Fertilizers are widely used around the world, and the effect of the chemicals in fertilizers on water and soil are immense. In particular, phosphorus has become a concerning chemical because it accumulates in water bodies as well as the landscape. An international team of researchers studied the presence of this chemical in three river basins: the Thames River basin in the U.K., the Maumee River Basin in the mid-western section of the U.S. and the Yangtze River Basin in China. Comparing historical records dating back 70 years, the team measured the impact of human activity on the amount of phosphorus released in the nature. They discovered that over the years, theincreasing amount of phosphorus accumulation in water has become a threat because it leads to algae blooms. When the algae blooms die, dead zones get created which makes the survival of fish difficult. The adverse effects of phosphorus on the ecosystem highlights the need to develop strategies to reduce and manage its concentration level.
Read more in Science Daily.