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Old 05-23-2009, 08:05 PM   #1
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Default Nitrogen From Human Activities May Be As Damaging As Phosphorus

Nitrogen From Human Activities May Be As Damaging As Phosphorus
ScienceDaily (May 19, 2009) — 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.

Nitrogen From Human Activities May Be As Damaging As Phosphorus
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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.
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