Human influences on nitrogen removal in lakes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

131 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Human activities have increased the availability of reactive nitrogen in many ecosystems, leading to negative impacts on human health, biodiversity, and water quality. Freshwater ecosystems, including lakes, streams, and wetlands, are a large global sink for reactive nitrogen, but factors that determine the efficacy of freshwater nitrogen removal rates are poorly known. Using a global lake data set, we show that the availability of phosphorus, a limiting nutrient, affects both annual nitrogen removal rate and efficiency. This result indicates that increased phosphorus inputs from human activities have stimulated nitrogen removal processes in many lakes. Recent management-driven reductions in phosphorus availability promote water column accumulation and export of nitrogen from large lakes, an unintended consequence of single-element management that argues for greater control of nitrogen as well as phosphorus sources.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)247-250
Number of pages4
JournalScience
Volume342
Issue number6155
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2013

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Lakes
Nitrogen
Phosphorus
Fresh Water
Human Activities
Ecosystem
Wetlands
Water Quality
Biodiversity
Food
Water
Health

Cite this

Human influences on nitrogen removal in lakes. / Finlay, Jacques C; Small, Gaston E.; Sterner, Robert W.

In: Science, Vol. 342, No. 6155, 01.01.2013, p. 247-250.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Finlay, Jacques C ; Small, Gaston E. ; Sterner, Robert W. / Human influences on nitrogen removal in lakes. In: Science. 2013 ; Vol. 342, No. 6155. pp. 247-250.
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