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    Excess nitrogen stemming from human activities is a common water pollutant. Fertilizer runoff, sewage, and fossil fuel emission all contain nitrogen that often ends in streams, rivers, and ultimately the ocean. Research has found that more nitrogen enters a river system than can be accounted for at its mouth, indicating that instream processing is occurring. A team of scientists conducted several experiments on streams across the country to better understand the fate of waterborne nitrogen.

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    Mazza, Rhonda; Johnson, Sherri. 2009. Undercover isotopes: tracking the fate of nitrogen in streams. Science Findings 115. Portland, OR: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Northwest Research Station. 5 p.

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