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

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

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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
Pages (from-to)1468-1477
Number of pages10
JournalCanadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences
Volume47
Issue number7
DOIs
StatePublished - 1990

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