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Effects of land use, urbanization, and climate variability on coastal eutrophication in the Baltic Sea
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Systems Ecology.
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Systems Ecology.
2010 (English)In: Limnology and Oceanography, ISSN 0024-3590, Vol. 55, no 3, 1033-1046 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Sedimentary records of organic matter inputs (stable nitrogen isotopes [delta N-15], nitrogen [N], and carbon [C] content), phytoplankton abundance (pigments, stable carbon isotopes [delta C-13]), and community composition (pigments) were used to reconstruct the history and pathway to water-quality degradation in a Swedish Baltic coastal bay. Changes in nutrient sources and cycling began in the 1800s, but eutrophication intensified only after the 1950s, coincident with intensified agricultural practices. Specifically, sedimentary N and C content doubled, delta 13C increased, and concentrations of pigments indicative of total algal biomass (beta-carotene, Chlorophyll a), diatoms (fucoxanthin, diatoxanthin), chlorophytes (lutein-zeaxanthin, Chlorophyll b), and cyanobacteria (canthaxanthin) increased significantly after 1950. Enhanced algal abundance was most strongly related to total N influx and secondly to total P influx. In particular, historical change in algae was related to agricultural N influx and only weakly to agricultural P. In recent decades, wastewater N influx has further stimulated algal biomass, particularly diatoms. In contrast, colonial cyanobacteria were more correlated to total P than total N inputs. Variance-partitioning analysis explained 60% of the changes in algal abundance and community composition since 1880, with diffuse and point nutrients jointly explaining 36% of the long-term change in algal biomass. Climate variability has become more important as a factor influencing coastal eutrophication in recent decades, explaining 14% of the variance in the algal data since 1975. Both urban and agricultural sources of nutrients have degraded water quality, illustrating the need for cooperation between stakeholders at regional levels to achieve ""good ecological status'' in the Baltic coastal environment.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2010. Vol. 55, no 3, 1033-1046 p.
National Category
Biological Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-49925DOI: 10.4319/lo.2010.55.3.1033ISI: 000277650900007OAI: diva2:380007
authorCount :3Available from: 2010-12-20 Created: 2010-12-20 Last updated: 2010-12-28Bibliographically approved

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Elmgren, Ragnar
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