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Science. 1983 Aug 12;221(4611):669-71.

Low nitrogen to phosphorus ratios favor dominance by blue-green algae in lake phytoplankton.


An analysis of growing season data from 17 lakes throughout the world suggests that the relative proportion of blue-green algae (Cyanophyta) in the epilimnetic phytoplankton is dependent on the epilimnetic ratio of total nitrogen to total phosphorus. Blue-green algae tended to be rare when this ratio exceeded 29 to 1 by weight, suggesting that modification of this ratio by control of nutrient additions may provide a means by which lake water quality can be managed.

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