Study pinpoints nutrient behind fresh water algae blooms

Aug 22, 2012

University of Alberta ecologist David Schindler has reviewed data from studies of controlling human-caused algae blooms in lakes and says controlling the input of the nutrient phosphorus is the key to fighting the problem.

Recent short-term algae studies claim that controlling the human input of both nitrogen and phosphorus into lakes must be reduced to control summer .

In contrast, Schindler concluded that only phosphorus control is necessary after reviewing long-term lake experiments and case histories of lakes where nutrients have been controlled.

Schindler estimates that the cost of controlling just the phosphorus input alone would be as much as 90-per-cent less than trying to control both phosphorus and nitrogen.

Possible sources of phosphorus to lakes are from , agriculture, runoff from lawns, gardens and septic tanks.

Much of Schindler's critical evidence comes from long-term experiments, some lasting 40 years, in the Experimental Lakes Area in northwestern Ontario. The Federal government recently announced that it would shut the ELA down in March of 2013.

Explore further: Severe changes in world's leaf growth patterns over past several decades revealed

More information: Schindler's review of cultural eutrophication was published today by the Proceedings of the Royal Society of London Series B.

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Noxious algae gone, but who knows how long

Jan 03, 2007

Recent storms may have washed away algae blooms in a Florida chain of lakes, but experts said algae threats remain because of pollution feeding the lakes.

Urban impacts on phosphorus in streams

Aug 11, 2011

Although phosphorus is an essential nutrient for all life forms, essential amounts of the chemical element can cause water quality problems in rivers, lakes, and coastal zones. High concentrations of phosphorus in aquatic ...

Runoff key to reducing certain toxic aquatic blooms

Oct 07, 2011

(PhysOrg.com) -- Many scientists believe that an unfortunate perfect storm of climate change and nutrient runoff will synergistically increase toxic cyanobacterial blooms globally in coming years.

Global warming harms lakes: study

Jul 16, 2012

Global warming also affects lakes. Based on the example of Lake Zurich, researchers from the University of Zurich demonstrate that there is insufficient water turnover in the lake during the winter and harmful ...

Recommended for you

Did climate change help spark the Syrian war?

8 hours ago

A new study says a record drought that ravaged Syria in 2006-2010 was likely stoked by ongoing manmade climate change, and that the drought may have helped propel the 2011 Syrian uprising. Researchers say ...

Pollution documentary attracts huge interest in China

14 hours ago

A slick new documentary on China's environmental woes has racked up more than 175 million online views in two days, underscoring growing concern in the country over the impact of air, water and soil pollution.

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.