Cleaner Lakes Are Dirtier Lakes

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Science  11 Oct 2013:
Vol. 342, Issue 6155, pp. 205-206
DOI: 10.1126/science.1245279

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Phosphorus pollution can often explain the difference between a lake clogged with algae and a clear lake where people flock to fish and swim. Although nutrient pollution remains the most common source of water-body impairment throughout much of the developed world (1), phosphorus management has reduced algal blooms in many temperate lakes worldwide (2). Yet on page 247 of this issue, Finlay et al. (3) report a downside to this success. In a series of lakes in which phosphorus inputs have declined, they show substantial increases in nitrate pollution.