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Impact of human activities on phosphorus flows on an early eutrophic plateau: A case study in Southwest China

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journal contribution
posted on 2023-05-03, 17:56 authored by Ying Li, Haw Yen, Weiwen Qiu, Jiafa LuoJiafa Luo, Stuart LindseyStuart Lindsey, Lihuan Qin, Limei Zhai, Hongyuan Wang, Shuxia Wu, Wenchao Li, Wanli Hu, Huizhong Li, Hongbin Liu
The net anthropogenic phosphorus inputs (NAPI) model has been used extensively to assess changes in phosphorus (P) inputs and cycling in the environment. However, temporary populations have generally been unconsidered in these assessments. In this study, the NAPI model was used to estimate P loads from the 16 towns and villages in the Erhai Lake Basin (ELB), Southwest China and to evaluate the potential impact from temporary residents (tourism). The results showed that the average value P inputs in the basin (estimated at 2384 kg P km−2 year−1) were 5 times the national average level, and that temporary residents contributed 1%. Agriculture accounted for most of the net P, with chemical fertilizers (55% of the inputs) as the main source, followed by food and animal feed. Only 9.54% of the P inputs to the basin were exported. River water quality and NAPI were significantly correlated (P < 0.01). Tourism industry contributes significantly to regional economic growth and prosperity, but its beneficial effects on the economy does not equate with the adverse impact on environment. This study illustrates what is happening in Southwest China and provides scientific evidence that shows we need to find novel ways to reduce nutrients.


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  • English

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Journal title

Science of the Total Environment




Li, Y., Yen, H., Lei, Q., Qiu, W., Luo, J., Lindsey, S., Qin, L., … Liu, H. (2020). Impact of human activities on phosphorus flows on an early eutrophic plateau: A case study in Southwest China. Science of the Total Environment, 714, 136851. doi:10.1016/j.scitotenv.2020.136851

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