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Research article2024Peer reviewedOpen access

Managing multi-functional peri-urban landscapes: Impacts of horse-keeping on water quality

Kumblad, Linda; Petersson, Mona; Aronsson, Helena; Dinnetz, Patrik; Norberg, Lisbet; Winqvist, Camilla; Rydin, Emil; Hammer, Monica


Eutrophication assessments in water management to quantify nutrient loads and identify mitigating measures seldom include the contribution from horse facilities. This may be due to lack of appropriate methods, limited resources, or the belief that the impact from horses is insignificant. However, the recreational horse sector is growing, predominantly in multi-functional peri-urban landscapes. We applied an ecosystem management approach to quantify nutrient loads from horse facilities in the Stockholm Region, Sweden. We found that horses increased the total loads with 30-40% P and 20-45% N, with average area-specific loads of 1.2 kg P and 7.6 kg N ha-1 year-1. Identified local risk factors included manure management practices, trampling severity, soil condition and closeness to water. Comparisons of assessment methods showed that literature standard values of area-specific loads and water runoff may be sufficient at the catchment level, but in small and more complex catchments, measurements and local knowledge are needed.


Eutrophication; Land use modelling; Local measures; Nutrient load assessment; Water runoff modelling

Published in

AMBIO: A Journal of the Human Environment
2024, Volume: 53, number: 3, pages: 452-469 Publisher: SPRINGER

      SLU Authors

    • Sustainable Development Goals

      SDG6 Clean water and sanitation
      SDG11 Sustainable cities and communities

      UKÄ Subject classification

      Environmental Sciences related to Agriculture and Land-use

      Publication identifier


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