The global application of nitrogen is far greater than phosphorus, and it is widely involved in the eutrophication of lakes and reservoirs. We used a bibliometric method to quantitatively and qualitatively evaluate nitrogen research in eutrophic lakes and reservoirs to reveal research developments, current research hotspots and emerging trends in this area. A total of 2695 articles in the past 25 years from the online database of the Scientific Citation Index Expended (SCI-Expanded) were analyzed for publication output, authors, institutions, countries, journals and keywords. Articles in this area increased exponentially from 1991 to 2015. Although the USA was the most productive country over the past 25 years, China achieved the top position in terms of yearly publications after 2010. The most active keywords related to nitrogen in the past 25 years included phosphorus, nutrients, sediment, chlorophyll-a, carbon, phytoplankton, cyanobacteria, water quality, modeling, and stable isotopes, based on analysis within 5-year intervals from 1991 to 2015 as well as the entire past 25 years. In addition, researchers have drawn increasing attention to denitrification, climate change, and internal loading. Future trends in this area should focus on: (1) nutrient amounts, ratios, and major nitrogen sources leading to eutrophication; (2) nitrogen transformation and the bioavailability of different nitrogen forms; (3) nitrogen budget, mass balance model, control, and management; (4) ecosystem responses to nitrogen enrichment and reduction, as well as the relationships between these responses; and (5) interactions between nitrogen and other stressors (e.g., light intensity, carbon, phosphorus, toxic contaminants, climate change, and hydrological variations) in terms of eutrophication.
Author(s): Xiaolong Yao, Yunlin Zhang, Lu Zhang, Yongqiang Zhou
Organization(s): Chinese Academy of Sciences
Source: Journal of Environmental Sciences