Accumulated experience is a precious commodity. Fifty years ago, Aldo Leopold succinctly expressed many of the principles of land management that contribute to minimising eutrophication. Lessons from his essay ‘Odyssey’ can be drawn and applied our current understanding of eutrophication. They include the importance of nitrogen vis a vis phosphorus, the relevance of a whole system treatment of the problem, the costs of the problem, the value of intact ecosystems in providing goods and services, and the future use of land in mitigating the problem on a world scale.

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