Navigation Links
When accounting for the global nitrogen budget, don't forget fish
Date:1/24/2008

Like bank accounts, the nutrient cycles that influence the natural world are regulated by inputs and outputs. If a routine withdrawal is overlooked, balance sheets become inaccurate. Over time, overlooked deductions can undermine our ability to understand and manage ecological systems.

Recent research by the Universit de Montral (Canada) and the Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies (Millbrook, New York) has revealed an important, but seldom accounted for, withdrawal in the global nitrogen cycle: commercial fisheries. Results, published as the cover story in the February issue of Nature Geoscience, highlight the role that fisheries play in removing nitrogen from coastal oceans.

Nitrogen is essential to plant and animal life; however, it is possible to have too much of a good thing. During the past century, a range of human activities have increased nitrogen inputs to coastal waters. Fertilizer run-off is the best documented and most significant source of terrestrial nitrogen pollution. Nitrogen-rich fertilizer applied to farmland eventually makes its way into coastal waters via a network of streams and rivers.

Research spearheaded by Roxane Maranger (Universit de Montral) and Nina Caraco (Cary Institute) demonstrates that commercial fisheries play an important but declining role in removing terrestrial nitrogen from coastal waters. Accounting for this withdrawal is crucial; terrestrial-derived nitrogen can stimulate coastal phytoplankton growth, leading to eutrophication. Eutrophic waters are characterized by reduced dissolved oxygen, decreased biodiversity, and species composition shifts.

Because fish accumulate nitrogen as biomass, and humans move fish from the ocean to the table, commercial fisheries return part of this terrestrial-generated nitrogen back to the land. In the 1960s, nitrogen removal in fish harvest was equivalent to 60% of the nitrogen fertilizer delivered to coastal ecosystems throughout the world. Today, this figure has dropped to 20%; fish harvest has not (and cannot) keep pace with escalating nitrogen runoff.

A continued decline in the proportion of nitrogen withdrawn by fishery harvests will contribute to an increase in the balance of nitrogen in coastal waters. From a historical perspective, this is bad news. Throughout the world, these ecosystems are becoming richer in nitrogen, resulting in increased phytoplankton blooms, anoxic bottom waters, and coastal dead zones.


'/>"/>

Contact: Lori Quillen
quillenl@ecostudies.org
845-677-7600 x233
Institute of Ecosystem Studies
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Accu-Time Systems, Inc. Announces Launch of Next Generation Human Capital Management (HCM) solutions: Global Series(TM)
2. Carbon sink capacity in northern forests reduced by global warming
3. Major study concludes that global warming is killing off coral
4. El Niño affected by global warming
5. Global warming and other research from UCLA summit featured in journal
6. Top scientists meet for global conference on stem cell therapy for cardiovascular diseases
7. Global climate change: The impact of El Nio on Galpagos marine iguanas
8. Global climate change: The impact of El Niño on Galápagos marine iguanas
9. Ancient fish bones reveal impacts of global warming beneath the sea
10. New research discredits $100B global warming fix
11. Woods Hole Research Center debuts new image mosaic that will strengthen global forest monitoring
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:2/16/2017)... 2017  Genos, a community for personal genetic ... received Laboratory Accreditation from the College of American ... laboratories that meet stringent requirements around quality, accuracy ... "Genos is committed to maintaining the ... honored to be receiving CAP accreditation," said ...
(Date:2/10/2017)... , Feb 10, 2017 ... new report "Personalized Medicine - Scientific and Commercial Aspects" ... ... personalized medicine. Diagnosis is integrated with therapy for selection of ... on early detection and prevention of disease in modern medicine. ...
(Date:2/8/2017)... YORK , Feb. 7, 2017 Report Highlights ... The ... should reach $11.4 billion by 2021, growing at a compound ... Includes - An overview of the global markets for synthetic ... 2015, estimates for 2016, and projections of compound annual growth ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:2/24/2017)... , Feb. 24, 2017  Aethlon Medical, Inc. ... note authored by its Chairman and CEO, Jim ... the Munich Security Conference last Saturday, Bill Gates ... could kill more people than nuclear weapons. Mr. Gates ... and U.K. intelligence agencies, that scientific terrorists have access ...
(Date:2/24/2017)... 2017 China Biologic Products, Inc. (NASDAQ: CBPO) ("China ... company in China, today announced its financial results for the ... Fourth Quarter 2016 Financial Highlights Total ... in RMB terms, or increased by 13.6% in USD terms ... of 2015. Gross profit increased by 13.3% ...
(Date:2/23/2017)... ... February 23, 2017 , ... BellBrook Labs ... to include an array of biochemical analyses critical for Lead Discovery. The ... hit-to-lead and SAR programs, including inhibitor potency and selectivity, mechanism of action, and ...
(Date:2/23/2017)... , Feb. 23, 2017  Imanis Life ... product line of oncolytic vaccinia viruses for virotherapy ... as part of Genelux,s proprietary, vaccinia virus-based technology ... excited to enter into a partnership with Genelux ... oncolytic vaccinia viruses for use in research," said ...
Breaking Biology Technology: