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Issues in Ecology, Issue 07: Nutrient Pollution of Coastal Rivers, Bays, and Seas

This report addresses coastal ecosystem degradation as a consequence of human driven increases in nutrients such as Nitrogen and Phosphorus. Effects on ecological communities such as algal blooms, loss of seagrass beds, and coral leaching are described. Excess nitrogen is emphasized as being the limiting nutrient in coastal systems. Political and scientific consideration to support the control of Nitrogen pollutions is discussed. Sources of nutrients to coastal ecosystems are listed, as well as a comparison of wastewater and nonpoint sources. Agriculture and fossil-fuel combustion are discussed as sources of nitrogen. Issues in Ecology is an ongoing series of reports designed to present major ecological issues in an easy-to-read manner. This Issue summarizes the consensus of a panel of scientific experts based on the information that was current and available at the time of its publication in 2000.
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Resource Group This resource is part of ESA's Issues in Ecology series.
Resource Group Link
Primary or BEN resource type
Secondary resource type
Discipline Specific Core Concepts
Life science discipline (subject)
Keywords Nutrient pollution, Algal blooms, Seagrasses, Corals, Eutrophication, Estuaries, Coastal ecosystems, Nonpoint sources, Nutrients, Agriculture, report
Intended End User Role
Educational Language
Pedagogical Use Description This report can be used for general information, classroom reading and discussion, and as a springboard for more information research. The report illustrates applications of ecology as it relates to our society and environment.
Primary Author Controlled Name
Primary Author Affiliation Section of Ecology
and Systematics, Cornell University
Primary Author email n/a
Secondary Author Name(s) Donald Anderson, James Cloern, et al.
Secondary Author Affiliation(s) Department of Biology, Woods Hole
Oceanographic Institution

United States Geological Survey
Rights Copyright 2008 by Robert Howarth, Donald Anderson, James Cloern, Chris Elfring, Charles Hopkinson, Brian Lapointe, Tom Malone, Nancy Marcus, Karen McGlathery, Andrew Sharpley, Dan Walker, and Ecological Society of America.
Date Of Record Submission 2008-04-17

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