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On the response of the Baltic proper to changes of the total phosphorus supply

Journal article
Authors Anders Stigebrandt
Published in Ambio
Volume 47
Issue 1
Pages 31-44
ISSN 0044-7447
Publication year 2018
Published at Department of marine sciences
Pages 31-44
Language en
Links dx.doi.org/10.1007/s13280-017-0933-...
https://gup.ub.gu.se/file/207149
Keywords Anoxic conditions, Baltic Sea, Internal source, P, Phosphorus model, Restoration
Subject categories Oceanography

Abstract

© 2017 The Author(s) Using a time-dependent phosphorus (P) budget model for the Baltic proper, describing sources and sinks at the external borders of the water column, one may compute the e-folding time T of the adjustment of the winter surface water P concentration c 1 to abruptly changed total P supply. The restoration time TR = 3T is introduced as a practical measure of the time it takes to achieve 95% of the change of c 1 towards the final, equilibrium, state c 1e . The P budget model, including an internal source emanating from deep anoxic bottoms, also shows that c 1e is proportional to the total P supply to the water column. About 70% of present time total P supply to the Baltic proper comes from deep anoxic bottoms. If deep bottoms were kept oxygenated, this internal P supply would be turned off and the equilibrium concentration c 1e would be reduced by about 70%. This should imply that the Baltic proper may be restored to a state determined by the external P supplies from land-based and oceanic sources. According to the model, restoration would take 10–15 years. Thereafter most of the equipment used for oxygenation may be shut off since also the deepwater oxygen demand by decomposition of fresh organic matter, would have decreased by about 70% implying that the deepwater would be kept oxic by the natural vertical circulation. The model presented in this paper provides a new science-based solution of the eutrophication problem of the Baltic proper, which is of great interest from a management point of view.

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