Posted by: r.m. | May 20, 2009

N and P

Nitrogen from human activities may be as damaging as phosphorus

“… The combination of human population growth, urbanization, and agricultural and industrial expansion is causing unprecedented and alarming rates of nutrient over-enrichment and accelerated plant growth in receiving waters worldwide. The increasing levels of nitrogen and phosphorus are of particular concern because an excess of these two nutrients promotes accelerated production of plant-based organic matter (or eutrophication) to the extent that excessive production, including harmful algal blooms, contributes to the expansion of marine ‘dead zones’ and leads to the destruction of fisheries habitat.’ “



  1. Phosphorus and nitrogen, both are two crucial nutrients for life. They are involved in DNA, RNA, and proteins synthesis etc…in addition they’re known to be the major nutrients required for plant growth. Further more, nitrogen and phosphorus are involved in most of the food we eat. Although, these minerals are quite important for survival, they‘re required in minute amounts, otherwise a peak in either P or N, is threatening and might have horrible consequences.
    Of course the first causative agents of any action that might harm the environment are humans. The unlimited population growth, urbanization, and agriculture and industrial expansion are contributing to a huge increase in phosphorus and nitrogen levels.
    As a consequence, there is an accelerated and excessive production of plants and algae, some of these species are harmful and toxic and contribute widely to the destruction of fisheries habitat.
    Unfortunately the excess production of P and N is found to be uncontrollable and humans are each day contributing more and more toward self destruction

  2. What humans seem to miss is that excess of something can be as bad as lack of it.
    It is interesting to note that Nitrogen used in large and non-monitored quantities in Lebanon actually lowered the yield of sugar in sugar beet of about 18% !! Their plan to grow the sugar beets which are the major source of sugar in lebanon actually back-fired at them..

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