Oceanography The Official Magazine of
The Oceanography Society
Volume 18 Issue 02

View Issue TOC
Volume 18, No. 2
Pages 198 - 209


The Role of Eutrophication in the Global Proliferation of Harmful Algal Blooms

By Patricia M. Glibert , Sybil Seitzinger, Cynthia A. Heil, JoAnn M. Burkholder , Matthew W. Parrow, Louis A. Codispoti, and Vince Kelly 
Jump to
Citation Copyright & Usage
First Paragraph

Cultural eutrophication, the pollution of coastal waters by nutrients, is a result of population growth, food production (agriculture, animal operations and aquaculture), and energy production and consumption, and is considered one of the largest pollution problems globally (Howarth et al., 2002). Population growth and food production result in major changes to the landscape, in turn, increasing sewage discharges and runoff from agriculture and populated lands. In addition to population growth, eutrophication arises from the large increases in the use of chemical fertilizers that began in the 1950s and which are projected to continue to escalate in the coming decades (Smil, 2001). Both nitrogen and phosphorus are of concern in eutrophication, but nitrogen has received far more attention because it often limits primary production in estuaries and coastal waters and because the global application of nitrogen from synthetic fertilizers is far greater than that of phosphorus (more information available at http://www.ut.ee/~olli/eutr).


Glibert, P.M., S. Seitzinger, C.A. Heil, J.M. Burkholder, M.W. Parrow, L.A. Codispoti, and V. Kelly. 2005. The role of eutrophication in the global proliferation of harmful algal blooms. Oceanography 18(2):198–209, https://doi.org/10.5670/oceanog.2005.54.

Copyright & Usage

This is an open access article made available under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution, and reproduction in any medium or format as long as users cite the materials appropriately, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate the changes that were made to the original content. Images, animations, videos, or other third-party material used in articles are included in the Creative Commons license unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If the material is not included in the article’s Creative Commons license, users will need to obtain permission directly from the license holder to reproduce the material.