Zoom in on microorganisms

Aquatic microorganisms: useful decomposers

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© Dennis Kunkel Microscopy, Inc.

Microorganisms are always present in water, in variable quantities. They often act as natural purifiers, degrading organic waste as well as pollutants found in these natural environments.

Not all water is fit to drink…

Only a small percentage of the many organisms present in water can be harmful to our health. If destined for human consumption, water coming from lakes and rivers must first be filtered and decontaminated to eliminate all pathogenic microbes.

Swamps : important water purification areas

Microorganisms are particularly plentiful in swamps. In addition to being a source of food for numerous animals who are then eaten by larger animals, they “digest” water pollutants, transforming them into particles that can be absorbed by vegetation. The water exiting the swamp is thus cleaner than when it entered it.

Bodies of water, like other terrestrial environments, contain great quantities and a great variety of microorganisms. In water, one can find representatives of each type of microorganism: protozoa, algae, bacteria, fungi and even viruses! Luckily for us, these microorganisms are for the most part harmless to humans.

Without microorganisms in water, there would be no fish!

You have probably heard of the “food chain”, in which plants are eaten by herbivorous animals, and then herbivorous animals are eaten by carnivorous animals. In aquatic environments, microorganisms are at the bottom of the food chain. It is because of their presence in water that fish exist.

Bacteria and fungi are very important in the food chain. They feed on other organisms! They clean the system by decomposing most of the dead organisms that they find in it.