Riverine nitrogen export in Swedish catchments dominated by atmospheric inputs
2012 (English)In: Biogeochemistry, ISSN 0168-2563, E-ISSN 1573-515X, Vol. 111, no 1-3, 203-217 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
We present the first estimates of net anthropogenic nitrogen input (NANI) in European boreal catchments. In Swedish catchments, nitrogen (N) deposition is a major N input (31-94%). Hence, we used two different N deposition inputs to calculate NANI for 36 major Swedish catchments. The relationship between riverine N export and NANI was strongest when using only oxidized deposition (NOy) as atmospheric input (r(2) = 0.70) rather than total deposition (i.e., both oxidized and reduced nitrogen, NOy + NHx deposition, r(2) = 0.62). The y-intercept (NANI = 0) for the NANI calculated with NOy is significantly different from zero (p = 0.0042*) and indicates a background flux from the catchment of some 100 kg N km(-2) year(-1) in addition to anthropogenic inputs. This agrees with similar results from North American boreal catchments. The slope of the linear regressions was 0.25 for both N deposition inputs (NOy and NOy + NHx), suggesting that on average, 25% of the anthropogenic N inputs is exported by rivers to the Baltic Sea. Agricultural catchments in central and southern Sweden have increased their riverine N export up to tenfold compared to the inferred background flux. Although the relatively unperturbed northernmost catchments receive significant N loads from atmospheric deposition, these catchments do not show significantly elevated riverine N export. The fact that nitrogen export in Swedish catchments appears to be higher in proportion to NANI at higher loads suggests that N retention may be saturating as loading rates increase. In northern and western Sweden the export of nitrogen is largely controlled by the hydraulic load, i.e., the riverine discharge normalized by water surface area, which has units of distance time(-1). Besides hydraulic load the percent total forest cover also affects the nitrogen export primarily in the northern and western catchments.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2012. Vol. 111, no 1-3, 203-217 p.
Anthropogenic nitrogen, Baltic Sea, Eutrophication, NANI, Nitrogen, Sweden
Earth and Related Environmental Sciences
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-88382DOI: 10.1007/s10533-011-9634-7ISI: 000314063200013OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-88382DiVA: diva2:610841