A new study shows that human waste accounts for a high percentage of nutrients consumed by some animals and plants in suburban ponds.
Researchers at Yale University and Portland State University found that residential, suburban land use is altering the dynamics of the food chain, as well as where nutrients originate and how they move through pond ecosystems.
The findings appear in the Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences. They build upon an extensive body of Yale research into the effects of fertilizers, lawn treatments, and human populations on suburban ponds.
“It suggests that tadpoles and other pond organisms are made up of human waste,” said Meredith Holgerson, a research fellow at Portland State who conducted the research at 18 Connecticut ponds when she was a Yale Ph.D. student.