Monday, June 20, 2005

Crazy Eutrophication

Heavy Fertilizer Use May Transform Lakes for Centuries, Study Suggests
The widespread use of phosphorous-rich fertilizers by industrial agriculture could permanently alter the chemistry of nearby lakes, a new study suggests. Even if environmental inputs of the element are curbed considerably, the results indicate that the effects could be felt for decades to come.

Intensive fertlization began around the middle of last century making widespread eutrophication a relatively new environmental problem, Carpenter writes. In addition, he notes that "There's a huge amount of phosphorus in the watershed that hasn't washed into the lake yet" and steps--such as changes in soil management and reducing rates of erosion--should be taken now to improve water quality.

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