Increasing Nitrogen Pollution in Coastal Region Requires Greater Attention by Resource Managers
In coastal North Carolina, nitrogen levels in the environment are not only increasing but the chemical form of the deposition is shifting towards ammonium, possibly due to increases in emissions associated with swine production. This shift can cause changes in algal community composition, including shifts towards harmful/toxic species. Atmospheric nitrogen deposition contributes up to 40% of the total new nitrogen input to coastal ecosystems and as a result should be closely monitored. This increased nitrogen input can lead to algal blooms, which can cause low oxygen events. An NCCOS scientist presented this new synthesis of atmospheric nitrogen deposition and eutrophication data on March 27 at the Society of Toxicology annual meeting in Charlotte, NC.