Nutrient budgets in aquatic communities

When attention is switched from terrestrial to aquatic communities, there are several important distinctions to be made. In particular, aquatic systems receive the bulk of their supply of nutrients from stream inflow (see Figure 18.2). In stream and river communities, and also in lakes with a stream outflow, export in outgoing stream water is a major factor. By contrast, in lakes without an outflow (or where this is small relative to the volume of the lake), and also in oceans, nutrient accumulation in permanent sediments is often the major export pathway.

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