IMIS | Flanders Marine Institute

Flanders Marine Institute

Platform for marine research


Publications | Institutes | Persons | Datasets | Projects | Maps
[ report an error in this record ]basket (0): add | show Print this page

Temporal and spatial large-scale effects of eutrophication and oxygen deficiency on benthic fauna in Scandinavian and Baltic waters: a review
Karlson, K.; Rosenberg, R.; Bonsdorff, E. (2002). Temporal and spatial large-scale effects of eutrophication and oxygen deficiency on benthic fauna in Scandinavian and Baltic waters: a review, in: Gibson, R.N. et al. Oceanogr. Mar. Biol. Ann. Rev. 40. Oceanography and Marine Biology: An Annual Review, 40: pp. 427-489
In: Gibson, R.N.; Barnes, M.; Atkinson, R.J.A. (Ed.) (2002). Oceanogr. Mar. Biol. Ann. Rev. 40. Oceanography and Marine Biology: An Annual Review, 40. Taylor & Francis: London. ISBN 0-415-25462-0; e-ISBN 0-203-18059-3. 684 pp., more
In: Oceanography and Marine Biology: An Annual Review. Aberdeen University Press/Allen & Unwin: London. ISSN 0078-3218; e-ISSN 2154-9125, more
Peer reviewed article  

Available in  Authors 

    Literature reviews
    ANE, Baltic [Marine Regions]

Authors  Top 
  • Karlson, K.
  • Rosenberg, R., more
  • Bonsdorff, E., more

    Eutrophication has been an increasing ecological threat during the past 50 yr in many Scandinavian and Baltic marine waters. Large sedimentary areas are seasonally, or more or less permanently, affected by hypoxia and/or anoxia with devastating effects on the benthic macrofauna in, for example, the Baltic Sea, the Belt Seas and Öresund between Denmark and Sweden, the Kattegat and the Skagerrak coast towards the North Sea. In this review figures for the input of nitrogen and phosphorus to different sea areas are presented, and in several cases also changes of nitrogen and phosphorus concentrations in the water. The nutrient input is related to production levels, and related to macrobenthic infauna. Changes of dominant benthic species, abundance and biomass are presented in relation to both changes in organic enrichment and hypoxia and/or anoxia in time and space.Since the 1950s-60s, the benthic faunal biomass has increased in the Gulf of Bothnia as a result of increased organic enrichment. In the Åland Archipelago, the number of benthic species decreased since the 1970s but abundance and biomass increased. Drifting algae at the sediment surface has also been an increasing problem. The changes were caused by increasing eutrophication. In the Finnish Archipelago Sea, large-scale eutrophication has resulted in periodic bottom water hypoxia and drifting algal mats with negative effects on benthic fauna. In the Gulf of Finland, the benthic fauna has been negatively affected by hypoxic bottom water below 70 m depth since the 1960s, but with a period of improved oxygen conditions during 1987-94. In the Baltic Proper, large sea-bed areas of 70 000-100 000 km² below 70-80 m water depth have been more or less hypoxic and/or anoxic since the 1960s with no or reduced sediment-dwelling fauna. This process was a result of increased eutrophication and lack of larger inflows of oxygenated water from the Kattegat. Several coastal areas and larger basins in the southern Baltic (e.g. the Bornholm Basin, the Arkona Basin and the Kiel Bay), have, on occasions, been similarly negatively affected by hypoxic bottom water. Many sedimentary areas below ~17 m in the Danish Belt Seas have been affected by seasonal hypoxia since the 1970s with negative consequences for the bottom fauna. On the Danish Kattegat coast, the benthic fauna in the Limfjord, the Mariager fjord and the Roskilde fjord have been particularly negatively affected. In the southeast, open Kattegat, increased input of nutrients in combination with stratification have resulted in seasonal hypoxia since 1980 with negative effects on benthic animals and commercial fish species in most years. Several fjords on the Swedish and Norwegian Skagerrak coast have shown negative temporal trends in bottom water oxygen concentrations, and some of them lack benthic fauna in the deeper parts for several months or more.In this review the temporal development of bottom water hypoxia and/or anoxia is discussed and consequent possible losses of sediment-dwelling faunal biomass are roughly calculated. In total for the areas investigated, the worst years of hypoxia and/or anoxia combined may have reduced the benthic macrofaunal biomass by 3 million t. This loss is partly compensated by the biomass increase that has occurred in well-flushed organically enriched coastal areas. Tolerance of some Baltic species to hypoxia and/or anoxia is discussed and also their different strategies to cope with hypoxia and/or anoxia and H2S.

All data in the Integrated Marine Information System (IMIS) is subject to the VLIZ privacy policy Top | Authors