A team of scientists from the University of Georgia Ecologists have reported nutrient pollution is the real reason behind the damages of streams. The scientists said nutrient pollution causes a significant loss of forest-derived carbon from stream ecosystems. The loss of carbon affects the streams by reducing their ability to support aquatic life.
As per the findings, the existence of carbon is cut in half when moderate amounts of nitrogen and phosphorus are added to a stream, said the scientists. The scientists explained that the carbon provides much of the energy that fuels stream food webs. Stream food webs are based on carbon from two main sources. One is algae that produce carbon through photosynthesis.
Nutrient pollution has been known to boost carbon production by algae, causing nuisance and harmful algal blooms. Leaves and bits of wood from streamside forests are known as the second source, said the scientists.