Escalating worldwide use of urea - a global change contributing to coastal eutrophication

Published on Feb 1, 2006in Biogeochemistry3.406
· DOI :10.1007/s10533-005-3070-5
Patricia M. Glibert62
Estimated H-index: 62
(UMCES: University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science),
John A. Harrison27
Estimated H-index: 27
(RU: Rutgers University)
+ 1 AuthorsSybil P. Seitzinger78
Estimated H-index: 78
(RU: Rutgers University)
While the global increase in the use of nitrogen-based fertilizers has been well recognized, another change in fertilizer usage has simultaneously occurred: a shift toward urea-based products. Worldwide use of urea has increased more than 100-fold in the past 4 decades and now constitutes >50% of global nitrogenous fertilizer usage. Global urea usage extends beyond agricultural applications; urea is also used extensively in animal feeds and in manufacturing processes. This change has occurred to satisfy the world's need for food and more efficient agriculture. Long thought to be retained in soils, new data are suggestive of significant overland transport of urea to sensitive coastal waters. Urea concentrations in coastal and estuarine waters can be substantially elevated and can represent a large fraction of the total dissolved organic nitrogen pool. Urea is used as a nitrogen substrate by many coastal phytoplankton and is increasingly found to be important in the nitrogenous nutrition of some harmful algal bloom (HAB) species. The global increase from 1970 to 2000 in documented incidences of paralytic shellfish poisoning, caused by several HAB species, is similar to the global increase in urea use over the same 3 decades. The trend toward global urea use is expected to continue, with the potential for increasing pollution of sensitive coastal waters around the world.
  • References (106)
  • Citations (348)
📖 Papers frequently viewed together
1,546 Citations
143 Citations
17 Authors (J. Heisler, ..., M. Suddleson)
874 Citations
78% of Scinapse members use related papers. After signing in, all features are FREE.
#1Patricia M. Glibert (UMCES: University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science)H-Index: 62
#2Cynthia A. Heil (Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission)H-Index: 30
Last. M. J. O'Donohue (UQ: University of Queensland)H-Index: 8
view all 5 authors...
Subtropical estuaries have received comparatively little attention in the study of nutrient loading and subsequent nutrient processing relative to temperate estuaries. Australian estuaries are particularly susceptible to increased nutrient loading and eutrophication, as 75% of the population resides within 200 km of the coastline. We assessed the factors potentially limiting both biomass and production in one Australian estuary, Moreton Bay, through stoichiometric comparisons of nitrogen (N), ph...
31 CitationsSource
#1Michel Prud’homme (International Fertilizer Industry Association)H-Index: 1
This paper presents a brief overview of the world nitrogen fertilizer demand, highlights trends in the global and regional developments of production capacity and provides a medium-term perspective of the global nitrogen supply/demand balance.
14 CitationsSource
#1Patricia M. GlibertH-Index: 62
#2Sybil P. SeitzingerH-Index: 78
Last. Vince KellyH-Index: 1
view all 7 authors...
200 CitationsSource
#1Patricia M. GlibertH-Index: 62
#2Donald M. AndersonH-Index: 80
Last. Kevin G. SellnerH-Index: 18
view all 5 authors...
Author Posting. © Oceanography Society, 2005. This article is posted here by permission of Oceanography Society for personal use, not for redistribution. The definitive version was published in Oceanography 18, 2 (2005): 136-147.
328 CitationsSource
#1J. Michael BemanH-Index: 17
#2Kevin R. ArrigoH-Index: 61
Last. Pamela A. Matson (Stanford University)H-Index: 75
view all 3 authors...
Runoff of nutrients from agricultural regions and cities are a growing threat to the world's oceans, as highlighted in the Pew Oceans Commission report ( ) and in the UN Environment Programme's Global Environment Outlook Year Book 2004, which identifies 150 oxygen-starved marine ‘dead zones’. A five-year study of the Gulf of California highlights just how vulnerable nitrogen-deficient areas of the oceans are to nitrogen pollution. Here, within days of fertilizer application to ...
341 CitationsSource
#1Arturo P. Sierra-Beltrán (CSIC: Spanish National Research Council)H-Index: 12
#2Roberto Cortés-Altamirano (UNAM: National Autonomous University of Mexico)H-Index: 7
Last. M. C. Cortes-Lara (University of Guadalajara)H-Index: 2
view all 3 authors...
Prorocentrum minimum is a planktonic dinoflagellate known to produce red tides that can be harmful. To recognize localities and understand occurrences of Prorocentrum minimum blooms in Mexico, published data of plankton from 1942 to present, as well as unpublished data from the authors, were reviewed. Studies and reports covered marine and coastal waters of Mexico during different periods. Presence of P. minimum were reported in the Pacific coast, Gulf of California, Gulf of Mexico, and the Cari...
28 CitationsSource
#1Stéphane L'HelguenH-Index: 17
#2G. SlawykH-Index: 1
Last. P. Le CorreH-Index: 12
view all 3 authors...
to � 33% of the total regenerated N (urea + ammonium). The major part of urea regeneration was due to the nanoplankton (51%) and microplankton fractions (36%). Regeneration of urea in the picoplankton was detectable only from April to October and represented, on an average, 25% of the total urea regenerated during this period. Urea regeneration in micro- and nanoplankton fractions was mainly associated with ciliates and in the picoplancton fraction with bacteria.
19 CitationsSource
#1Patricia M. Glibert (UMD: University of Maryland, College Park)H-Index: 62
#2T. Mark Trice (Maryland Department of Natural Resources Police)H-Index: 5
Last. Lois Lane (UMD: University of Maryland, College Park)H-Index: 1
view all 4 authors...
Concentrations of dissolved urea were monitored in several Chesapeake Bay tributaries from 1998 to 2002. Urea is a commonly used agricultural fertilizer and is also a breakdown product of poultry manure, which is used as an additional source of fertilizer throughout the watershed. Two trends were apparent. First, in several of the tributaries, seasonal peaks in ambient urea concentration coincided with the periods of the year (early spring and mid summer) when agricultural applications are most ...
57 CitationsSource
#1Todd M. Kana (UMCES: University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science)H-Index: 33
#2Michael W. Lomas (Bermuda Biological Station for Research)H-Index: 44
Last. Christopher J. Gobler (Stony Brook Southampton)H-Index: 50
view all 5 authors...
Abstract The influence of nutrient additions and sediment exchange on Aureococcus anophagefferens growth was studied using 200 l mesocosms deployed in situ at the Southampton College Marine Science Center in Long Island, New York. A. anophagefferens cell density increased in mesocosms with separate additions of the following materials: urea + glucose and desiccation-stressed Enteromorpha tissue. A decrease in A. anophagefferens cell density was observed in mesocosms with either no additions (con...
35 CitationsSource
#1Patricia M. Glibert (UMCES: University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science)H-Index: 62
#2Cynthia A. Heil (USF: University of South Florida)H-Index: 30
Last. Sue Murasko (USF: University of South Florida)H-Index: 3
view all 7 authors...
Florida Bay, a shallow, seagrass-dominated bay in southern Florida, USA, receives significant nutrient inputs and has experienced seagrass losses and microalgal blooms within the last several decades. Inorganic nutrient inputs have been well characterized, but the role of organic nutri- ents, specifically of dissolved organic nitrogen (DON) and organic phosphorus (DOP), in supporting microbial processes in the bay is unknown. In this study various techniques were used to assess the importance of...
147 CitationsSource
Cited By348
#1Aaron T. Simmons (New South Wales Department of Primary Industries)H-Index: 1
#2Annette Cowie (UNE: University of New England (Australia))H-Index: 34
Last. Philippa M. Brock (USYD: University of Sydney)H-Index: 3
view all 3 authors...
Abstract Climate change threatens humanity yet the provision of food that supports humanity is a major source of greenhouse gases, which exacerbate that threatening process. Developing strategies to reduce the emissions associated with key global commodities is essential to mitigate the impacts of climate change. To date, however, there have been no studies that estimate the potential to reduce GHG emissions associated with the production of wheat, a key global commodity, at a national scale thr...
#1Kai-Xuan Huang (JNU: Jinan University)H-Index: 1
#2Qingliang Feng (JNU: Jinan University)H-Index: 1
Last. Yuzao Qi (JNU: Jinan University)H-Index: 2
view all 7 authors...
Abstract The nitrogen uptake kinetics and physiological growth of Karenia mikimotoi and Skeletonema costatum sensu lato grown on different N substrates and concentrations were compared in the laboratory. In the presence of three N substrates, both species preferred to take up NH4+. K. mikimotoi and S. costatum s.l. showed the highest substrate affinities for urea and NO3−, respectively. Both species grew well on three N substrates, and the growth parameters were comparable among the different N ...
#1Ashlynn R. Boedecker (Wright State University)
#2Desi N. Niewinski (Wright State University)
Last. Mark J. McCarthy (Wright State University)H-Index: 26
view all 5 authors...
Abstract Lake Erie experiences annual summer cyanobacterial harmful algal blooms (HABs), comprised mostly of non-nitrogen-fixing Microcystis, due to excess nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) inputs (eutrophication). Lake Erie's watershed is mostly agricultural, and fertilizers, manure, and drainage practices contribute to high nutrient loads. This study aimed to clarify the role of western Lake Erie sediments in either exacerbating or mitigating conditions that fuel HABs via recycling and/or remova...
#1Anna J. Olesen (Wild Center)
#2Sara Harðardóttir (Laval University)
Last. Nina Lundholm (Wild Center)H-Index: 31
view all 7 authors...
Abstract In spring 2016, two silos containing liquid nitrogen-containing fertilizer collapsed on a harbor in Fredericia, Denmark. More than 2,750 tons of fertilizer spilled into inner Danish waters. A bloom of Pseudo-nitzschia occurred approximately one month after the incident. The bloom caused a 5-week quarantine of numerous mussel-harvesting areas along the eastern coast of Jutland. The levels of domoic acid measured up to 49 mg kg−1 in mussel meat after the bloom. In the months following the...
#1Lauren E. Krausfeldt (UT: University of Tennessee)H-Index: 3
#2Abigail T. Farmer (UT: University of Tennessee)H-Index: 4
Last. Steven W. Wilhelm (UT: University of Tennessee)H-Index: 52
view all 6 authors...
The over-enrichment of nitrogen (N) in the environment has contributed to severe and recurring harmful cyanobacterial blooms, especially by the non-N2 -fixing Microcystis spp. N chemical speciation influences cyanobacterial growth, persistence and the production of the hepatotoxin microcystin, but the physiological mechanisms to explain these observations remain unresolved. Stable-labeled isotopes and metabolomics were employed to address the influence of nitrate, ammonium, and urea on cellular ...
#1Khalid A. Ibrahim (KSU: King Saud University)H-Index: 3
#2Muhammad Yasin Naz (H.I., S.I.: University of Agriculture, Faisalabad)H-Index: 10
Last. Nasser M. AbdEl-Salam (KSU: King Saud University)H-Index: 3
view all 6 authors...
The world does not have too much time to ensure that the fast-growing population has enough land, food, water and energy. The rising food demand has brought a positive surge in fertilizers’ demand and agriculture-based economy. The world is using 170 million tons of fertilizer every year for food, fuel, fiber, and feed. The nitrogenous fertilizers are being used to meet 48% of the total food demand of the world. High fertilizer inputs augment the reactive nitrogen levels in soil, air, and water....
#2Fabio VincenziH-Index: 6
Last. Elisa SoanaH-Index: 12
view all 4 authors...