Skip to main content
Geosciences LibreTexts

14.7: Physical Factors - Nutrients

  • Page ID
    • Contributed by Miracosta Oceanography 101
    • Sourced from Miracosta)


    Nutrients: are not "food," but are more like vitamins and minerals (fertilizer) essential to life functions.

    • Aids in the production of food (primary production).
    • Nutrients are essential to support photosynthesis—the process that provides sugars (energy) to support all other life processes.
    • There are many more intermediate processes requiring nutrients to produce other complex organic compounds (proteins, carbohydrates, fats, etc).

    Sources of Nutrients: Upwelling and continental weathering & erosion
    Primary nutrients = nitrates and phosphates
    Secondary = minerals: calcium, iron, zinc, sodium, and many others.

    Coastal upwelling
    Figure 14.13. Upwelling brings nutrients to the surface where they are utilized in primary production.
    • Was this article helpful?