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Managing Water Quality in a Changing World

Eutrophication, the over-enrichment of freshwaters with nutrients, is caused by complex interactions of people and ecosystems that are hard to manage. A long-term perspective shows how management can adapt to changing social and ecological realities, learning from failures and building on successes.

Carpenter, S.R., B.J. Benson, R. Biggs, J.W. Chipman, J.A. Foley, S.A. Golding, R.B. Hammer, P.C. Hanson, P.T.J. Johnson, A.M. Kamarainen, T.K. Kratz, R.C. Lathrop, K.D. McMahon, B. Provencher, J.A. Rusak, C.T. Solomon, E.H. Stanley, M.G. Turner, M.J. Vander Zanden, C.-H. Wu and H. Yuan. 2007. Understanding regional change: Comparison of two lake districts. BioScience 57:323-335.
Lathrop, R.C., B.M. Johnson, T.B. Johnson, M.T. Vogelsang, S.R. Carpenter, T.R. Hrabik, J.F. Kitchell, J.J. Magnuson, L.G. Rudstam, and R.S. Stewart. 2002. Stocking piscivores to improve fishing and water clarity: a synthesis of the Lake Mendota biomanipulation project. Freshwater Biology 47: 2410-2424.
Dr. Stephen Carpenter
Timeline of major changes in lakes of the Yahara River Lake District, 1800 to present.
Carpenter et al. (2007)
Annual phosphorus budgets for Lake Mendota, 1976-2008. Curves are annual load (g m-2 y-1) in red; mass of phosphorus in the lake (g m-2) on 1 November of the plotted year (solid green lines) and one year prior to the plotted year (dashed green lines) and phosphorus export through the Yahara River to Lake Monona (g m-2 y-1). Note low loads in the drought years of 1987-1988 and 2003, and high loads in the flood year of 1993. Over the 33 years of record there is no trend toward declining phosphorus inputs. However, the loads might be considerably higher if not for substantial interventions to control nonpoint pollution starting in 1998. The first decade of the 2000s brought a record number of large runoff events.
Richard Lathrop and Stephen Carpenter, unpublished

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