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1. The need to reduce anthropogenic nutrient inputs to aquatic ecosystems in order to protect drinking-water supplies and to reduce eutrophication, including the proliferation of harmful algal blooms and “dead zones” in coastal marine ecosystems has been widely recognized.

2. Nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) are both required to support aquatic plant growth and are the key limiting nutrients in most aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems. However, massive increases in fixed N additions to the biosphere, largely through the production of fertilizers and increases in fossil fuel emissions have led to a cascading set of consequences.

3. Dual-nutrient reduction strategies for aquatic ecosystems, especially in estuarine and coastal marine regions, are necessary as P-only reduction strategies are likely to fail in certain lakes where P is rapidly recycled between sediments and water, and phytoplankton is dominated by non-N2-fixing cyanobacteria.

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