TitleReducing Phosphorus to Curb Lake Eutrophication is a Success
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2016
AuthorsSchindler, DW, Carpenter, SR, Chapra, SC, Hecky, RE, Orihel, DM
JournalEnvironmental Science & Technology
Volume50
Issue17
Pagination8923 - 8929
Date Published2016/09/06
ISBN Number0013-936X
Abstract

As human populations increase and land-use intensifies, toxic and unsightly nuisance blooms of algae are becoming larger and more frequent in freshwater lakes. In most cases, the blooms are predominantly blue-green algae (Cyanobacteria), which are favored by low ratios of nitrogen to phosphorus. In the past half century, aquatic scientists have devoted much effort to understanding the causes of such blooms and how they can be prevented or reduced. Here we review the evidence, finding that numerous long-term studies of lake ecosystems in Europe and North America show that controlling algal blooms and other symptoms of eutrophication depends on reducing inputs of a single nutrient: phosphorus. In contrast, small-scale experiments of short duration, where nutrients are added rather than removed, often give spurious and confusing results that bear little relevance to solving the problem of cyanobacteria blooms in lakes.As human populations increase and land-use intensifies, toxic and unsightly nuisance blooms of algae are becoming larger and more frequent in freshwater lakes. In most cases, the blooms are predominantly blue-green algae (Cyanobacteria), which are favored by low ratios of nitrogen to phosphorus. In the past half century, aquatic scientists have devoted much effort to understanding the causes of such blooms and how they can be prevented or reduced. Here we review the evidence, finding that numerous long-term studies of lake ecosystems in Europe and North America show that controlling algal blooms and other symptoms of eutrophication depends on reducing inputs of a single nutrient: phosphorus. In contrast, small-scale experiments of short duration, where nutrients are added rather than removed, often give spurious and confusing results that bear little relevance to solving the problem of cyanobacteria blooms in lakes.

URLhttp://dx.doi.org/10.1021/acs.est.6b02204
DOI10.1021/acs.est.6b02204