Estimation of Internal Loading of Phosphorus in Freshwater Wetlands

  • Hari K. PantEmail author
Water Pollution (G Toor and L Nghiem, Section Editors)
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Topical Collection on Water Pollution
  2. Topical Collection on Water Pollution


Purpose of the Review

Freshwater wetlands are found in various climatic zones ranging from tropics to tundra, and their roles from groundwater recharge and flood control to water quality management and biodiversity protection are well recognized. Phosphorus (P) is a limiting nutrient for algal growth in freshwater systems, including wetlands. Various physico-chemical and biological characteristics of wetlands regulate cycles of nutrients such as P. Thus, estimating internal loading of P in wetlands would be crucial in the formulation of effective P management strategies in the wetland systems. This review and limnological data presented may offer needed knowledge/evidence for the effective control of P inputs in wetlands and provide insights on possible ways for interventions in controlling eutrophication and saving the ecosystem from collapse.

Recent Findings

Various ways of P losses such as agriculture, urbanization, etc., to the water bodies have severely impacted water quality of wetlands by altering physical and chemical nature of the P compounds and release bound P to the water columns. Studies indicate that P sorption–desorption dynamic, mineralization, and enzymatic hydrolysis of P in freshwater wetlands’ soils/sediments are crucial in causing internal loading or sink of P in wetland systems. Thus, extensive studies on abovementioned arenas are crucial to restore natural freshwater wetlands or to increase the efficiency of constructed wetlands in retaining P.


In general, researchers have elucidated significant amounts of limnological data to understand eutrophication processes in freshwater wetlands; however, studies on the interactions of P stability and hydro-climatic changes are not well understood. Such changes could significantly influence localized limnology/microenvironments and exacerbate internal P loading in freshwater wetlands; thus, studies in such direction deserve the attention of scientific communities.


Phosphorus Internal loading Wetlands Sorption Mineralization Enzymatic hydrolysis 


Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

On behalf of all authors, the corresponding author states that there is no conflict of interest.

Human and Animal Rights and Informed Consent

This article does not contain any studies with human or animal subjects performed by the author.


Papers of particular interest, published recently, have been highlighted as: • Of importance •• Of major importance

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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Earth, Environmental, and Geospatial Sciences, Lehman Collegethe City University of New YorkBronxUSA

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