Nutrient Fluxes from Land to Sea: Consequences of Future Scenarios on the Oder River Basin – Lagoon – Coastal Sea System

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Abstract

Eutrophication management is still one of the major challenges in the Baltic Sea region. Intense transformation processes in several Baltic Sea states have led to drastic changes in e.g., landuse and thereby nutrient emissions and water quality. Several future development directions are possible. The Oder catchment – lagoon – coastal water system serves as a pilot study area, since it has a major influence on the nutrient loads into the Baltic Sea and about 90% of the catchment is located in Poland, a state with transitional economy. Different scenarios for landuse changes in the Oder catchment are developed and their consequences on nutrient emissions simulated. Next to politically induced changes of agricultural landuse in general, specific aspects such as cultivation of energy maize and increased animal stocks are considered. Nitrogen emissions are likely to increase due to agricultural landuse changes whereas phosphorus emissions will not change or even decrease according to the application of the EC-Urban Waste Water Treatment Directive. Resulting nitrogen loads to the Oder Lagoon could increase up to 23%, phosphorus loads could decrease by 11% compared to 2005. These trends may lead to higher nitrogen availability compared to phosphorus at least in the Oder lagoon. Interannual differences in discharge also have profound effects on nutrient emissions. A good status of the Oder river basin – lagoon – coastal sea system according to EC-Directives is not very likely to be achieved under the investigated circumstances. (© 2011 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim)

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