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Expert to discuss phosphorus' impact on Gulf 'dead zone'
Date:10/28/2009

MADISON, WI, OCTOBER 27, 2009 -- Phosphorus is an essential element in production agriculture, however fertilizer runoff and wastewater discharge have led to massive eutrophication problems in water bodies worldwide.

Many researchers believe such contamination is at least partly responsible for offshore "dead zones," such as the expansive area found in the Gulf of Mexico. While wetlands often act as filtering or storage systems for nutrients, protecting our landscape from contamination, researchers still do not fully understand the complex relationships between phosphorus and wetland ecosystems.

Dr. Curtis Richardson, an internationally acclaimed ecologist and wetland soil scientist at Duke University, will share his perspectives on current phosphorus research as part of the William H. Patrick Jr. Memorial Lectureship at the 2009 Annual Meetings of the American Society of Agronomy (ASA), Crop Science Society of America (CSSA) and Soil Science Society of America (SSSA) in Pittsburgh, PA.

Richardson's lecture, "Phosphorus Biogeochemistry and Wetland Function: The State of Our Understanding," will translate phosphorus biogeochemistry research into realistic management techniques to improve wetland ecosystems while sustaining ecological functions of the landscape. It will be held Tuesday Nov. 3, from 9:55 to 11:00 am in the David L. Lawrence Convention Center, Room 321.

The presentation will focus on questions surrounding phosphorus cycling and limitations, as well as the role of phosphorus in wetland functioning and landscapes. Through a comparative analysis of new studies and research, Richardson will address these and other issues, providing a modern analysis of the importance of phosphorus to our wetland world.

Richardson is the director of the Duke University Wetland Center and a professor of resource ecology at the Nicholas School of the Environment. He also serves as a scientific advisor to a USAID-sponsored p
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Contact: Sara Uttech
suttech@soils.org
608-268-4948
American Society of Agronomy
Source:Eurekalert

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