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Andersen, J. H., Axe, P., Backer, H., Carstensen, J., Claussen, U., Fleming-Lehtinen, V., . . . Villnas, A. (2011). Getting the measure of eutrophication in the Baltic Sea: towards improved assessment principles and methods. Biogeochemistry, 106(2), 137-156
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Getting the measure of eutrophication in the Baltic Sea: towards improved assessment principles and methods
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2011 (English)In: Biogeochemistry, ISSN 0168-2563, E-ISSN 1573-515X, Vol. 106, no 2, p. 137-156Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The eutrophication status of the entire Baltic Sea is classified using a multi-metric indicator-based assessment tool. A total of 189 areas are assessed using indicators where information on reference conditions (RefCon), and acceptable deviation (AcDev) from reference condition could be combined with national monitoring data from the period 2001-2006. Most areas (176) are classified as 'affected by eutrophication' and only two open water areas and 11 coastal areas are classified as 'unaffected by eutrophication'. The classification is made by application of the recently developed HELCOM Eutrophication Assessment Tool (HEAT), which is described in this paper. The use of harmonized assessment principles and the HEAT tool allows for direct comparisons between different parts of the Baltic Sea despite variations in monitoring activities. The impaired status of 176 areas is directly related to nutrient enrichment and elevated loads from upstream catchments. Baltic Sea States have implemented nutrient management strategies since years which have reduced nutrient inputs. However, eutrophication is still a major problem for large parts of the Baltic Sea. The 2007 Baltic Sea Action Plan is projected to further reduce nutrient inputs aiming for a Baltic Sea unaffected by eutrophication by 2021.

Keywords
Eutrophication, Baltic Sea, Assessment, HEAT, Nutrients, Ecological status, Nutrient management strategies
National Category
Oceanography, Hydrology and Water Resources
Research subject
Oceanography
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:smhi:diva-503 (URN)10.1007/s10533-010-9508-4 (DOI)000297224800002 ()
Available from: 2015-04-20 Created: 2015-04-15 Last updated: 2018-01-11Bibliographically approved
Conley, D. J., Bjorck, S., Bonsdorff, E., Carstensen, J., Destouni, G., Gustafsson, B. G., . . . Zillen, L. (2009). Hypoxia-Related Processes in the Baltic Sea. Environmental Science and Technology, 43(10), 3412-3420
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Hypoxia-Related Processes in the Baltic Sea
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2009 (English)In: Environmental Science and Technology, ISSN 0013-936X, E-ISSN 1520-5851, Vol. 43, no 10, p. 3412-3420Article, review/survey (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Hypoxia, a growing worldwide problem, has been intermittently present in the modern Baltic Sea since its formation ca. 8000 cal. yr BP. However, both the spatial extent and intensity of hypoxia have increased with anthropogenic eutrophication due to nutrient inputs. Physical processes, which control stratification and the renewal of oxygen in bottom waters, are important constraints on the formation and maintenance of hypoxia. Climate controlled inflows of saline water from the North Sea through the Danish Straits is a critical controlling factor governing the spatial extent and duration of hypoxia. Hypoxia regulates the biogeochemical cycles of both phosphorus (P) and nitrogen (N) in the water column and sediments. Significant amounts of P are currently released from sediments, an order of magnitude larger than anthropogenic inputs. The Baltic Sea is unique for coastal marine ecosystems experiencing N losses in hypoxic waters below the halocline. Although benthic communities in the Baltic Sea are naturally constrained by salinity gradients, hypoxia has resulted in habitat loss over vast areas and the elimination of benthic fauna, and has severely disrupted benthic food webs. Nutrient load reductions are needed to reduce the extent, severity, and effects of hypoxia.

National Category
Oceanography, Hydrology and Water Resources
Research subject
Oceanography
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:smhi:diva-616 (URN)10.1021/es802762a (DOI)000266046700006 ()19544833 (PubMedID)
Available from: 2015-04-23 Created: 2015-04-21 Last updated: 2018-01-11Bibliographically approved
Identifiers
ORCID iD: ORCID iD iconorcid.org/0000-0002-9741-4458

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