One of our readers recently requested that we share all the information we have on small black worms that live in eutrophic water. Eutrophication is a form of water pollution that occurs when excessive fertilizers run into lakes and rivers. This encourages algal bloom (the growth of algae), as well as the growth of other aquatic plants. This “bloom” sounds positive, but there are some negative environmental effects. Eutrophication usually leads to depleted oxygen levels and generally poor water quality. In addition, the sudden growth of algae and aquatic plants causes overcrowding and competition over resources like sunlight, space, and oxygen.
There are a lot of worms that thrive in an aquatic environment. However, we don’t know of many that prefer polluted water. Tubifex worms, or sludge worms, are the most commonly known worms that live in highly polluted waters. They ingest sediments, and then can selectively digest bacteria, and finally absorb molecules though their body walls. They can survive with small amounts of oxygen, which makes it easier for them to live in polluted waters than other species of worms.
To conclude, a reader asked us to speculate on what kind of black worms live in eutrophic, or polluted, water. We aren’t sure but we provided some information!