Phosphorus enters waterways through fertilizer runoff, sewage seepage, and wastes from other industrial practices. These phosphates tend to settle on the bottom of the ocean or in lakes.
When humans cut through tropical rain forests, or use fertilizers for farming the phosphorous cycle alters. The nutrients that support the ecosystems in the rainforest are washed away easier after the forest is cut or burned down. This causes the land to be unproductive. The runoff fertilizer from the crops increases phosphate levels in the surrounding bodies of water. While the phosphoric cycle is beneficial element in all form of life, an excess of phosphorous concentration is considered a pollutant.
By removing phosphates in one location to use as fertilizer at another, we affect the phosphororus cycle at both these locations. We deplete the phosphate levels in areas where we took the phosphate run and create an excess of phosphate in areas where it’s used as fertilizer. This excess phosphate runs into streams and rivers and results in eutrophication- water plants such as algae take advantage of the excess phosphate to bloom to extremely high levels and deplete the body of water of much-needed oxygen.
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