Submitted to: Encyclopedia of Life Sciences
Publication Type: Literature Review
Publication Acceptance Date: 12/15/2011
Publication Date: 1/13/2012
Citation: Duncan, E., Kleinman, P.J., Sharpley, A.N. 2012. Eutrophication of lakes and rivers. Encyclopedia of Life Sciences. DOI: 10.1002/9780470015902.a0003249.pub2. Interpretive Summary: An interpretive summary is not required.
Technical Abstract: Eutrophication is an ecological process, akin to aging, in which a water body is increasingly enriched with organic matter. While the most obvious signs of eutrophication in lakes and rivers involve algal blooms and fish kills, the systemic of eutrophication, although profound, are often not as noticeable to the casual observer. Eutrophication of lakes and rivers is accelerated by nutrient pollution, one of the most pervasive water quality problems in the world. Increases in populations and intensification of land use have accelerated eutrophication of water bodies from the Great Lakes of North America, to Lake Tai of China to Lake Victoria of Africa. Because nutrients can come from many sources, point as well as non-point, comprehensive strategies are required to curb eutrophication. A variety of watershed programs have yielded success, but they are outnumbered by the ever-expanding number of lakes and rivers that are undergoing eutrophication.