Atmospheric Carbon Dioxide: Its Role in Maintaining Phytoplankton Standing Crops

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Science  29 Sep 1972:
Vol. 177, Issue 4055, pp. 1192-1194
DOI: 10.1126/science.177.4055.1192


The rate of invasion of carbon dioxide into an artificially eutrophic Canadian Shield lake with insufficient internal sources of carbon was determined by two methods: measuring the carbon : nitrogen : phosphorus ratios of seston after weekly additions of nitrogen and phosphorus, and measuring the loss of radon-222 tracer from the epilimnion. Both methods gave an invasion rate of about 0.2 gram of carbon per square meter per day. The results demonstrate that invasion of atmospheric carbon dioxide may be sufficient to permit eutrophication of any body of water receiving an adequate supply of phosphorus and nitrogen.