Nitrogen and phosphorus eutrophication in marine ecosystems

  • Authors: Ngatia, L.; Grace III, J.M.; Moriasi, D.; Taylor, R.
  • Publication Year: 2019
  • Publication Series: Book Chapter
  • Source: In: Monitoring of marine pollution. (IntechOpen)
  • DOI: 10.5772/intechopen.81869


Nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) eutrophication in marine ecosystems is a global problem. Marine eutrophication has a negative impact on food security, ecosystem health and economy through disruptions in tourism, fisheries and health industries. Both N and P have known point and non-point sources. Control of point sources has been easier than non-point sources particularly agricultural sources for both N and P as well as fossil fuel combustion for N, which remains a major challenge. Implementing mitigation strategies for N has been reported to be effective for P mitigation; however, the converse is not true due to mobility and volatility of N. Excessive N and P cause algae blooms, anoxic conditions, and ocean acidification with these conditions leading to dead zones, fish kill, toxin production, altered plant species diversity, food web disruption, tourism disruption and health issues. Management of N and P pollution includes reduction of leaching from farms through crop selection, timely and precise application of fertilizer and building artificial wetlands, proper management of animal waste, reduction of fossil fuel N emission, mitigating N and P from urban sources and restoration of aquatic ecosystem. Mitigation measures need to focus on dual nutrient strategy for successful N and P reduction.

  • Citation: Ngatia, L.; Grace III, J.M.; Moriasi, D.; Taylor, R. 2019. Nitrogen and phosphorus eutrophication in marine ecosystems. In: Monitoring of marine pollution. IntechOpen
  • Keywords: agriculture, eutrophication, marine, mitigation, nitrogen, phosphorus, pollution
  • Posted Date: August 14, 2019
  • Modified Date: August 15, 2019
  • Print Publications Are No Longer Available

    In an ongoing effort to be fiscally responsible, the Southern Research Station (SRS) will no longer produce and distribute hard copies of our publications. Many SRS publications are available at cost via the Government Printing Office (GPO). Electronic versions of publications may be downloaded, printed, and distributed.

    Publication Notes

    • This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.
    • Our online publications are scanned and captured using Adobe Acrobat. During the capture process some typographical errors may occur. Please contact the SRS webmaster if you notice any errors which make this publication unusable.
    • To view this article, download the latest version of Adobe Acrobat Reader.