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Table 1 Detailed eligibility and exclusion criteria used to determine study eligibility in the systematic review

From: Response of chlorophyll a to total nitrogen and total phosphorus concentrations in lotic ecosystems: a systematic review

Eligibility criteria Exclusion criteria
Population (unit of study)a
Lotic fresh waters anywhere in the world
Mesocosms made to mimic lotic freshwater systems
Lentic or non-fresh waters (wetlands, lakes, reservoirs, ponds, oceans, estuaries)
Exposure (environmental variable to which population is exposed)
Exposure to total nitrogen (TN) or total phosphorus (TP) measured as concentration (e.g., mg/L) Exposure only to other nutrients, or nitrogen and phosphorus not reported as TN or TP
Comparators (control or alternative intervention)
Comparison to sites or treatments with lower or higher levels of TN or TP across a gradient
Comparison to control group (no or background TN or TP) or to lower or higher levels of TN or TP in experimental studies
Studies of single sites (without sampling across time) or those without comparison to lower or higher levels of TN or TP
Outcomes (eligible outcomes resulting from exposure)
Concentration of benthic or sestonic chlorophyll a, measured as mass per area or volume (e.g., µg/cm2, mg/m2, µg/L) Studies examining only TN or TP with no data on biological responses
Studies examining other biological effects
Study type
Experimental studies in mesocosms or field sites
Field-based, observational studies
Studies examining only TN or TP with no data on biological responses
Studies examining only biological effects other than chlorophyll a
Publications (types of sources used)
Study must contain original data
Study must contain sufficient detail on methodology to assess study validity
Articles with no original data (e.g., editorials, reviews)
Articles without sufficient information to evaluate pertinent relationships (chlorophyll a response to TN or TP) or study validity (e.g., methodology)
Retracted articles
  1. aWe included some search terms that may capture studies in lentic habitats related to flowing systems (e.g., floodplain, riparian) in an attempt to obtain eligible studies that might otherwise be missed. We recognize that there is some uncertainty with the lotic/lentic distinction (e.g., flowing freshwater springs) and liberally included such articles at the title/abstract screening if otherwise eligible