The Salton Sea (Sea) is a eutrophic to hypereutrophic lake characterized by high nutrient concentrations, low water clarity, and high biological productivity. Based on dissolved phosphorus (P) and nitrogen (N) concentrations and N:P ratios, P is typically the limiting nutrient in the Sea and, therefore, should be the primary nutrient of concern when considering management efforts. Flows in the major tributaries to the Sea have been measured since 1965, whereas total P (TP) concentrations were only measured intermittently by various agencies since 1968. These data were used to estimate annual P loading from 1965 to 2002. Annual loads have increased steadily from ???940,000 kg around 1968 to ???1,450,000 kg in 2002 (???55% increase), primarily a result of increased TP concentrations and loads in the New River. Although the eutrophic condition of the Salton Sea is of great concern, only limited nutrient data are available for the Sea. It is difficult to determine whether the eutrophic state of the Sea has degraded or possibly even improved slightly in response to the change in P loading because of variability in the data and changes in the sampling and analytical methodologies. ?? 2008 Springer Science+Business Media B.V.
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Long-term changes in the phosphorus loading to and trophic state of the Salton Sea, California