Advertisement

AMBIO

, Volume 39, Issue 5–6, pp 385–393 | Cite as

Eutrophication in a Chinese Context: Understanding Various Physical and Socio-Economic Aspects

  • Chao Gao
  • Taolin Zhang
Report

Abstract

Eutrophication is now a ubiquitous water quality impairment in China. The first step toward restoration of eutrophicated water bodies is a marked reduction of nutrient loadings in their drainage basins. However, the combination of a number of physical and socio-economic factors is now producing compounded increases in nutrient loads while the nutrient assimilation capacities of natural systems are decreasing. Meanwhile, most of the lakes in densely populated part of China are shallow and very susceptible to anthropogenic alteration. Therefore, in spite of ascending efforts in eutrophication control upward trends of algal blooms in both fresh and coastal waters have been observed for the past two decades. Huge knowledge gap exists in our understanding of the sources and pathways of nutrient losses to aquatic ecosystems. Successful water quality restoration of China’s eutrophic waters relies not only on more resource input but also more emphasis on basic, integrated, and management-oriented research.

Keywords

Eutrophication Nutrient loads Water quality management China 

Notes

Acknowledgments

Financial support was provided by National Natural Science Foundation of China (No. 40771186 and No. 40730635). The authors wish to thank anonymous reviewers for their constructive comments on the original manuscript.

References

  1. An, S.Q., H.B. Li, B.H. Guan, C.F. Zhou, Z.S. Wang, Z.F. Deng, Y.B. Zhi, and Y.H. Liu. 2007. China’s natural wetlands: Past problems, current status, and future challenges. Ambio 36 (4): 335–342.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Chen, J.S., X.M. Gao, D.W. He, and X.H. Xia. 2000. Nitrogen contamination in the Yangtze River system, China. Journal of Hazardous Materials 73: 107–113.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Dai, K.W., C. Gao, J.Y. Zhu, and Y. Qian. 2007. Impact of urbanization on phosphorus emission in Taihu Lake watershed: Case study in Yixing, Jiangsu Province. Scientia Geographica Sinica 27 (2): 237–242.Google Scholar
  4. Dong, Z.H., J. Li, and L.M. Sun. 2005. Nitrate contamination in the groundwater of intensive vegetable cultivation areas in Shouguang City, Shandong Province, China. Journal of Agro-Environment Science 24 (6): 1139–1144 (in Chinese, with English abstract).Google Scholar
  5. Duan, H.T., R.H. Ma, X.F. Xu, F.X. Kong, S.X. Zhang, W.J. Kong, J.Y. Hao, and L.L. Shang. 2009. Two-decade reconstruction of algal blooms in China’s Lake Taihu. Environmental Science and Technology 43 (10): 3522–3528.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Duan, S.W., F. Xu, and L.J. Wang. 2007. Long-term changes in nutrient concentrations of the Changjiang River and principal tributaries. Biogeochemistry 85: 215–234.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Duan, S.W., S. Zhang, and H.Y. Huang. 2000. Transport of dissolved inorganic nitrogen from the major rivers to estuaries in China. Nutrient Cycling in Agroecosystems 57: 13–22.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Edwards, W.M., and L.B. Owens. 1991. Large storm effects on total soil erosion. Journal of Soil and Water Conservation 46: 75–77.Google Scholar
  9. Gao, D., T.B. Chen, B. Liu, Y.M. Zheng, G.D. Zheng, and Y.X. Li. 2006a. Releases of pollutants from poultry manure in China and recommended strategies for the pollution prevention. Geographical Research 25 (2): 311–319 (in Chinese, with English abstract).Google Scholar
  10. Gao, J.F., and H. Li. 2001. Eco-environment impact on floods in the Yangtze River basin. Journal of Natural Disasters 10 (4): 30–35 (in Chinese with English abstract).Google Scholar
  11. Gao, C., B. Sun, and T.L. Zhang. 2006b. Sustainable nutrient management in Chinese agriculture: Challenges and perspective. Pedosphere 16 (2): 253–263.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Gao, C., J.Y. Zhu, J.G. Zhu, Y. Hosen, J.J. Zhou, D.F. Wang, L.C. Wang, and Y.J. Dou. 2005. Effects of extreme rainfall on the export of nutrients from agricultural land. Acta Geographica Sinica 60 (6): 991–997 (in Chinese, with English abstract).Google Scholar
  13. Guo, L.G., and Z.J. Li. 2003. Effects of nitrogen and phosphorus from fish cage-culture on the communities of a shallow lake in middle Yangtze River basin of China. Aquaculture 226: 201–212.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Havens, K.E., T. Fukushima, P. Xie, T. Iwakuma, R.T. James, N. Takamura, T. Hanazato, and T. Yamamoto. 2001. Nutrient dynamics and the eutrophication of shallow lakes Kasumigaura (Japan), Donghu (PR China), and Okeechobee (USA). Environmental Pollution 111: 263–272.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Jin, X.C. 1995. Lake eutrophication in China. In Lake environment in China (in Chinese), ed. X.C. Jin, 267–322. Beijing: Oceanic Press.Google Scholar
  16. Jin, X.C. 2003. Analysis of eutrophication state and trend for lakes in China. Journal of Limnology 62 (2): 60–66.Google Scholar
  17. Jin, X.C., H.L. Liu, Q.Y. Tu, Z.S. Zhang, and X. Zhu. 1990. Lake eutrophication in China. Beijing: China Environmental Press (in Chinese).Google Scholar
  18. Li, W.H. 1999. Flood of Yangtze River and ecological restoration. Journal of Natural Resources 14 (1): 1–8.Google Scholar
  19. Li, D.J., and D. Daler. 2004. Ocean pollution from land-based sources: East China Sea, China. Ambio 33 (1–2): 107–113.Google Scholar
  20. Li, J.K., B. Lin, G.Q. Liang, and G.Q. Shen. 2001. On the prospect of chemical fertilizer application in China. Phosphate and Compound Fertilizer 16 (3): 4–8 (in Chinese).Google Scholar
  21. Liu, J.G., and J. Diamond. 2005. China’s environment in a globalizing world. Nature 435 (30): 1179–1186.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Liu, Z.H., L.H. Jiang, and Y.L. Zhang. 2000. Fertilizer application in Shandong Province: Current situation and forecast. In Nutrient cycling and management in agro-ecosystem (in Chinese), ed. J.M. Zhou, Q.Z. Fan, J.C. Xie, and R. Härdter, 93–97. Nanjing: Hohai University Press.Google Scholar
  23. Liu, J.L., W.H. Liao, Z.X. Zhang, H.T. Zhang, X.J. Wang, and N. Meng. 2007. The response of vegetable yield to phosphate fertilizer and organic manure and environmental risk assessment of phosphorus accumulated in soil. Scientia Agricultura Sinica 40 (5): 959–965 (in Chinese, with English abstract).Google Scholar
  24. Liu, X.T., and X.H. Ma. 2000. Effect of large-scale reclamation on natural environment and regional environmental protection in the Sanjiang Plain. Scienta Geographic Sinica 20: 14–19 (in Chinese, with English abstract).Google Scholar
  25. Mao, Z.P., W.Q. Peng, S.Y. Wang, and H.D. Zhou. 2005. Assessment and control measures for the eutrophication problems of the Dianchi Lake. Journal of China Institute of Water Resources and Hydropower Research 3 (2): 135–142 (in Chinese, with English abstract).Google Scholar
  26. Mao, J.Y., J.P. Zhu, and J.J. Xiao. 2003. The relationship between nitrogen contamination and dissolved oxygen in mainstream of the Huaihe River. Environmental Monitoring in China 19 (5): 41–44 (in Chinese).Google Scholar
  27. Niu, W.Y., and W.M. Harris. 1996. China: The forecast of its environmental situation in the 21st century. Journal of Environmental Management 47: 101–114.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Nixdorf, B., and R. Deneke. 1997. Why ‘very shallow’ lakes are more successful opposing reduced nutrient loads. Hydrobiologia 342–343: 269–284.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Oyang, Z., and R. Wang. 2000. Water environmental problems and ecological options in China. In China water vision: Meeting the water challenge in rapid transition. The 2nd world water forum, The Hague, 17–22 March.Google Scholar
  30. Qin, B.Q., P.Z. Xu, Q.L. Wu, L.C. Luo, and Y.L. Zhang. 2007. Environmental issues of Lake Taihu, China. Hydrobiologia 581: 3–14.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Ramos, M.C., and J.A. Martínez-Casasnovas. 2004. Nutrient losses from a vineyard soil in northeastern Spain caused by an extraordinary rainfall event. Catena 55: 79–90.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Shang, G.P., and J.C. Shang. 2007. Spatial and temporal variations of eutrophication in western Chaohu Lake, China. Environmental Monitoring and Assessment 130: 99–109.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Sheng, H.J., X.Y. Xia, L.Q. Yang, H.T. Zhao, S.R. Luan, and K. Feng. 2004. Effects of phosphorus application on soil available P and different P form in runoff. Acta Ecological Sinica 24 (12): 2837–2841 (in Chinese, with English abstract).Google Scholar
  34. State Environmental Protection Agency (SEPA). 2007. 2006 Report on the state of environment in China. http://www.zhb.gov.cn/plan/zkgb/06hjzkgb/.
  35. Sun, B., X.X. Wang, and T.L. Zhang. 2003. Influencing factors of the nutrient leaching in red soils. Journal of Agro-Environment Science 22 (3): 257–262 (in Chinese, with English abstract).Google Scholar
  36. Wang, X.Y. 2005. Diffuse pollution from livestock production in China. Chinese Journal of Geochemistry 24 (2): 189–193.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Wang, H M., and Y. Chen. 2009. Trend of eutrophication of Dianchi Lake in recent 20 years and its reason analysis. Yunan Environmental Survey 28 (3): 57–60 (in Chinese with English abstract).Google Scholar
  38. Wang, F.S., C.Q. Liu, M.H. Wu, Y.X. Yu, F.W. Wu, S.L. Lu, Z.Q. Wei, and G. Xu. 2009. Stable isotopes in sedimentary organic matter from Lake Dianchi and their indication of eutrophication history. Water, Air, and Soil Pollution 199 (1–4): 159–170.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Xia, J., and Y.Y. Zhang. 2008. Water security in north China and countermeasure to climate change and human activity. Physics and Chemistry of the Earth 33: 359–363.Google Scholar
  40. Xia, X.H., J.S. Zhou, and Z.F. Yang. 2002. Nitrogen contamination in the Yellow River Basin of China. Journal of Environmental Quality 31: 917–925.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Xu, S.N., Z.Z. Chen, and P.M. He. 2007. Analysis of human activities on frequency of red tide in Zhejiang sea areas. Marine Environmental Science 26 (3): 232–236 (in Chinese, with English abstract).Google Scholar
  42. Yang, J.S., D.M. Chen, G.M. Liu, and H.F. Li. 2001. Nutrient cycling and environmental effect of livestock production in case regions of Jiangsu Province. China Environmental Science 21 (5): 468–471 (in Chinese, with English abstract).Google Scholar
  43. Yang, Z.B., and I.J. Hodgkiss. 2004. Hong Kong’s worst “red tide”-causative factors reflected in a phytoplankton study at Port Shelter station in 1998. Harmful Algae 3: 149–161.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Yang, Y.F., S. Jiang, Z.H. Wang, X.P. Nie, and I.K. Chung. 2004. Development of mariculture and red tide prevention in the Chinese mariculture areas. Marine Sciences 28 (7): 71–75 (in Chinese, with English abstract).Google Scholar
  45. Zeng, H., L.R. Song, Z.G. Yu, and H.T. Chen. 2006. Distribution of phytoplankton in the Three-Gorge Reservoir during rainy and dry seasons. Science of the Total Environment 367: 999–1009.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Zhang, X.L., P.Y. Li, P. Li, and X.Y. Xu. 2005. Present conditions and prospects of study on coastal wetlands in China. Advances in Marine Science 23 (1): 87–95 (in Chinese, with English abstract).Google Scholar
  47. Zhang, W.L., Z.X. Tian, N. Zhang, and X.Q. Li. 1996. Nitrate pollution of groundwater in northern China. Agriculture, Ecosystems Environment 59: 223–231.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Zhou, J.M., X.Q. Chen, J.C. Xie, and R. Härdter. 2000. Nutrient cycling and management in agro-ecosystem in China. In Nutrient cycling and management in agro-ecosystem (in Chinese), ed. J.M. Zhou, Q.Z. Fan, J.C. Xie, and R. Härdter, 42–52. Nanjing: Hohai University Press.Google Scholar
  49. Zhou, Z.H., C.Q. Liu, J. Li, and Z.Z. Zhu. 2007. Record of ecosystem evolvement processes provided by δ13Corg and δ15N value in Chaohu Lake sediments. Environmental Science and Technology 28 (6): 1338–1343 (in Chinese, with English abstract).Google Scholar
  50. Zhou, M.J., Z.L. Shen, and R.C. Yu. 2008. Responses of a coastal phytoplankton community to increased nutrient from the Changjiang (Yangtze) River. Continental Shelf Research 28: 1483–1489.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Zhu, G. 2008. Eutrophic status and causing factors for a large, shallow and subtropical Lake Taihu, China. Journal of Lake Science 20 (1): 21–26 (in Chinese with English abstract).Google Scholar
  52. Zhu, G.W., B.Q. Qin, and G. Gao. 2005. Direct evidence of phosphorus outbreak release from sediment to overlying water in a large shallow lake caused by strong wind. Chinese Science Bulletin 50 (6): 577–582.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Geographic and Oceanographic SciencesNanjing UniversityNanjingPeople’s Republic of China
  2. 2.Institute of Soil ScienceChinese Academy of SciencesNanjingPeople’s Republic of China

Personalised recommendations