A1.2.5.1 Continued…


Human impacts on the Phosphorus cycle:

Phosphorus is often not present in soil in sufficient quantities. Therefore the use of phosphorus as a fertiliser is widespread. This is often applied in excess of what the plants require and is washed into watercourses by rain.

If there is too much phosphorus in the water, it may rapidly increase the growth of algae (Eutrophication). This in turn can reduce the amount of oxygen in the water that is available to water dwelling organisms, which will then die.

Human sources of phosphorus may also be present in sewage. If this is not treated properly, an excess may accumulate.