Eutrophication vs. Succession

Difference Between Eutrophication and Succession

Eutrophication and Succession are gradual natural changes that occur in the environment. They are triggered by substances both natural and unnatural, and by occurrences that cannot be stopped by men. Knowledge about both can help you in the future, it is important to know how to change or control them.


The word is derived from two words, ‘eutrophia’ in Greek and ‘eutrophie’ in German. Both these words mean proper nutrition, development and health. It is the addition of natural or artificial substances such as phosphates and nitrates, by sewage or fertilizers, in an aquatic system. In this condition, there is a large increase or a burst of phytoplankton in a body of water. Other adverse effects include the reduction of the oxygen present in water and reducing populations of fishes and other aquatic animals.


This refers to more predictable changes in the structure or composition of an ecological community. This happens mainly through the formation of a new land features or territory, such as lave flow, a landslide, fire, wind or any kind of logging. The succession is divided into two kinds, primary and secondary succession. They are classified depending on where they occur.

What is the difference between Eutrophication and Succession?

Causes of Eutrophication are natural. For example, there can be reduction of nourishment from soil and erosion of the rocks. The causes can also be artificial or man made like, discharge of wastes which have phosphates. In succession, the causes are mostly the natural occurrences such as erosion, catastrophic factors, landslides and the like. Eutrophication cause fatal diseases, death and malnutrition of some animals. With Succession, the changes are visible. When Eutrophication increases, it can have very serious effects on the aquatic life; it may even destroy many species of life. Eutrophication happens slowly and often it is too late for man to do something with it. Both can have both good and bad results.


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