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Self fertilization in Lake Erie

"Excessive phosphorus, largely from agricultural sources, contributes to the annual summer cyanobacteria bloom that plagues Lake Erie’s western basin and the central basin’s annual “dead zone,” an oxygen-starved region that blankets several thousand square miles of lake bottom and that reduces habitat for fish and other organisms. The release of phosphorus from Lake Erie sediments during periods of low oxygen—a phenomenon known as self-fertilization or internal loading—has been acknowledged since the 1970s. But the new University of Michigan-led study marks the first time the process has been monitored step by step for an entire season using lake-bottom sensors." - Excerpt from University of Michigan

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