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oligotrophic

oligotrophic Applied to waters or soils that are poor in nutrients and with low primary productivity. Typically, oligotrophic lakes are deep, with the hypolimnion much more extensive than the epilimnion. The low nutrient content means that plankton blooms are rare and littoral plants are scarce. The low organic content means that dissolved oxygen levels are high. By comparison with eutrophic lakes, oligotrophic lakes are considered geologically young, or little modified by weathering and erosion products.

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oligotrophic

oligotrophic Applied to waters poor in nutrient and with low primary productivity. Typically, oligotrophic lakes are deep, with the hypolimnion much more extensive than the epilimnion. The low nutrient content means that plankton blooms are rare and littoral plants are scarce. The low organic content means that dissolved oxygen levels are high. By comparison with eutrophic lakes, oligotrophic lakes are considered geologically young, or little modified by weathering and erosion products.

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oligotrophic

oligotrophic Describing a body of water (e.g. a lake) with a poor supply of nutrients and a low rate of formation of organic matter by photosynthesis. Compare dystrophic; eutrophic; mesotrophic.

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oligotrophic

oligotrophic Applied to waters poor in nutrient and with low primary productivity. Compare EUTROPHIC.

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Oligotrophic

Oligotrophic


The term oligotrophic is derived from the Greek term meaning "poorly nourished" and refers to an aquatic system that has low overall levels of primary production, principally because of low concentrations of the nutrients that plants require. The bottom waters of an oligotrophic lake do not become depleted of oxygen in summer, when rates of primary productivity in surface waters of the lake are typically at their highest. Oligotrophic bodies of water tend to have a more diverse community of zooplankton than waters with high levels of primary production. The term can also be used to describe any organism that only needs a limited supply of nutrients, or an insect that only utilizes a few plants as habitat .

[Marie H. Bundy ]

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