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What can ecosystem models tell us about the risk of eutrophication in the North Sea?

Saux Picart S, Allen JI, Butenschön M, Artioli Y, de Mora L, Wakelin S, Holt J - Clim Change (2014)

Bottom Line: Using such models in this context could help to overcome the lack of in situ data, and provide a powerful tool for ecosystem-based management and policy makers.This allows us to assess both the current risk and its sensitivity to anthropogenic pressure and climate change.Model sensitivity studies suggest that the coastal waters of the North Sea may be more sensitive to anthropogenic rivers loads than climate change in the near future (to 2040).

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Plymouth Marine Laboratory, Prospect Place, The Hoe, PL1 3DH Plymouth, UK.

ABSTRACT

Eutrophication is a process resulting from an increase in anthropogenic nutrient inputs from rivers and other sources, the consequences of which can include enhanced algal biomass, changes in plankton community composition and oxygen depletion near the seabed. Within the context of the Marine Strategy Framework Directive, indicators (and associated threshold) have been identified to assess the eutrophication status of an ecosystem. Large databases of observations (in situ) are required to properly assess the eutrophication status. Marine hydrodynamic/ecosystem models provide continuous fields of a wide range of ecosystem characteristics. Using such models in this context could help to overcome the lack of in situ data, and provide a powerful tool for ecosystem-based management and policy makers. Here we demonstrate a methodology that uses a combination of model outputs and in situ data to assess the risk of eutrophication in the coastal domain of the North Sea. The risk of eutrophication is computed for the past and present time as well as for different future scenarios. This allows us to assess both the current risk and its sensitivity to anthropogenic pressure and climate change. Model sensitivity studies suggest that the coastal waters of the North Sea may be more sensitive to anthropogenic rivers loads than climate change in the near future (to 2040).

No MeSH data available.


Percentage of exceedance of the thresholds for winter nitrate concentration (red), spring-summer chlorophyll concentration (blue) and summer oxygen concentration (green) from the whole coastal domain of the model hindcast outputs. a Training period: 1965–1990, b Training period: 1981-2002
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Fig4: Percentage of exceedance of the thresholds for winter nitrate concentration (red), spring-summer chlorophyll concentration (blue) and summer oxygen concentration (green) from the whole coastal domain of the model hindcast outputs. a Training period: 1965–1990, b Training period: 1981-2002

Mentions: Secondly, the transfer function was applied to the whole North Sea coastal domain (as opposed to matchup points only) of the model outputs (Fig. 4a) to assess the risk across the whole region. Winter nitrate and spring-summer chlorophyll concentration both indicate a risk of eutrophication of around 10 % with confidence interval of ±5 to 10 % for the North Sea coastal waters (Fig. 4a). This level is quite constant throughout the years with little inter-annual variations (often co-occuring in both indicators). The risk given by the summer oxygen indicator is much lower (between 0 and 5 %) with larger confidence intervals (10 to 15 %).Fig. 4


What can ecosystem models tell us about the risk of eutrophication in the North Sea?

Saux Picart S, Allen JI, Butenschön M, Artioli Y, de Mora L, Wakelin S, Holt J - Clim Change (2014)

Percentage of exceedance of the thresholds for winter nitrate concentration (red), spring-summer chlorophyll concentration (blue) and summer oxygen concentration (green) from the whole coastal domain of the model hindcast outputs. a Training period: 1965–1990, b Training period: 1981-2002
© Copyright Policy - OpenAccess
Related In: Results  -  Collection

Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4555347&req=5

Fig4: Percentage of exceedance of the thresholds for winter nitrate concentration (red), spring-summer chlorophyll concentration (blue) and summer oxygen concentration (green) from the whole coastal domain of the model hindcast outputs. a Training period: 1965–1990, b Training period: 1981-2002
Mentions: Secondly, the transfer function was applied to the whole North Sea coastal domain (as opposed to matchup points only) of the model outputs (Fig. 4a) to assess the risk across the whole region. Winter nitrate and spring-summer chlorophyll concentration both indicate a risk of eutrophication of around 10 % with confidence interval of ±5 to 10 % for the North Sea coastal waters (Fig. 4a). This level is quite constant throughout the years with little inter-annual variations (often co-occuring in both indicators). The risk given by the summer oxygen indicator is much lower (between 0 and 5 %) with larger confidence intervals (10 to 15 %).Fig. 4

Bottom Line: Using such models in this context could help to overcome the lack of in situ data, and provide a powerful tool for ecosystem-based management and policy makers.This allows us to assess both the current risk and its sensitivity to anthropogenic pressure and climate change.Model sensitivity studies suggest that the coastal waters of the North Sea may be more sensitive to anthropogenic rivers loads than climate change in the near future (to 2040).

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Plymouth Marine Laboratory, Prospect Place, The Hoe, PL1 3DH Plymouth, UK.

ABSTRACT

Eutrophication is a process resulting from an increase in anthropogenic nutrient inputs from rivers and other sources, the consequences of which can include enhanced algal biomass, changes in plankton community composition and oxygen depletion near the seabed. Within the context of the Marine Strategy Framework Directive, indicators (and associated threshold) have been identified to assess the eutrophication status of an ecosystem. Large databases of observations (in situ) are required to properly assess the eutrophication status. Marine hydrodynamic/ecosystem models provide continuous fields of a wide range of ecosystem characteristics. Using such models in this context could help to overcome the lack of in situ data, and provide a powerful tool for ecosystem-based management and policy makers. Here we demonstrate a methodology that uses a combination of model outputs and in situ data to assess the risk of eutrophication in the coastal domain of the North Sea. The risk of eutrophication is computed for the past and present time as well as for different future scenarios. This allows us to assess both the current risk and its sensitivity to anthropogenic pressure and climate change. Model sensitivity studies suggest that the coastal waters of the North Sea may be more sensitive to anthropogenic rivers loads than climate change in the near future (to 2040).

No MeSH data available.