An important process fueling harmful algal blooms investigated in Canadian water bodiesSeptember 13, 2017
For many Canadians, summer time means time at the lake, swimming, fishing, boating, and relaxing. Nothing can spoil this experience like blue-green mats of muck, caused by algal blooms. These blooms negatively affect not only recreational activities but also put drinking water source, property values, wildlife, and human health at risk. In the 1970s, scientists discovered that the nutrient phosphorus caused algal blooms, which led to new regulations and improved sewage treatment. Nevertheless, blooms continue to plague many Canadian lakes. To investigate what might be happening, scientists looked to see whether phosphorus might be recirculating from the mud at the bottom of lakes back into the water.
In a new scientific study published today, scientists investigated an important, but poorly understood, process in Canada's aquatic ecosystems: the recycling of the algal nutrient, phosphorus, between mud at the bottom of lakes and the overlying water. This process can contribute to the formation of the harmful algal blooms that plague many lakes. Across the country tens or even hundreds of millions of dollars are invested every year to manage nutrient pollution but in some lakes legacy effects from nutrients deposited years ago can linger and delay recovery.
"Our main goal was to better understand where, when, and why this process occurs in Canadian fresh waters so that we can make improvements to how algal blooms are managed and develop realistic goals for lake restoration," explained lead author Diane Orihel, an assistant professor at Queen's University. She added, "we need to stop dumping phosphorus into our lakes, because it's not only causing problems right now, but in many lakes, it continues to deteriorate water quality for our children and grandchildren."
Jason Venkiteswaran, an assistant professor at Wilfrid Laurier University pointed out that "We rely on phosphorus to fertilize our soils and produce the food the world needs. However, we don't know how long that phosphorus sticks around in our lakes after we allow it to wash off the land and down our drains. Our work here cautions that we should have different expectations for the recovery of different types of lakes across the country."
By critically reviewing data from 70 water bodies, the authors found that phosphorus release from sediments is a common phenomenon in Canadian fresh waters, but that rates of this process varied dramatically from lake to lake. "The highest rates of release were found in small prairie lakes in Manitoba, Saskatchewan, and Alberta, while the lowest rates were found in Canadian Shield lakes in Ontario and the Maritimes," said Nora Casson, assistant professor at the University of Winnipeg.
The authors of this study also identified the key factors controlling this process, such as oxygen, pH, geology and lake nutrient status--which often acts against the best efforts of lake managers--as well as identified areas where we know strikingly little. Helen Baulch, assistant professor at the University of Saskatchewan noted that "There's a lot more we need to know about internal phosphorus loading, such as if this process is important in the thousands of reservoirs of our country, and we have huge data gaps for this process in our northern lakes that are undergoing rapid change."
Featured in this article were case studies of Lake Simcoe, Lake Winnipeg, Lake of the Woods, Lake Erie, Lake Champlain, Cootes Paradise, and Lake Diefenbaker.
The journal article, "Internal phosphorus loading in Canadian fresh waters: a critical review and data analysis" by Diane Orihel (Queen's University), Helen Baulch (University of Saskatchewan), Nora Casson (University of Winnipeg), Rebecca North (University of Missouri), Chris Parsons (University of Waterloo), Dalila Seckar (Queen's University), and Jason Venkiteswaran (Wilfrid Laurier University) was published online today in the Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences. This article was selected by the journal as an "Editors' Choice" paper for 2017, which highlights articles of particularly high caliber and topical importance.
Please cite Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences and include a hyperlink to the research study: dx.doi.org/10.1139/cjfas-2016-0500.
Dave Rideout, Communications Officer, Media Relations
+1 613 533-6000 ext. 79648, firstname.lastname@example.org
About the Journal
The Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences (publishing since 1901 under various titles) is the primary publishing vehicle for the multidisciplinary field of aquatic sciences. It publishes perspectives (syntheses, critiques, and re-evaluations), discussions (comments and replies), articles, and rapid communications, relating to current research on -omics, cells, organisms, populations, ecosystems, or processes that affect aquatic systems. The journal seeks to amplify, modify, question, or redirect accumulated knowledge in the field of fisheries and aquatic science.
Canadian Science Publishing publishes the NRC Research Press suite of journals but is not affiliated with the National Research Council of Canada. Papers published by Canadian Science Publishing are peer-reviewed by experts in their field. The views of the authors in no way reflect the opinions of Canadian Science Publishing. Requests for commentary about the contents of any study should be directed to the authors.
Canadian Science Publishing
Related Phosphorus Articles:
Researchers at the University of Illinois have shown that a common strategy for reducing postweaning digestive problems in pigs may have negative effects on calcium and phosphorus digestibility, and are suggesting management practices to counteract the effects.
Iron is a critical nutrient in the ocean. Its importance for algae and the nitrogen cycle has already been investigated in detail.
A new project proposes a restructured index to build on phosphorus management efforts in farm fields in New York state and beyond.
New research from the University of Minnesota points to lawn fertilizers and pet waste as the dominant sources of nitrogen and phosphorus pollutants in seven sub-watersheds of the Mississippi River in Saint Paul, Minn.
For decades, phosphorous has accumulated in Wisconsin soils. Though farmers have taken steps to reduce the quantity of the agricultural nutrient applied to and running off their fields, a new study from the University of Wisconsin-Madison reveals that a 'legacy' of abundant soil phosphorus in the Yahara watershed of Southern Wisconsin has a large, direct and long-lasting impact on water quality.
As climate change continues to impact the Antarctic, glacier melt and permafrost thaw are likely to make more liquid water available to soil and aquatic ecosystems in the McMurdo Dry Valleys, potentially providing a more nutrient-rich environment for life, according to a Dartmouth study recently published in Antarctic Science.
Much like criminal forensic scientists use fingerprints to identify guilty parties at crime scenes, the University of Delaware's Deb Jaisi utilizes isotopic fingerprinting technology to locate the sources of phosphorus compounds and studies the degraded products they leave behind in soil and water.
New wastewater system design guidelines developed at UBC can help municipal governments better protect aquatic life and save millions of dollars a year.
Safety combined with power and effectiveness is one of the most important targets in the development of pyrotechnic obscurants.
The impact of our dietary choices on the global phosphorus footprint shouldn't be neglected, shows a new study.
Related Phosphorus Reading:
Phosphorus: Polluter and Resource of the Future; Motivations, Technologies and Assessment of the Elimination and Recovery of Phosphorus from Wastewater (Integrated Environmental Technology)
by Christian Schaum (Editor)
Phosphorus has always been both a curse and a blessing. On the one hand, it is essential for all life forms and cannot be replaced by anything. On the other hand, wastewater treatment aims to minimize phosphorus concentrations in wastewater in order to minimize its discharge into rivers and lakes, where eutrophication caused by high phosphorus concentrations would lead to excessive plant growth. Phosphorus is extracted from rock phosphate deposits, which are finite and non-renewable. And as the issue of resource conservation is the focus of attention worldwide, phosphorus must be used... View Details
Potassium and Phosphorus guide
by Mashail Alshabib (Author), Balqees Alsaleh (Author)
Potassium and Phosphorus guide includes lists of food items classified according to potassium and phosphorus quantity in each. This booklet tends to help renal patient monitor their own consumption of these minerals as they may affect their quality of life. It also gives them some flexibility in planning their meals, so they can enjoy their favorite inhibited fruits or vegetables once they calculate their meals correctly. It is helpful for health professionals as will, they can educate the patient on how to use it in order to monitor their compliance to the instructions. View Details
Phosphorus, Food, and Our Future
by Karl A. Wyant (Editor), Jessica E. Corman (Editor), Jim J. Elser (Editor)
Phosphorus is essential to all life. A critical component of fertilizers, Phosphorus currently has no known substitute in agriculture. Without it, crops cannot grow. With too much of it, waterways are polluted. Across the globe, social, political, and economic pressures are influencing the biogeochemical cycle of phosphorus. A better understanding of this non-renewable resource and its impacts on the environment is critical to conserving our global supply and increasing agricultural productivity.
Most of the phosphorus-focused discussion within the academic community is highly... View Details
Phosphorus, The Best Brain Food: The Neglected Mineral That Makes You Smarter
by Rudy Silva Silva (Author)
Do You Want To Be Smarter? If you want to have maximum brain power, you won’t over look eating phosphorus foods. This mineral is neglected by calcium and magnesium lovers. Now, is your time to investigate and apply the information in this book, if you want to be smarter. Are Short On Phosphorus or Do You Have An Excess? Phosphorus is the second most abundant mineral in your body. Do you want to be short on this mineral? It is used in thousands of chemical reactions in your body every day. If you are short on this mineral you can’t get your A’s in school. If you are short on this... View Details
Phosphorus Loss from Soil to Water
by H Tunney (Author), P C Brookes (Author), A E Johnston (Author)
Phosphorus is an essential element for plant growth and its input has long been recognized as necessary to maintain profitable crop production. However, phosphorus inputs can also increase the biological activity of surface waters and this can lead to the destruction of such aquatic ecosystems. Advanced eutrophication of surface water leads to problems with its use for fisheries, recreation, industry and drinking, due to the increased growth of undesirable algae and aquatic weeds, and oxygen shortages caused by their death and decomposition. It is therefore important to have a good... View Details
Soil Phosphorus (Advances in Soil Science)
by Rattan Lal (Editor), B.A. Stewart (Editor)
Phosphorus is an essential plant nutrient, but global population growth has dramatically reduced the availability of phosphorus fertilizer resources. Despite this scarcity, there remain numerous problems associated with the excessive and inappropriate use of phosphorus leading to non-point source pollution and eutrophication of natural waters. Identifying appropriate systems for managing soil phosphorus and reducing the risks of eutrophication are needed to minimize the environmental risks. This book focuses on the availability and recycling of phosphorus; regulatory and policy issues of... View Details
Eating A Pre-Dialysis Kidney Diet - Sodium, Potassium, Phosphorus and Fluids: A Kidney Disease Solution (Renal Diet HQ IQ Pre Dialysis Living) (Volume 2)
by Mrs. Mathea Ford (Author)
If you know that different minerals affect your CKD diet, then you want to read this book. It will show you how to reduce the sodium, potassium, and phosphorus in your pre-dialysis diet. These are key skills to being successful with your dietary changes once you learn you have kidney failure. Whether or not you have diabetes or heart disease, you can use this information to slow the progression of your chronic renal failure and have a longer, healthier life! Want to know the sodium content of foods? You get a chart of potassium, sodium and phosphorus amounts in foods as a free gift with this... View Details
Phosphorus-31 NMR Spectroscopy: A Concise Introduction for the Synthetic Organic and Organometallic Chemist
by Olaf Kühl (Author)
Nuclear Magnetic Resonance is a powerful tool, especially for the identification of 1 13 hitherto unknown organic compounds. H- and C-NMR spectroscopy is known and applied by virtually every synthetically working Organic Chemist. Con- quently, the factors governing the differences in chemical shift values, based on chemical environment, bonding, temperature, solvent, pH, etc. , are well understood, and specialty methods developed for almost every conceivable structural challenge. Proton and carbon NMR spectroscopy is part of most bachelors degree courses, with advanced methods integrated into... View Details
Phosphorus: Agriculture and the Environment (Agronomy)
by J. Thomas Sims (Author), Andrew N. Sharpley (Author)
Phosphorus and its effect on the environment have become hotly contested issues by watershed managers, farmers, lakeside property owners, regulatory agencies, and politicians. This 1121 page monograph is a thorough discussion by 78 experts on topics ranging from the properties and sources of phosphorus in agriculture to strategies for its management in the environment. Learn about phosphorus and sources for agriculture, production and characteristics,reactions and cycling in soils, plant nutrition and crop management, animal nutrition, and more.
Reclamation of Drastically... View Details
Clinical Aspects of Natural and Added Phosphorus in Foods (Nutrition and Health)
by Orlando M. Gutiérrez (Editor), Kamyar Kalantar-Zadeh (Editor), Rajnish Mehrotra (Editor)
This comprehensive reference covers the impact of dietary phosphorus in phosphorus physiology, public health and the pathogenesis of disease. Divided into three parts, the first section is an overview of the history of phosphorus and the regulation of phosphorus homeostasis. The second section focuses on specific matters related to phosphorus in the food supply. Clinical applications of the material presented in the preceding sections are pulled together in the third section - including the importance of both phosphorus excess and phosphorus deficiency for the pathogenesis of a wide... View Details