Nutrient dynamics

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Nutrient export fluxes in coastal systems, primarily as nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P) and silicon (Si), have a significant impact on water quality and control the nature and magnitude of coastal productivity. In coastal areas, nutrients are delivered by rivers, groundwater discharge and atmospheric deposition. The growing impact of anthropogenic activities has profoundly affected the quality of marine waters over the last 50 years. Such alterations are well documented and have been linked to perturbations in nutrient export fluxes from the continent[1] . In areas of restricted water exchange, the export of excess N and P to coastal waters may cause coastal eutrophication, a blooming of suspended and bed-anchored algae (including toxic species), alteration of community structures, degradation in the ecosystem function and modifications of marine food webs[2] . The continuing changes in land use and global urbanisation of coastal margins[3] thus pose a continual threat to coastal waters.

Continental Nutrient Sources and Nutrient Transformation

The following pages discuss the issue of Nutrient Dynamics further. Nutrients in coastal environments come from various sources - through rivers, groundwater or atmospheric deposition. The main species - Nitrogen, Phosphorus and Silicon - undergo different transformation processes and states.

Continental Nutrient Sources and Nutrient Transformation

European Context of Nutrient Dynamics

Nutrient budgets and fluxes have been established at the local (major rivers) and regional (coastal seas) scales across Europe. This article provides examples of these.

European Context of Nutrient Dynamics


References

  1. Vanderborght, J-P, I. Folmer, D. Rodriguez Aguilera, T. Uhrenholt, and P. Regnier (2007), Reactive-transport modelling of a river-estuarine coastal zone system: application to the Western Scheldt, Marine Chemistry 106, 92-110.
  2. Garnier, J., G. Billen, E. Hannon, S. Fonbonna, Y. Videnia, and M. Soulie (2002), Modelling the transfer and retention of nutrients in the drainage network of the Danube river, Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science, 54, 285-308.
  3. Tappin, A.D. (2002), An Examination of the Fluxes of Nitrogen and Phosphorus in Temperate and Tropical Estuaries: Current Estimates and Uncertainties, Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science 55, 885-901.


See also

Eutrophication
Nutrient analysers
Nutrient cycling

External links

ELOISE Nutrient Dynamics in European Water Systems ONLINE
ELOISE Nutrient Dynamics in European Water Systems in pdf format
Case studies
LOICZ Land-Ocean Interactions in the Coastal Zone


The main author of this article is Pierre Regnier
Please note that others may also have edited the contents of this article.


The main author of this article is Claudette Spiteri
Please note that others may also have edited the contents of this article.