Navigation Links
Nutrient pollution chokes marine and freshwater ecosystems
Date:2/19/2009

MILLBROOK ―February 19, 2009 ― Protecting drinking water and preventing harmful coastal "dead zones", as well as eutrophication in many lakes, will require reducing both nitrogen and phosphorus pollution. Because streams and rivers are conduits to the sea, management strategies should be implemented along the land-to-ocean continuum. In most cases, strategies that focus only on one nutrient will fail.

These policy recommendations were put forth by a team of distinguished scientists in the recent issue of Science, published today. Led by Dr. Daniel J. Conley, a marine ecologist at the GeoBiosphere Science Centre in Switzerland and a Visiting Scientist at the Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies, the paper reviews weaknesses in single-nutrient management strategies. In most cases, improving water quality and preserving coastal oceans will require a two-pronged approach.

Plant growth is tied to nitrogen and phosphorus availability. Human activities have greatly increased the abundance of these nutrients, causing the overproduction of aquatic plants and algae. Nitrogen pollution is largely derived from agricultural fertilizers and emissions from the combustion of fossil fuels. Phosphorus pollution is tied primarily to wastewater treatment and detergents. Inputs to the landscape make their way to coastal areas through the drainage networks of rivers and streams.

Dr. Gene E. Likens, one of the paper's authors and an ecologist at the Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies, comments, "Historically, environmental management strategies in freshwater systems have focused on reducing phosphorus pollution. While this has minimized freshwater algal blooms, it passed a great deal of nitrogen pollution on to coastal ecosystems, driving eutrophication and causing serious and widespread problems in those regions."

These environmental problems include reductions in the oxygen levels of coastal water, which can cause "dead zones" and fish die-offs; the proliferation of undesirable plant growth; reductions in water quality; and the loss of important coastal fish habitat, such as sea grass and kelp beds.

Likens stresses, "By focusing only on minimizing phosphorus in our fresh waters, and ignoring nitrogen inputs, existing management strategies are exacerbating the decline of coastal ecosystems. We need to stop passing the problem downstream and adopt dual-nutrient reduction strategies."

Eutrophication is a problem of global concern. Worldwide, there are over 415 eutrophic coastal ecosystems. As a result of human population growth and increased pollution, this number continues to rise.


'/>"/>

Contact: Lori Quillen
quillenl@caryinstitute.org
845-677-7600
Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies
Source:Eurekalert  

Related biology news :

1. EPA and USDA should create new initiative to better monitor nutrients
2. Protein transports nutrients believed to protect against eye disease
3. Nitrogen: Nutrient of life
4. UMCES-led research team quantifies nutrient pollution reductions from urban stream restoration
5. Systems biology approach identifies nutrient regulation of biological clock in plants
6. New research offers prioritization plan for reducing nutrient pollution in feeder streams
7. At the root of nutrient limitation, ecosystems are not as different as they seem
8. Could vitamin D, a key milk nutrient, affect how you age?
9. Foods, not specific nutrients, may be key to good health
10. Nutrient pollution drives frog deformities by ramping up infections, says CU-Boulder study
11. Indoor air pollution increases asthma symptoms
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Nutrient pollution chokes marine and freshwater ecosystems
(Date:6/9/2016)... 9, 2016  Perkotek an innovation leader in attendance control systems is proud to ... hours, for employers to make sure the right employees are actually signing in, and ... ... ... ...
(Date:6/7/2016)... TORONTO , June 7, 2016  Syngrafii ... begun a business relationship that includes integrating Syngrafii,s ... pilot branch project. This collaboration will result in ... for the credit union, while maintaining existing document ... http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20160606/375871LOGO ...
(Date:6/2/2016)... The Department of Transport Management (DOTM) ... million US Dollar project, for the , Supply ... Enrolment, and IT Infrastructure , to ... implementation of Identity Management Solutions. Numerous renowned international vendors participated ... was selected for the most compliant and innovative ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:12/6/2016)... 6, 2016 According to a new market ... (Polymer, Glass, Silicon), Application (Genomics, Proteomics, Capillary Electrophoresis, POC, Clinical, Environmental, ... global market is projected to reach USD 8.78 Billion by 2021 ... during the forecast period (2016 to 2021). ... ...
(Date:12/6/2016)... , Dec. 6, 2016  SRI International has ... million from the National Institutes of Health,s National ... Division of AIDS (NIAID-DAIDS) to support the manufacturing ... pre-exposure (PreP) agents. Under the seven-year contract, SRI ... development services for candidate HIV-prevention products that emerge ...
(Date:12/6/2016)... ... 2016 , ... RoviSys, a leading independent provider of comprehensive ... the opening of their new office building today. Located at 480 Green Oaks ... 200 employees focused on providing sales, engineering, and support services to customers in ...
(Date:12/5/2016)... Dec 5, 2016 Research and Markets ... - Technologies, Markets and Companies" to their offering. ... , , ... discovery using various -omics technologies such as proteomics and metabolomics. Molecular ... tests are also based on biomarker. Currently the most ...
Breaking Biology Technology: