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Biogeochemistry

The fate of phosphorus

Phosphorus is essential for food production, but it is also a key cause of eutrophication. Estimates of phosphorus flux for the past 40–70 years reveal that large river basins can experience phases of phosphorus accumulation and depletion.

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Figure 1: Algal bloom in an agricultural drainage ditch.

© GEOGPHOTOS / ALAMY STOCK PHOTO

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Correspondence to Julien Némery or Josette Garnier.

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Némery, J., Garnier, J. The fate of phosphorus. Nature Geosci 9, 343–344 (2016). https://doi.org/10.1038/ngeo2702

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