Reversing eutrophication is not as straightforward as causing it. In conventional nutrient management thinking, lakes should respond quickly to external phosphorus loadings. However, observations don’t support this hypothesis. Internal phosphorus dynamics, food web structure, basin morphometry and climate all influence the recovery process. We shouldn’t be surprised. After all, if you run over a rabbit with your car you can’t bring it back to life by putting the car in reverse and backing up – you can return the car to the pre-collision point but that doesn’t mean the collision didn’t occur. A wiser approach would be to put the appropriate monitoring in place so that we can avoid eutrophication events in the first place. The only thing we lack is wisdom.

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