Nitrogen as the limiting nutrient for eutrophication in coastal marine ecosystems: Evolving views over three decades

  title={Nitrogen as the limiting nutrient for eutrophication in coastal marine ecosystems: Evolving views over three decades},
  author={Robert W. Howarth and Roxanne Marino},
  journal={Limnology and Oceanography},
The first special volume of Limnology and Oceanography, published in 1972, focused on whether phosphorus (P) or carbon (C) is the major agent causing eutrophication in aquatic ecosystems. Only slight mention was made that estuaries may behave differently from lakes and that nitrogen (N) may cause eutrophication in estuaries. In the following decade, an understanding of eutrophication in estuaries proceeded in relative isolation from the community of scientists studying lakes. National water… 

Impacts of Nutrient Reduction on Coastal Communities

Eutrophication due to high anthropogenic nutrient loading has greatly impacted ecological processes in marine coastal waters and, therefore, much effort has been put into reducing nitrogen and

Eutrophication in Little Pond: Algal Growth Response to Nutrients and Immediate Effects of Sewer Systems on Enrichment

Little Pond, an estuary in Falmouth, Massachusetts, has faced elevated nitrogen (N) levels for years, largely as a result of wastewater loading from nearby septic systems. The installation of a sewer

A Sea of Change: Impacts of Reduced Nitrogen and Phosphorus Loads on Coastal Phytoplankton Communities

The aim of this thesis was to better understand the ways in which changes in nutrient loads impact phytoplankton communities. As nutrients entering coastal systems become more and more influenced by

Marine Ecosystems: Eutrophication and hypoxia: impacts of nutrient and organic enrichment

Introduction Long before industrialisation, human activities had already greatly altered the landscapes and water quality of our planet. However, the shift to artificial fertilisers in agriculture in

Benthic Nitrogen Fixation in an Eutrophic Estuary Affected by Groundwater Discharge

Abstract RAO, A.M.F. and CHARETTE, M.A., 2012. Benthic nitrogen fixation in an eutrophic estuary affected by groundwater discharge. Anthropogenic nutrient loading of coastal aquifers has resulted in

The dilemma of controlling cultural eutrophication of lakes

  • D. Schindler
  • Environmental Science
    Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences
  • 2012
It is concluded that long-term, whole-ecosystem experiments and case histories of lake recovery provide the only reliable evidence for policies to reduce eutrophication and the case for phosphorus control has been strengthened.

Geochemical Approaches to Improve Nutrient Source Tracking in the Great Lakes

Water quality issues that lead to freshwater eutrophication are a rapidly intensifying global concern, and the recent increase in eutrophic conditions in the Great Lakes has gained international



Challenges and opportunities for science in reducing nutrient over-enrichment of coastal ecosystems

Nutrient over-enrichment has resulted in major changes in the coastal ecosystems of developed nations in Europe, North America, Asia, and Oceania, mostly taking place over the narrow period of 1960

Silicon Retention in River Basins: Far-reaching Effects on Biogeochemistry and Aquatic Food Webs in Coastal Marine Environments

Regulation of rivers by damming as well as eutrophication in river basins has substantially reduced dissolved silicon loads to the Black Sea and the Baltic Sea, resulting in changes in the nutrient composition of river discharges.

Ecological and Biogeochemical Interactions Constrain Planktonic Nitrogen Fixation in Estuaries

It is concluded that interactions between physiological (bottom–up) factors that slow the growth rate of cyanobacteria and ecological factors such as grazing are likely to be important regulators excluding planktonic N2 fixation from most Temperate Zone estuaries.

Nutrient Enrichment Studies in a Coastal Plain Estuary: Phytoplankton Growth in Large-Scale, Continuous Cultures

In bioassay experiments employing outdoor 0.5-m3 continuous cultures freshly inoculated with natural phytoplankton from the Patuxent River estuary, supplements of N enhanced growth greatly during the low-flow, late-summer season — a period when N:P ratios of dissolved inorganic nutrient standing stocks are characteristically below 5:1 (by atoms).

Eutrophication of Dutch coastal waters

It is shown that the spring bloom of Phaeocystis poucheti is occasionally able to consume all phosphorus, leaving some nitrogen, but on the average the phosphorus and nitrogen left over by diatoms after all reactive silicate has been depleted is not consumed by other phytoplankton species.

Responses of Very Shallow Marine Ecosystems to Nutrient Enrichment

Based on mesocosm studies, several indicators of eelgrass health are proposed, including the rate of leaf elongation, plant density, and the shoot: root biomass ratio that all deserve further study and field testing.

Nutrient Limitation of Net Primary Production in Marine Ecosystems

There is a feeling among many limnologists and environmental engineers who study lakes that marine ecosystems also probably are phosphorus limited, and environmental management agencies often assume that phosphorus limitation in marine ecosystems is the rule.


It is concluded that a reduction by at least half of external N and P inputs to the Baltic sea, and of N input to the Kattegat is needed to mitigate the negative effects of eutrophication.

Rapid Communication: Climatic Control on Eutrophication of the Hudson River Estuary

ABSTRACT Eutrophication is arguably the biggest pollution problem facing estuaries globally, with extensive consequences including anoxic and hypoxic waters, reduced fishery harvests, toxic algal