The Algal Bowl : Overfertilization of the World's Freshwaters and Estuaries book cover
1st Edition

The Algal Bowl
Overfertilization of the World's Freshwaters and Estuaries

ISBN 9781138474529
Published December 18, 2020 by Routledge
348 Pages

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Book Description

In 1974, John R. Vallentyne predicted that by the year 2000 we would be living in an environmental disaster he called the Algal Bowl. Just as the Dust Bowl of the 1930s was created by misusing western farmland, he forecast that the continuing miuse of lakes could only lead to water degradation. In the first edition of The Algal Bowl: Lakes and Man, he explained how the biology of lakes is changed by an overload of nutrients - a process known as eutrophication. Vallentyne demonstrated that human activity was the primary cause of eutrophicationand therefore responsible for the explosive growth of algae. His efforts helped move policy makers in North America to action regarding the dangers of phosphates in fresh water. Witnessing the escalation of eutrophication, Vallentyne invited his colleague, David W. Schindler, to substantially revise this groundbreaking book. Along with updates to the scientific data, Schindler added five chapters of new research, including the effect of eutrophication on ocean estuaries. Two of North America's leading water scientists joined forces to explain the science and strategies that are essential to understanding and protecting whole water systems from eutrophication and massive algae blooms. Scientists, opinion leaders, policy makers, and concerned citizens will find this fully revised and expanded second edition an unambiguous diagnosis and prescription for change.

Table of Contents

Preface * The Algal Bowl * Lakes and Humans * Lakes are Made of Water * How Lakes Breathe * Phosphorus, the Morning Star * The Environmental Physician * Detergents and Lakes * The Year of NTA * Understanding Eutrophication from Experiments in Small Lakes * Changes in the Eutrophication Problem Since the mid-20th Century * Using the Fossil Record to Interpret Past Eutrophication * Recovery from Eutrophication * Eutrophication of Estuaries * Signs or Solutions? * Bibliography, Index

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David W. Schindler, O.C., F.R.S.C., F.R.S., is Killam Memorial Chair and Professor of Ecology at the University of Alberta, Edmonton. He has received numerous awards for his work, including the first Stockholm Water Prize (1991), the Volvo Environment Prize (1998), the NSERC Gerhard Herzberg Gold Medal for Science and Engineering (2001) and the Tyler Prize for Environmental Achievement (2006). John R. Vallentyne (1926-2007) was an influential research scientist with the Freshwater Institute in Winnipeg. He later became Senior Scientist with the Department of Fisheries and Oceans in Ottowa. He received the Rachel Carson Prize (1992) and the A.C. Redfield Lifetime Achievement Award (2002) from the American Society of Limnology and Oceanography. In 2008 the IAGLR created Jack R. Vallentyne Award to honour his advocacy.


'Impeccable empirical science, written with vigour and precision. Among its other charms, this is an excellent textbook... The Algal Bowl is a work of scientific poetry.' The Literary Review of Canada 'The Algal Bowl is by no means a page-turner. Nor was it intended to be. But it should be required reading for every politician, civil servant, farmer, fisherman, hunter, paddler and cottage owner who has any stake in the management of freshwater in western North America. Like the Dust Bowl of the 1930s, the Algal Bowl has the potential to disrupt ecosystems, displace human populations and cause tremendous economic hardship. Those who doubt that possibility need only look at several populous Third World countries where potable freshwater is now a thing of the past.' Ed Struzik, Edmonton Journal 'Interesting and important' Bulletin of the British Ecological Society