Navigation Links
Double trouble for water life

Excess phosphorus and nitrogen produced by human activities on neighboring land is making its way into our coastal waters and degrading both water quality and aquatic life. Although historically the priority has been to control phosphorus, Professor Hans Paerl, from the University of North Carolina in the US, argues that nitrogen imbalance is equally damaging. He adds that a dual nutrient strategy tackling both phosphorus and nitrogen surplus - is necessary to manage effectively this nutrient over-enrichment and resulting habitat degradation of coastal waters in the long-term. His perspective (1) is published online in Springer's journal Estuaries and Coasts.

The combination of human population growth, urbanization, and agricultural and industrial expansion is causing unprecedented and alarming rates of nutrient over-enrichment and accelerated plant growth in receiving waters worldwide. The increasing levels of nitrogen and phosphorus are of particular concern because an excess of these two nutrients promotes accelerated production of plant-based organic matter (or eutrophication) to the extent that excessive production, including harmful algal blooms, contributes to the expansion of marine 'dead zones' and leads to the destruction of fisheries habitat.

The negative consequences of eutrophication have been apparent in freshwater habitats for a long time and phosphorus has been identified as the key nutrient responsible. While freshwater lakes have, over the past few decades, received continual doses of phosphorus, many coastal systems have experienced ever-increasing nitrogen loads from rapidly growing human sources, with severe negative impacts on ecosystem structure and function. This has led to the need for nitrogen control measures.

Professor Paerl shows that the argument for reducing surplus phosphorus alone, to control eutrophication, is idealized and conceptually and technically inapplicable to many freshwater and marine ecosystems. He adds that focusing on phosphorus alone ignores the fact that natural and human influences that affect upstream waters have significant adverse consequences on downstream waters. Therefore, it is essential to look at nutrient control measures and their effects across the entire freshwater to marine continuum, not each one in isolation.

Professor Paerl concludes that "the dual nutrient approach represents an evolutionary step in arresting eutrophication, with consideration of the larger scale freshwater-marine continuum being the driving force. Only focusing on a stream, lake, or river within this hydrologic continuum may at best only solve part of the larger scale eutrophication problem and at worst aggravate downstream ecological conditions."


Contact: Joan Robinson

Related biology news :

1. New book, Untangling the Double Helix, explores enzymes responsible for maintaining genome integrity
2. Cells with double vision
3. Tree deaths have doubled across the western US
4. Researchers make breakthrough in the production of double-walled carbon nanotubes
5. Women double fruit, veggie intake with switch to Mediterranean diet plan
6. A double-barreled immune cell approach for neuroblastoma
7. Gaining too much weight during pregnancy nearly doubles risk of having a heavy baby
8. Depression during pregnancy can double risk of preterm delivery
9. Boffinry and Baftas: Brothers double doctorates
10. 55th anniversary of Nobel honoring double helix continues to overlook the late Rosalind Franklin
11. Popcorn-ball design doubles efficiency of dye-sensitized solar cells
Post Your Comments:
(Date:12/1/2015)... Calif. , Dec. 1, 2015 Synaptics ... human interface solutions, today announced a new agreement with ... OEMs with real-world test and development environments that combine ... solutions. The partnership reduces the complexity of FIDO certification ... software permits Synaptics and OEMs to verify FIDO enabled ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... BEACH, Fla. , Nov. 30, 2015 /PRNewswire/ ... as a finalist in this year,s Fierce Innovation Awards:  ... of FierceHealthIT , FierceHealthcare ... was recognized as a finalist in the category ... --> ...
(Date:11/26/2015)... Research and Markets ( ) has ... - Technology and Patent Infringement Risk Analysis" report ... --> Fingerprint sensors using capacitive technology represent ... sensor vendor Idex forecasts an increase of 360% of ... and of the fingerprint sensor market between 2014 and ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:12/1/2015)... 2, 2015  Researchers using modern imaging techniques on hearts ... were able to learn about the health conditions of the ... at the annual meeting of the Radiological Society of ... France , unearthed several grave sites dating back to ... France , unearthed several grave sites dating ...
(Date:12/1/2015)... , ... December 01, 2015 ... ... the keynote talks at SPIE Photonics Europe 2016, the premier research conference ... , The event will run 4-7 April 2016 in the Square Brussels ...
(Date:12/1/2015)... , December 1, 2015 ... a touch activated lancet that features Owen Mumford,s unique ... , booth 1403, Unistik® Touch is a touch activated ... --> Owen Mumford, a leading medical device ... of medical devices, available initially in the US before ...
(Date:12/1/2015)... Today the Allen Institute announced the opening ... South Lake Union neighborhood, the city,s biotechnology hub. ... Westlake Avenue North, the 270,000 square foot life sciences ... Science and the Allen Institute for Cell Science. ... the Allen Institute. "We started by building a map ...
Breaking Biology Technology: