Stockholms universitet

Bo GustafssonForskare

Om mig

Bo Gustafsson is the director of Baltic Nest Institute in Sweden at Stockholm University Baltic Sea Centre. He holds a PhD in physical oceanography from Gothenburg University and has over 20 years experience of scientific research on the Baltic Sea.



I urval från Stockholms universitets publikationsdatabas

  • Factors regulating the coastal nutrient filter in the Baltic Sea

    2020. Jacob Carstensen (et al.). Ambio 49 (6), 1194-1210


    The coastal zone of the Baltic Sea is diverse with strong regional differences in the physico-chemical setting. This diversity is also reflected in the importance of different biogeochemical processes altering nutrient and organic matter fluxes on the passage from land to sea. This review investigates the most important processes for removal of nutrients and organic matter, and the factors that regulate the efficiency of the coastal filter. Nitrogen removal through denitrification is high in lagoons receiving large inputs of nitrate and organic matter. Phosphorus burial is high in archipelagos with substantial sedimentation, but the stability of different burial forms varies across the Baltic Sea. Organic matter processes are tightly linked to the nitrogen and phosphorus cycles. Moreover, these processes are strongly modulated depending on composition of vegetation and fauna. Managing coastal ecosystems to improve the effectiveness of the coastal filter can reduce eutrophication in the open Baltic Sea.

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  • The meagre future of benthic fauna in a coastal sea-Benthic responses to recovery from eutrophication in a changing climate

    2020. Eva Ehrnsten (et al.). Global Change Biology 26 (4), 2235-2250


    Nutrient loading and climate change affect coastal ecosystems worldwide. Unravelling the combined effects of these pressures on benthic macrofauna is essential for understanding the future functioning of coastal ecosystems, as it is an important component linking the benthic and pelagic realms. In this study, we extended an existing model of benthic macrofauna coupled with a physical-biogeochemical model of the Baltic Sea to study the combined effects of changing nutrient loads and climate on biomass and metabolism of benthic macrofauna historically and in scenarios for the future. Based on a statistical comparison with a large validation dataset of measured biomasses, the model showed good or reasonable performance across the different basins and depth strata in the model area. In scenarios with decreasing nutrient loads according to the Baltic Sea Action Plan but also with continued recent loads (mean loads 2012-2014), overall macrofaunal biomass and carbon processing were projected to decrease significantly by the end of the century despite improved oxygen conditions at the seafloor. Climate change led to intensified pelagic recycling of primary production and reduced export of particulate organic carbon to the seafloor with negative effects on macrofaunal biomass. In the high nutrient load scenario, representing the highest recorded historical loads, climate change counteracted the effects of increased productivity leading to a hyperbolic response: biomass and carbon processing increased up to mid-21st century but then decreased, giving almost no net change by the end of the 21st century compared to present. The study shows that benthic responses to environmental change are nonlinear and partly decoupled from pelagic responses and indicates that benthic-pelagic coupling might be weaker in a warmer and less eutrophic sea.

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  • Assessment of Uncertainties in Scenario Simulations of Biogeochemical Cycles in the Baltic Sea

    2019. H. E. Markus Meier (et al.). Frontiers in Marine Science 6


    Following earlier regional assessment studies, such as the Assessment of Climate Change for the Baltic Sea Basin and the North Sea Region Climate Change Assessment, knowledge acquired from available literature about future scenario simulations of biogeochemical cycles in the Baltic Sea and their uncertainties is assessed. The identification and reduction of uncertainties of scenario simulations are issues for marine management. For instance, it is important to know whether nutrient load abatement will meet its objectives of restored water quality status in future climate or whether additional measures are required. However, uncertainties are large and their sources need to be understood to draw conclusions about the effectiveness of measures. The assessment of sources of uncertainties in projections of biogeochemical cycles based on authors' own expert judgment suggests that the biggest uncertainties are caused by (1) unknown current and future bioavailable nutrient loads from land and atmosphere, (2) the experimental setup (including the spin up strategy), (3) differences between the projections of global and regional climate models, in particular, with respect to the global mean sea level rise and regional water cycle, (4) differing model-specific responses of the simulated biogeochemical cycles to long-term changes in external nutrient loads and climate of the Baltic Sea region, and (5) unknown future greenhouse gas emissions. Regular assessments of the models' skill (or quality compared to observations) for the Baltic Sea region and the spread in scenario simulations (differences among projected changes) as well as improvement of dynamical downscaling methods are recommended.

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  • Baltic Sea eutrophication status is not improved by the first pillar of the European Union Common Agricultural Policy

    2019. Torbjörn Jansson (et al.). Regional Environmental Change 19 (8), 2465-2476


    Agriculture is an important source of nitrogen and phosphorous loads to the Baltic Sea. We study how the European Union's (EU) Common Agricultural Policy (CAP), and in particular how its first pillar, containing most of the budget and the decoupled farm payments, affects eutrophication. To aid our study, we use three simulation models, covering the agricultural sector in the EU, a hydrological nutrient flow model and a model of eutrophication in the Baltic Sea. We compute changes in key eutrophication indicators in a business-as-usual baseline and in a hypothetical situation where the first pillar of the CAP, containing the direct payments, greening and accompanying measures, is not present. Comparing the outcomes, we find that in the scenario without the first pillar, production and agricultural land use is lower, while yields and fertiliser use per hectare are higher, causing less nitrogen and phosphorous loads (0.5 to 4% depending on the basin) and less eutrophication in the Baltic Sea as net effect. We therefore conclude that the policies of the first pillar of the CAP contribute to increased eutrophication in the Baltic Sea.

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  • Bathymetric properties of the Baltic Sea

    2019. Martin Jakobsson (et al.). Ocean Science 15 (4), 905-924


    Baltic Sea bathymetric properties are analysed here using the newly released digital bathymetric model (DBM) by the European Marine Observation and Data Network (EMODnet). The analyses include hypsometry, volume, descriptive depth statistics, and kilometre-scale seafloor ruggedness, i.e. terrain heterogeneity, for the Baltic Sea as a whole as well as for 17 sub-basins defined by the Baltic Marine Environment Protection Commission (HELCOM). We compare the new EMODnet DBM with IOWTOPO the previously most widely used DBM of the Baltic Se aproduced by the Leibniz-Institut fur Ostseeforschung Warnemiinde (IOW), which has served as the primary gridded bathymetric resource in physical and environmental studies for nearly two decades. The area of deep water exchange between the Bothnian Sea and the Northern Baltic Proper across the Aland Sea is specifically analysed in terms of depths and locations of critical bathymetric sills. The EMODnet DBM provides a bathymetric sill depth of 88 m at the northern side of the Aland Sea and 60 m at the southern side, differing from previously identified sill depths of 100 and 70 m, respectively. High-resolution multibeam bathymetry acquired from this deep water exchange path, where vigorous bottom currents interacted with the seafloor, allows us to assess what presently available DBMs are missing in terms of physical characterization of the seafloor. Our study highlights the need for continued work towards complete high-resolution mapping of the Baltic Sea seafloor.

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  • Benthic-pelagic coupling in coastal seas - Modelling macrofaunal biomass and carbon processing in response to organic matter supply

    2019. Eva Ehrnsten (et al.). Journal of Marine Systems 196, 36-47


    Benthic macrofauna is an important component linking pelagic and benthic ecosystems, especially in productive coastal areas. Through their metabolism and behaviour, benthic animals affect biogeochemical fluxes between the sediment and water column. Mechanistic models that quantify these benthic-pelagic links are imperative to understand the functioning of coastal ecosystems. In this study, we develop a dynamic model of benthic macrofauna to quantify the relationship between organic matter input and benthic macrofaunal biomass in the coastal zone. The model simulates the carbon dynamics of three functional groups of benthic macrofauna and their sediment food sources and is forced by a hydrodynamic-biogeochemical model simulating pelagic physical and biological dynamics. The model reproduces measured time-series of macrofaunal biomass from two coastal sites with contrasting sedimentation in the Baltic Sea in 1993-2005 with comparatively high accuracy, including a major increase at one of the sites dominated by the bivalve Limecola (Macoma) balthica. This shift in community composition suggests altered pathways of organic matter degradation: 39% of simulated sedimentation was mineralised by macrofauna in 2005 compared to 10% in 1995. From the early 2000s onward macrofaunal biomass seems to be food-limited, as ca 80% of organic carbon sedimentation was processed by the deposit-feeding macrofauna at both sites. This model is a first step to help quantify the role of macrofauna in marine coastal ecosystem functioning and biogeochemical cycles and build predictive capacity of the effects of anthropogenic stressors, such as eutrophication and climate change, on coastal ecosystems.

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  • Combined Effects of Environmental Drivers on Marine Trophic Groups - A Systematic Model Comparison

    2019. Eva Ehrnsten, Barbara Bauer, Bo G. Gustafsson. Frontiers in Marine Science 6


    The responses of food webs to simultaneous changes in several environmental drivers are still poorly understood. As a contribution to filling this knowledge gap, we investigated the major pathways through which two interlinked environmental drivers, eutrophication and climate, affect the biomass and community composition of fish and benthic macrofauna. For this aim, we conducted a systematic sensitivity analysis using two models simulating the dynamics of benthic and pelagic food webs in the Baltic Sea. We varied environmental forcing representing primary productivity, oxygen conditions and water temperature in all possible combinations, over a range representative of expected changes during the 21st century. Both models indicated that increased primary productivity leads to biomass increase in all parts of the system, however, counteracted by expanding hypoxia. Effects of temperature were complex, but generally small compared to the other drivers. Similarities across models give confidence in the main results, but we also found differences due to different representations of the food web in the two models. While both models predicted a shift in benthic community composition toward an increased abundance of Limecola (Macoma) balthica with increasing productivity, the effects on deposit-feeding and predatory benthic groups depended on the presence of fish predators in the model. The model results indicate that nutrient loads are a stronger driver of change for ecosystem functions in the Baltic Sea than climate change, but it is important to consider the combined effects of these drivers for proper management of the marine environment.

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  • Food web and fisheries in the future Baltic Sea

    2019. Barbara Bauer (et al.). Ambio 48 (11), 1337-1349


    We developed numerical simulations of potential future ecological states of the Baltic Sea ecosystem at the end of century under five scenarios. We used a spatial food web (Ecospace) model, forced by a physical-biogeochemical model. The scenarios are built on consistent storylines that describe plausible developments of climatic and socioeconomic factors in the Baltic Sea region. Modelled species diversity and fish catches are driven by climate- and nutrient load-related changes in habitat quality and by fisheries management strategies. Our results suggest that a scenario including low greenhouse gas concentrations and nutrient pollution and ecologically focused fisheries management results in high biodiversity and catch value. On the other hand, scenarios envisioning increasing societal inequality or economic growth based on fossil fuels, high greenhouse gas emissions and high nutrient loads result in decreased habitat quality and diminished biodiversity. Under the latter scenarios catches are high but they predominantly consist of lower-valued fish.

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  • High Emissions of Carbon Dioxide and Methane From the Coastal Baltic Sea at the End of a Summer Heat Wave

    2019. Christoph Humborg (et al.). Frontiers in Marine Science 6


    The summer heat wave in 2018 led to the highest recorded water temperatures since 1926 - up to 21 degrees C - in bottom coastal waters of the Baltic Sea, with implications for the respiration patterns in these shallow coastal systems. We applied cavity ring-down spectrometer measurements to continuously monitor carbon dioxide (CO2) and methane (CH4) surface-water concentrations, covering the coastal archipelagos of Sweden and Finland and the open and deeper parts of the Northern Baltic Proper. This allowed us to (i) follow an upwelling event near the Swedish coast leading to elevated CO2 and moderate CH 4 outgassing, and (ii) to estimate CH4 sources and fluxes along the coast by investigating water column inventories and air-sea fluxes during a storm and an associated downwelling event. At the end of the heat wave, before the storm event, we found elevated CO2 (1583 mu atm) and CH4 (70 nmol/L) concentrations. During the storm, a massive CO2 sea-air flux of up to 274 mmol m(-2) d(-1) was observed. While water-column CO2 concentrations were depleted during several hours of the storm, CH4 concentrations remained elevated. Overall, we found a positive relationship between CO2 and CH4 wind-driven sea-air fluxes, however, the highest CH4 fluxes were observed at low winds whereas highest CO2 fluxes were during peak winds, suggesting different sources and processes controlling their fluxes besides wind. We applied a box-model approach to estimate the CH4 supply needed to sustain these elevated CH4 concentrations and the results suggest a large source flux of CH4 to the water column of 2.5 mmol m(-2) d(-1). These results are qualitatively supported by acoustic observations of vigorous and widespread outgassing from the sediments, with flares that could be traced throughout the water column penetrating the pycnocline and reaching the sea surface. The results suggest that the heat wave triggered CO2 and CH4 fluxes in the coastal zones that are comparable with maximum emission rates found in other hot spots, such as boreal and arctic lakes and wetlands. Further, the results suggest that heat waves are as important for CO2 and CH4 sea-air fluxes as the ice break up in spring.

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  • Impact of natural re-oxygenation on the sediment dynamics of manganese, iron and phosphorus in a euxinic Baltic Sea basin

    2019. Martijn Hermans (et al.). Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta 246, 174-196


    The Baltic Sea is characterized by the largest area of hypoxic (oxygen (O2) < 2 mg L−1) bottom waters in the world’s ocean induced by human activities. Natural ventilation of these O2-depleted waters largely depends on episodic Major Baltic Inflows from the adjacent North Sea. In 2014 and 2015, two such inflows led to a strong rise in O2 and decline in phosphate (HPO42−) in waters below 125 m depth in the Eastern Gotland Basin. This provided the opportunity to assess the impact of such re-oxygenation events on the cycles of manganese (Mn), iron (Fe) and phosphorus (P) in the sediment for the first time. We demonstrate that the re-oxygenation induced the activity of sulphur (S)-oxidising bacteria, known as Beggiatoaceae in the surface sediment where a thin oxic and suboxic layer developed. At the two deepest sites, strong enrichments of total Mn and to a lesser extent Fe oxides and P were observed in this surface layer. A combination of sequential sediment extractions and synchrotron-based X-ray spectroscopy revealed evidence for the abundant presence of P-bearing rhodochrosite and Mn(II) phosphates. In contrast to what is typically assumed, the formation of Fe oxides in the surface sediment was limited. We attribute this lack of Fe oxide formation to the high flux of reductants, such as sulphide, from deeper sediments which allows Fe(II) in the form of FeS to be preserved and restricts the penetration of O2 into the sediment. We estimate that enhanced P sequestration in surface sediments accounts for only ∼5% of water column HPO42− removal in the Eastern Gotland Basin linked to the recent inflows. The remaining HPO42− was transported to adjacent areas in the Baltic Sea. Our results highlight that the benthic O2 demand arising from the accumulation of organic-rich sediments over several decades, the legacy of hypoxia, has major implications for the biogeochemical response of euxinic basins to re-oxygenation. In particular, P sequestration in the sediment in association with Fe oxides is limited. This implies that artificial ventilation projects that aim at removing water column HPO42− and thereby improving water quality in the Baltic Sea will likely not have the desired effect.

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  • Reducing agricultural nutrient surpluses in a large catchment - Links to livestock density

    2019. Annika Svanbäck (et al.). Science of the Total Environment 648, 1549-1559


    The separation between crop- and livestock production is an important driver of agricultural nutrient surpluses in many parts of the world. Nutrient surpluses can be symptomatic of poor resource use efficiency and contribute to environmental problems. Thus, it is important not only to identify where surpluses can be reduced, but also the potential policy tools that could facilitate reductions. Here, we explored linkages between livestock production and nutrient flows for the Baltic Sea catchment and discuss management practices and policies that influence the magnitude of nutrient surpluses. We found that the majority of nutrients cycled through the livestock sector and that large nitrogen and phosphorus surpluses often occurred in regions with high livestock density. Imports of mineral fertilizers and feed to the catchment increased overall surpluses, which in turn increased the risk of nutrient losses from agriculture to the aquatic environment. Many things can be done to reduce agricultural nutrient surpluses; an important example is using manure nutrients more efficiently in crop production, thereby reducing the need to import mineral fertilizers. Also, existing soil P reserves could be used to a greater extent, which further emphasizes the need to improve nutrient management practices. The countries around the Baltic Sea used different approaches to manage agricultural nutrient surpluses, and because eight of the coastal countries are members in the European Union (EU), common EU policies play an important role in management. We observed reductions in surpluses between 2000 and 2010 in some countries, which suggested the influence of different approaches to management and policy and that there are opportunities for further improvement. However, the separation between crop and livestock production in agriculture appears to be an underlying cause of nutrient surpluses; thus, further research is needed to understand how policy can address these structural issues and increase sustainability in food production.

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  • Sedimentary alkalinity generation and long-term alkalinity development in the Baltic Sea

    2019. Erik Gustafsson (et al.). Biogeosciences 16 (2), 437-456


    Enhanced release of alkalinity from the seafloor, principally driven by anaerobic degradation of organic matter under low-oxygen conditions and associated secondary redox reactions, can increase the carbon dioxide (CO2) buffering capacity of seawater and therefore oceanic CO2 uptake. The Baltic Sea has undergone severe changes in oxygenation state and total alkalinity (TA) over the past decades. The link between these concurrent changes has not yet been investigated in detail. A recent system-wide TA budget constructed for the past 50 years using BALTSEM, a coupled physical-biogeochemical model for the whole Baltic Sea area, revealed an unknown TA source. Here we use BALTSEM in combination with observational data and one-dimensional reactive transport modelling of sedimentary processes in the Fårö Deep, a deep Baltic Sea basin, to test whether sulfate reduction coupled to iron (Fe) sulfide burial can explain the missing TA source in the Baltic Proper. We calculated that this burial can account for 26% of the missing source in this basin, with the remaining TA possibly originating from unknown river inputs or submarine groundwater discharge. We also show that temporal variability in the input of Fe to the sediments since the 1970s drives changes in sulfur burial in the Fårö Deep, suggesting that Fe availability is the ultimate limiting factor for TA generation under anoxic conditions. The implementation of projected climate change and two nutrient load scenarios for the 21st century in BALTSEM shows that reducing nutrient loads will improve deep water oxygen conditions, but at the expense of lower surface water TA concentrations, CO2 buffering capacities and faster acidification. When these changes additionally lead to a decrease in Fe inputs to the sediment of the deep basins, anaerobic TA generation will be reduced even further, thus exacerbating acidification. This work highlights that Fe dynamics play a key role in the release of TA from sediments where Fe sulfide formation is limited by Fe availability, as exemplified for the Baltic Sea. Moreover, it demonstrates that burial of Fe sulfides should be included in TA budgets of low oxygen basins.

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  • Shared socio-economic pathways extended for the Baltic Sea

    2019. Marianne Zandersen (et al.). Regional Environmental Change 19 (4), 1073-1086


    Long-term scenario analyses can be powerful tools to explore plausible futures of human development under changing environmental, social, and economic conditions and to evaluate implications of different approaches to reduce pollution and resource overuse. Vulnerable ecosystems like the Baltic Sea in North-Eastern Europe tend to be under pressure from multiple, interacting anthropogenic drivers both related to the local scale (e.g. land -use change) and the global scale (e.g. climate change).There is currently a lack of scenarios supporting policy-making that systematically explore how global and regional developments could concurrently impact the Baltic Sea region. Here, we present five narratives for future development in the Baltic Sea region, consistent with the global Shared Socioeconomic Pathways (SSPs) developed for climate research. We focus on agriculture, wastewater treatment, fisheries, shipping, and atmospheric deposition, which all represent major pressures on the Baltic Sea. While we find strong links between the global pathways and regional pressures, we also conclude that each pathway may very well be the host of different sectoral developments, which in turn may have different impacts on the ecosystem state. The extended SSP narratives for the Baltic Sea region are intended as a description of sectoral developments at regional scale that enable detailed scenario analysis and discussions across different sectors and disciplines, but within a common context. In addition, the extended SSPs can readily be combined with climate pathways for integrated scenario analysis of regional environmental problems.

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  • A Century of Legacy Phosphorus Dynamics in a Large Drainage Basin

    2018. Michelle L. McCrackin (et al.). Global Biogeochemical Cycles 32 (7), 1107-1122


    There is growing evidence that the release of phosphorus (P) from legacy stores can frustrate efforts to reduce P loading to surface water from sources such as agriculture and human sewage. Less is known, however, about the magnitude and residence times of these legacy pools. Here we constructed a budget of net anthropogenic P inputs to the Baltic Sea drainage basin and developed a three-parameter, two-box model to describe the movement of anthropogenic P though temporary (mobile) and long-term (stable) storage pools. Phosphorus entered the sea as direct coastal effluent discharge and via rapid transport and slow, legacy pathways. The model reproduced past waterborne P loads and suggested an similar to 30-year residence time in the mobile pool. Between 1900 and 2013, 17 and 27 Mt P has accumulated in the mobile and stable pools, respectively. Phosphorus inputs to the sea have halved since the 1980s due to improvements in coastal sewage treatment and reductions associated with the rapid transport pathway. After decades of accumulation, the system appears to have shifted to a depletion phase; absent further reductions in net anthropogenic P input, future waterborne loads could decrease. Presently, losses from the mobile pool contribute nearly half of P loads, suggesting that it will be difficult to achieve substantial near-term reductions. However, there is still potential to make progress toward eutrophication management goals by addressing rapid transport pathways, such as overland flow, as well as mobile stores, such as cropland with large soil-P reserves.

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  • Assessment of Eutrophication Abatement Scenarios for the Baltic Sea by Multi-Model Ensemble Simulations

    2018. H. E. Markus Meier (et al.). Frontiers in Marine Science 5


    To assess the impact of the implementation of the Baltic Sea Action Plan (BSAP) on the future environmental status of the Baltic Sea, available uncoordinated multi-model ensemble simulations for the Baltic Sea region for the twenty-first century were analyzed. 

    The scenario simulations were driven by regionalized global general circulation model (GCM) data using several regional climate system models and forced by various future greenhouse gas emission and air- and river-borne nutrient load scenarios following either reference conditions or the BSAP. To estimate uncertainties in projections, the largest ever multi-model ensemble for the Baltic Sea comprising 58 transient simulations for the twenty-first century was assessed. Data from already existing simulations from different projects including regionalized GCM simulations of the third and fourth assessment reports of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change based on the corresponding Coupled Model Intercomparison Projects, CMIP3 and CMIP5, were collected.

    Various strategies to weigh the ensemble members were tested and the results for ensemble mean changes between future and present climates are shown to be robust with respect to the chosen metric. Although (1) the model simulations during the historical period are of different quality and (2) the assumptions on nutrient load levels during present and future periods differ between models considerably, the ensemble mean changes in biogeochemical variables in the Baltic proper with respect to nutrient load reductions are similar between the entire ensemble and a subset consisting only of the most reliable simulations.

    Despite the large spread in projections, the implementation of the BSAP will lead to a significant improvement of the environmental status of the Baltic Sea according to both weighted and unweighted ensembles. The results emphasize the need for investigating ensembles with many members and rigorous assessments of models’ performance.

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  • Long-Term and Seasonal Trends in Estuarine and Coastal Carbonate Systems

    2018. Jacob Carstensen (et al.). Global Biogeochemical Cycles 32 (3), 497-513


    Coastal pH and total alkalinity are regulated by a diverse range of local processes superimposed on global trends of warming and ocean acidification, yet few studies have investigated the relative importance of different processes for coastal acidification. We describe long-term (1972-2016) and seasonal trends in the carbonate system of three Danish coastal systems demonstrating that hydrological modification, changes in nutrient inputs from land, and presence/absence of calcifiers can drastically alter carbonate chemistry. Total alkalinity was mainly governed by conservative mixing of freshwater (0.73-5.17mmolkg(-1)) with outer boundary concentrations (similar to 2-2.4mmolkg(-1)), modulated seasonally and spatially (similar to 0.1-0.2mmolkg(-1)) by calcifiers. Nitrate assimilation by primary production, denitrification, and sulfate reduction increased total alkalinity by almost 0.6mmolkg(-1) in the most eutrophic system during a period without calcifiers. Trends in pH ranged from -0.0088year(-1) to 0.021year(-1), the more extreme of these mainly driven by salinity changes in a sluice-controlled lagoon. Temperature increased 0.05 degrees Cyr(-1) across all three systems, which directly accounted for a pH decrease of 0.0008year(-1). Accounting for mixing, salinity, and temperature effects on dissociation and solubility constants, the resulting pH decline (0.0040year(-1)) was about twice the ocean trend, emphasizing the effect of nutrient management on primary production and coastal acidification. Coastal pCO(2) increased similar to 4 times more rapidly than ocean rates, enhancing CO2 emissions to the atmosphere. Indeed, coastal systems undergo more drastic changes than the ocean and coastal acidification trends are substantially enhanced from nutrient reductions to address coastal eutrophication.

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  • Opportunities to reduce nutrient inputs to the Baltic Sea by improving manure use efficiency in agriculture

    2018. Michelle L. McCrackin (et al.). Regional Environmental Change 18 (6), 1843-1854


    While progress has been made in reducing external nutrient inputs to the Baltic Sea, further actions are needed to meet the goals of the Baltic Sea Action Plan (BSAP), especially for the Baltic Proper, Gulf of Finland, and Gulf of Riga sub-basins. We used the net anthropogenic nitrogen and phosphorus inputs (NANI and NAPI, respectively) nutrient accounting approach to construct three scenarios of reduced NANI-NAPI. Reductions assumed that manure nutrients were redistributed from areas with intense animal production to areas that focus on crop production and would otherwise import synthetic and mineral fertilizers. We also used the Simple as Necessary Baltic Long Term Large Scale (SANBALTS) model to compare eutrophication conditions for the scenarios to current and BSAP-target conditions. The scenarios suggest that reducing NANI-NAPI by redistributing manure nutrients, together with improving agronomic practices, could meet 54–82% of the N reductions targets (28–43 kt N reduction) and 38–64% P reduction targets (4–6.6 kt P reduction), depending on scenario. SANBALTS output showed that even partial fulfillment of nutrient reduction targets could have ameliorating effects on eutrophication conditions. Meeting BSAP targets will require addressing additional sources, such as sewage. A common approach to apportioning sources to external nutrients loads could enable further assessment of the feasibility of eutrophication management targets.

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