Nitrogen from fertizilizer and car exhaust that’s lofted into the air and then lands in the once-pristine lakes of Rocky Mountain National Park is creating junk food for fish.
“It’s like eating marshmallows all day and expecting to grow. You can’t do it,” James Elser, a professor at Arizona State University and the study’s lead author, told the Associated Press.
Nitrogen deposition is not a new problem, but the new study shows that the effects may be worse than scientists thought.
More nitrogen can reduce long-term lake biodiversity because algae become poor food for other microscopic organisms and, ultimately, fish. The algae are high in nitrogen, but low in phosphorous and less nutritious.
Previous studies have documented rising nitrogen levels in Rocky Mountain National Park, 70 miles northwest of Denver. … Read more