Written by Erin Stewart, Territory Leader & Aquatic Biologist
Nutrients are required for all living things to survive. They are metabolized for energy or fuel so organisms can develop and grow. The nutrients humans and animals need are provided by the food we eat. When food is consumed and digested, it provides the fuel to synthesize or produce direct energy. Similarly, plants take up the nutrients they need from soil and the atmosphere through roots and leaves. In lakes and ponds, these nutrients are found suspended in the water and within bottom sediments. Aquatic plants absorb nutrients through roots down in the sediments or leaves. Submerged plants also absorb (CO2) from the water and sunlight that penetrates below the water surface.