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Evaluating common drivers for color, iron and organic carbon in Swedish watercourses
Department of Aquatic Sciences and Assessment, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Sweden.
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Earth Sciences, Department of Earth Sciences. (Miljöanalys)
Department of Aquatic Sciences and Assessment, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Sweden.
Department of Aquatic Sciences and Assessment, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Sweden.
2014 (English)In: Ambio, ISSN 0044-7447, E-ISSN 1654-7209, Vol. 43, no SI, 30-44 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The recent browning (increase in color) of surface waters across much of the northern hemisphere has important implications for light climate, ecosystem functioning, and drinking water treatability. Using log-linear regressions and long-term (6-21 years) data from 112 Swedish watercourses, we identified temporal and spatial patterns in browning-related parameters [iron, absorbance, and total organic carbon (TOC)]. Flow variability and lakes in the catchment were major influences on all parameters. Co-variation between seasonal, discharge-related, and trend effects on iron, TOC, and absorbance were dependent on pH, landscape position, catchment size, latitude, and dominant land cover. Large agriculture-dominated catchments had significantly larger trends in iron, TOC, and water color than small forest catchments. Our results suggest that while similarities exist, no single mechanism can explain the observed browning but show that multiple mechanisms related to land cover, climate, and acidification history are responsible for the ongoing browning of surface waters.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2014. Vol. 43, no SI, 30-44 p.
National Category
Environmental Sciences
Research subject
Earth Science with specialization in Environmental Analysis
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-234359DOI: 10.1007/s13280-014-0560-5ISI: 000345292300004PubMedID: 25403968OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-234359DiVA: diva2:756363
Available from: 2014-10-17 Created: 2014-10-17 Last updated: 2017-12-05Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Water Quality in Swedish Lakes and Watercourses: Modeling the Intra-Annual Variability
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Water Quality in Swedish Lakes and Watercourses: Modeling the Intra-Annual Variability
2014 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Water quality is of great importance for ecosystems and society. This thesis characterized and modeled the variation in several key constituents of Swedish surface waters, with particular consideration given to intra-annual variability and sensitivity to climate change. Cyanobacterial data from 29 lakes and basins as well as total organic carbon (TOC) from 215 watercourses were used. Extensive data on catchment characteristics, morphometry, discharge, temperature and other water chemistry data were also analyzed. Models characterizing the seasonality in cyanobacterial concentration and relative cyanobacterial abundance were developed with common lake variables. Concentrations of TOC, iron and absorbance were simulated using discharge, seasonality and long-term trend terms in the Fluxmaster modeling system. Spatial patterns in these model terms were investigated, and the sensitivity of cyanobacteria and TOC to future climate was explored.

Nutrients were the major control on cyanobacterial concentration seasonality, while temperature was more important for relative cyanobacterial abundance. No cyanobacterial blooms occurred below a total phosphorus threshold of 20 µg l-1. Discharge and seasonality explained much of the intra-annual variability in TOC, but catchment characteristics could only explain a limited amount of the spatial patterns in the sensitivity to these influences. North of Limes Norrlandicus the discharge term had a larger impact on the TOC concentration in large catchments than in small catchments, while south of Limes Norrlandicus the seasonality had a larger impact in small catchments than in larger catchments. According to the climate change scenarios, both TOC and cyanobacterial concentrations will be higher in the future. The cyanobacterial dominance will start earlier and persist longer. The spring TOC concentration peak will come earlier. The changes in TOC loads are more uncertain due to predicted declines in discharge.

Parsimonious statistical regression models could explain observed variability in cyanobacteria and TOC. For predictions, these models assume that future aquatic ecosystems will exhibit the same sensitivity to major drivers as in the past. If this proves not to be the case, the modeling can serve as a sentinel for changing catchment function as indicated by degradation in model performance when calibrations on older data are used to model later observations.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala: Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis, 2014. 39 p.
Series
Digital Comprehensive Summaries of Uppsala Dissertations from the Faculty of Science and Technology, ISSN 1651-6214 ; 1194
Keyword
Total organic carbon, cyanobacteria, seasonality, water quality modeling, climate change, surface water
National Category
Environmental Sciences Oceanography, Hydrology, Water Resources
Research subject
Earth Science with specialization in Environmental Analysis
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-234480 (URN)978-91-554-9078-2 (ISBN)
Public defence
2014-12-05, Hambergsalen, Villavägen 16, Uppsala, 10:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2014-11-14 Created: 2014-10-20 Last updated: 2015-02-03

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Hytteborn, Julia K.

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