Vaccari, DA. Scientific American Magazine, June 3, 2009.
Phosphorus Famine: The Threat to Our Food Supply

"This underappreciated resource--a key component of fertilizers--is
still decades from running out. But we must act now to conserve it, or
future agriculture could collapse."

Key Concepts:
Mining phosphorus for fertilizer is consuming the mineral faster than
geologic cycles can replenish it. The U.S. may runout of its accessible
domestic sources in a few decades, and few other countries have
substantial reserves, which could also be depleted in about a century.

Excess phosphorus in waterways helps to feed algal blooms, which starve
fish of oxygen, creating “dead zones.”

Reducing soil erosion and recycling phosphorus from farm and human waste
could help make food production sustainable and prevent algal blooms.

Dr. Ann C. Wilkie                          Tel: (352)392-8699
Soil and Water Science Department          Fax: (352)392-7008
University of Florida-IFAS
P.O. Box 110960                         E-mail: [log in to unmask]
Gainesville, FL 32611-0960
Campus location: Environmental Microbiology Laboratory (Bldg. 246).
BioEnergy and Sustainable Technology Society