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Open Access item Atmospheric phosphorus deposition may cause lakes to revert from phosphorus limitation back to nitrogen limitation.

Authors:Camarero, Lluís
Catalán, Jordi
Keywords:Biogeochemistry, Ecology, Biological sciences
Issue Date:2012
Publisher:Nature Publishing Group
Citation:Nature Communications 3 : Article number: 1118 (2012)
Abstract:Recent findings indicate that increased atmospheric deposition of nitrogen of human origin has caused changes in the pattern of ecological nutrient limitation in lakes in the northern hemisphere. An increase in the nitrogen to phosphorus ratio, and hence a shift from pristine nitrogen limitation to human-induced phosphorus limitation of phytoplankton growth, seems to have been driven by deposition of atmospheric nitrogen. These findings challenge the classical paradigm of lake phytoplankton productivity being naturally limited by phosphorus availability. However, atmospheric phosphorus deposition may also be highly relevant. Here we show how dissolved inorganic nitrogen concentration has decreased in the Pyrenean lake district over recent decades, despite there being an increase in deposition of atmospheric nitrogen. This is related to an increased atmospheric phosphorus load in the lake water, as a result of higher atmospheric inputs. These changes are causing phytoplankton to revert from being phosphorus-limited to being nitrogen-limited.
Publisher version (URL):http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/ncomms2125
URI:http://hdl.handle.net/10261/57865
ISSN:2041-1723
Appears in Collections:(CEAB) Artículos

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