From: IISD Experimental Lakes Area
Published December 18, 2017 12:01 PM

Reducing how much nitrogen enters a lake has little impact on algal blooms, find Canadian scientists

Lakes suffering from harmful algal blooms may not respond to reduced, or even discontinued, artificial nitrogen loading.

Many blue-green algae responsible for algal blooms can fix atmospheric nitrogen dissolved in the water, and therefore water stewards should focus their efforts on removing phosphorus from lakes to combat algal blooms.

This is according to a recently published article in Springer’s Ecosystems journal, Biological Nitrogen Fixation Prevents the Response of a Eutrophic Lake to Reduced Loading of Nitrogen: Evidence from a 46-Year Whole-Lake Experiment. The paper presents the results of a 46-year whole-ecosystem experiment at IISD Experimental Lakes Area in northwestern Ontario, Canada.

Since 1969, researchers have been artificially manipulating a lake by adding varying amounts of carbon, nitrogen, and phosphorus to investigate the nutrients responsible for algal blooms. Throughout the experiment, researchers have been continually adding phosphorus. 

Read more at IISD Experimental Lakes Area

Image Credit: IISD Experimental Lakes Area

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