Phosphorus and nitrogen limitation of phytoplankton growth in the freshwaters of North America: a review and critique of experimental enrichments

James Elser, E. R. Marzolf, C. R. Goldman

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

462 Scopus citations

Abstract

While P is generally considered to be the primary nutrient limiting algal growth in lakes, limitation of algal growth by N has been observed in freshwater. The most pronounced phytoplankton responses to enrichment occur when both N and P are added together. The role of N and P in constraining algal growth at the whole-lake scale have not been completely separated, but examination of the distribution between treatments of lake-years in which substantial algal growth response occurred indicated that combined N and P enrichment was required to consistently produce substantial algal growth response. A more important role than has previously been recognized for N as a limiting nutrient in freshwaters is indicated. -from Authors

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationCanadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences
Pages1468-1477
Number of pages10
Volume47
Edition7
StatePublished - 1990
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Science(all)
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)

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    Elser, J., Marzolf, E. R., & Goldman, C. R. (1990). Phosphorus and nitrogen limitation of phytoplankton growth in the freshwaters of North America: a review and critique of experimental enrichments. In Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences (7 ed., Vol. 47, pp. 1468-1477)