen concentration is high.

What biological process will increase dissolved oxygen availability?

Photosynthesis contributes to an increase in dissolved oxygen levels during the day. However, there are biological processes in water that consume oxygen such as respiration by organisms and decomposition of organic matter by microorganisms.

What causes dissolved oxygen to decrease?

Low dissolved oxygen (DO) primarily results from excessive algae growth caused by phosphorus. Nitrogen is another nutrient that can contribute to algae growth. As the algae die and decompose, the process consumes dissolved oxygen. Die-off and decomposition of submerged plants also contributes to low dissolved oxygen.

What causes changes in dissolved oxygen?

Dissolved oxygen concentrations are constantly affected by diffusion and aeration, photosynthesis, respiration and decomposition. While water equilibrates toward 100% air saturation, dissolved oxygen levels will also fluctuate with temperature, salinity and pressure changes ³.

What is dissolved oxygen in water?

Dissolved oxygen (DO) is the amount of oxygen that is present in water. Water bodies receive oxygen from the atmosphere and from aquatic plants. Running water, such as that of a swift moving stream, dissolves more oxygen than the still water of a pond or lake.

How do you increase dissolved oxygen in water?

Simple aeration or agitation can increase dissolved oxygen enough to prevent problems. Injecting air or, especially, pure oxygen can increase levels as well, but only as high as saturation levels. Paying attention to temperature can also help improve DO, as colder water can hold more oxygen.

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What causes oxygen depletion in the ocean?

Ocean deoxygenation is the reduction of the oxygen content of the oceans due to human activities as a consequence of anthropogenic emissions of carbon dioxide and eutrophication driven excess production.

How does pressure affect dissolved oxygen?

Dissolved oxygen will increase as pressure increases. This is true of both atmospheric and hydrostatic pressures. Water at lower altitudes can hold more dissolved oxygen than water at higher altitudes. Gas saturation decreases by 10% per meter increase in depth due to hydrostatic pressure.

How does salinity affect dissolved oxygen?

How does salinity affect Dissolved Oxygen solubility? Dissolved oxygen decreases exponentially as salt levels increase. That is why, at the same pressure and temperature, saltwater holds about 20% less dissolved oxygen than freshwater.

Why does temperature affect dissolved oxygen?

Air and Water Temperature Increases Lower levels of dissolved oxygen due to the inverse relationship that exists between dissolved oxygen and temperature. As the temperature of the water increases, dissolved oxygen levels decrease.

How do increases or decreases in dissolved oxygen affect the quantity or variety of organisms in the water?

When dissolved oxygen becomes too low, fish and other aquatic organisms cannot survive. The colder water is, the more oxygen it can hold. As the water becomes warmer, less oxygen can be dissolved in the water.

What natural processes decrease dissolved oxygen levels?

Natural processes also affect the dissolved oxygen levels: Warm water holds less dissolved oxygen than cold water. The lowest levels of DO usually occur in the morning, because photosynthesis stops at night while respiration continues. Water at higher altitudes holds less oxygen.

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Does pollution affect dissolved oxygen?

Nutrient pollution – Nutrient pollution can cause excess plant and algae growth. As above, the bacteria that eat dead plant material consume oxygen from the water. Warmer water holds less DO (Dissolved Oxygen) than colder water.

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