Submitted to: Encyclopedia of Life Sciences
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: September 20, 2002
Publication Date: September 20, 2001
Citation: KLEINMAN, P.J., SHARPLEY, A.N. EUTROPHICATION OF LAKES AND RIVERS. ENCYCLOPEDIA FOR LIFE SCIENCES.Available from: http://pswmru.arsup.psu.edu/phosphorus/NewHampshire.pdf INTERNET WEB PAGE. 2001. Interpretive Summary: The accelerated eutrophication of lakes and rivers represents the most extensive water quality problem in the United States today. This paper provides an overview of the causes, effects, and controls of eutrophication. Specific focus is directed at phosphorus and nitrogen, the nutrients that serve as the primary limits to eutrophication, including state-of-the-art understanding of the sources, transport, and fate of thes nutrients in the environment.
Technical Abstract: Eutrophication is the process of increasing organic enrichment of a water body. Eutrophication of lakes and rivers is generally manifest by augmented primary production of phytoplankton, especially algae and cyanobacteria. Blooms of these organisms may affect ecological and human health, impairing the use of lakes and rivers. While eutrophication occurs snaturally, usually over the course of centuries, human activities sometime accelerate eutrophication to a time frame of decades. The accelerated eutrophication of lakes and rivers represents one of the most pervasive water quality problems in the world. This paper provides an overview of issues involving the accelerated eutrophication of lakes and rivers. Included are discussions of the elements that are the prime cause of eutrophication, the primary sources of phosphorus and nitrogen that contribute to accelerated eutrophication, as well as the public health implications of eutrophication and strategies to reduce eutrophication.