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Future export of particulate and dissolved organic carbon from land to coastal zones of the Baltic Sea
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Environmental Science and Analytical Chemistry.
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Geological Sciences. Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Stockholm University Baltic Sea Centre.
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Environmental Science and Analytical Chemistry. Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Stockholm University Baltic Sea Centre.
Number of Authors: 32018 (English)In: Journal of Marine Systems, ISSN 0924-7963, E-ISSN 1879-1573, Vol. 177, p. 8-20Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The Baltic Sea is a semi-enclosed brackish sea in Northern Europe with a drainage basin four times larger than the sea itself. Riverine organic carbon (Particulate Organic Carbon, POC and Dissolved Organic Carbon, DOC) dominates carbon input to the Baltic Sea and influences both land-to-sea transport of nutrients and contaminants, and hence the functioning of the coastal ecosystem. The potential impact of future climate change on loads of POC and DOC in the Baltic Sea drainage basin (BSDB) was assessed using a hydrological-biogeochemical model (CSIM). The changes in annual and seasonal concentrations and loads of both POC and DOC by the end of this century were predicted using three climate change scenarios and compared to the current state. In all scenarios, overall increasing DOC loads, but unchanged POC loads, were projected in the north. In the southern part of the BSDB, predicted DOC loads were not significantly changing over time, although POC loads decreased in all scenarios. The magnitude and significance of the trends varied with scenario but the sign (+ or -) of the projected trends for the entire simulation period never conflicted. Results were discussed in detail for the middle CO2 emission scenario (business as usual, a1b). On an annual and entire drainage basin scale, the total POC load was projected to decrease by ca 7% under this scenario, mainly due to reduced riverine primary production in the southern parts of the BSDB. The average total DOC load was not predicted to change significantly between years 2010 and 2100 due to counteracting decreasing and increasing trends of DOC loads to the six major sub-basins in the Baltic Sea. However, predicted seasonal total loads of POC and DOC increased significantly by ca 46% and 30% in winter and decreased by 8% and 21% in summer over time, respectively. For POC the change in winter loads was a consequence of increasing soil erosion and a shift in duration of snowfall and onset of the spring flood impacting the input of terrestrial litter, while reduced primary production mainly explained the differences predicted in summer. The simulations also showed that future changes in POC and DOC export can vary significantly across the different sub-basins of the Baltic Sea. These changes in organic carbon input may impact future coastal food web structures e.g. by influencing bacterial and phytoplankton production in coastal zones, which in turn may have consequences at higher trophic levels.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2018. Vol. 177, p. 8-20
Keywords [en]
Organic carbon, Coastal zone, Climate change, Riverine transport, Baltic Sea
National Category
Earth and Related Environmental Sciences Biological Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-150040DOI: 10.1016/j.jmarsys.2017.09.002ISI: 000414819800002OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-150040DiVA, id: diva2:1166523
Available from: 2017-12-15 Created: 2017-12-15 Last updated: 2017-12-15Bibliographically approved

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Mörth, Carl-MagnusUndeman, Emma
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Department of Environmental Science and Analytical ChemistryDepartment of Geological SciencesStockholm University Baltic Sea Centre
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