Internal nutrient fluxes counteract decreases in external load: The case of the estuarial eastern Gulf of Finland, Baltic Sea

Citation
H. Pitkanen et al., Internal nutrient fluxes counteract decreases in external load: The case of the estuarial eastern Gulf of Finland, Baltic Sea, AMBIO, 30(4-5), 2001, pp. 195-201
Citations number
32
Language
INGLESE
art.tipo
Article
Categorie Soggetti
Environment/Ecology,"Environmental Engineering & Energy
Journal title
AMBIO
ISSN journal
0044-7447 → ACNP
Volume
30
Issue
4-5
Year of publication
2001
Pages
195 - 201
Database
ISI
SICI code
0044-7447(200108)30:4-5<195:INFCDI>2.0.ZU;2-J
Abstract
Despite a decrease of about 30% in the external nutrient inputs, no corresp onding improvement has been observed in the state of the open Gulf of Finla nd. At the end of the 1990s the external nutrient load to the Gulf totalled 120 000 tonnes (t) yr(-1) of nitrogen (N) and 7000 t yr(-1) of phosphorus (P). Relative to its surface area, the nutrient load of the Gulf is 2 to 3 times the average of the Baltic Sea. Despite the decrease in loading, an in crease in the phosphate-P concentration was observed both in the surface an d near-bottom layers around the mid-1990s. The reason for this development was most probably the acceleration of internal loading, triggered by poor o xygen conditions at the sediment-water interface of the eastern Gulf, where the oxygen conditions weakened during the 1990s, after being relatively go od in the 1980s and the early 1990s. On the basis of experimental data from the coastal Gulf of Finland, the phosphate-P flux from the reduced surface sediment to water averaged 13 kg km(-2) d(-1). This corresponds to total a mounts which can explain the observed trends of P in the open Gulf. The low N:P ratio of the sediment efflux can partly explain the N limitation of pr imary production in the Gulf.