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This story comes from What You Missed, Outside’s daily digest of breaking news and topical views from throughout the outdoor planet. You can also get this information shipped to your email inbox six times a week by signing up for the What You Missed e-newsletter.

Your dog’s turds may be extra damaging to the terrific outdoors than you considered.

That’s the conclusion of a new report from experts in Belgium on the environmental effect of urine and feces from pet dogs. Scientists at Ghent College analyzed the chemical composition of soil adjacent to footpaths in four distinctive character reserves—ground where by dogs had been most probable to poop and pee—and discovered that the dust contained damaging ranges of nitrogen and phosphorus.

These two things are typically found in pet foodstuff, and they can kill some crops when allowing for others, these kinds of as nettles and hogweed, to thrive. They can also push out wildlife species that count on such plants for food.

The analysis estimated that the total amount of money of nitrogen and phosphorus excreted by Europe’s 87 million pet dogs is related to what is developed by the continent’s industrial agriculture and auto targeted traffic.

“We have been shocked by how superior the nutrient inputs from pet dogs could be,” reported Pieter De Frenne, a professor at Ghent College, who led the investigation. “Atmospheric nitrogen inputs from agriculture, marketplace, and visitors rightfully get a whole lot of plan interest, but dogs are solely neglected in this respect.”

Researchers discovered that selecting up and getting away a dog’s poop taken out most of its phosphorus deposits, but the substantial nitrogen pollution from urine is, naturally, tougher to choose absent. And the study also identified that significant ranges of nitrogen and phosphorus from canine can persist even 3 many years right after dogs are banned from an spot.

Rob Stoneman, director of landscape recovery at the Wildlife Trusts, instructed the Guardian: “Nature reserves are particular places for character conservation, wherever wildlife and fragile habitats are protected. Naturally poo is a part of character, but puppy poo includes vitamins which can destruction the ecology of susceptible habitats. Anywhere you stroll your puppy, it is essential to decide on up, bag, and bin poo, to be certain the continued defense of these wild locations for us all to love.”