Skip to main content
SLU:s publikationsdatabas (SLUpub)
Forskningsartikel - Refereegranskat, 2018

Persistent and widespread long-term phosphorus declines in Boreal lakes in Sweden

Huser, Brian J.; Futter, Martyn N.; Wang, Rong; Folster, Jens


We present an analysis of long-term (1988-2013; 26 years) total phosphorus (TP) concentration trends in 81 Swedish boreal lakes subject tominimal anthropogenic disturbance. Near universal increases in dissolved organic carbon (DOC) concentrations and a widespread but hitherto unexplained decline in TP were observed. Over 50% of the lakes (n = 42) had significant declining TP trends over the past quarter century (Sen's slope = 2.5% y(-1)). These declines were linked to catchment processes related to changes in climate, recovery from acidification, and catchment soil properties, but were unrelated to trends in P deposition. Increasing DOC concentrations appear to be masking in-lake TP declines. When the effect of increasing DOC was removed, the small number of positive TP trends (N = 5) turned negative and the average decline in TP increased to 3.9% y(-1). The greatest relative TP declines occurred in already nutrient poor, oligotrophic systems and TP concentrations have reached the analytical detection limit (1 mu L-1) in some lakes. In addition, ongoing oligotrophication may be exacerbated by increased reliance on renewable energy from forest biomass and hydropower. It is a cause of significant concern that potential impairments to lake ecosystem functioning associated with oligotrophication are not well handled by a management paradigm focused exclusively on the negative consequences of increasing phosphorus concentrations. (C) 2017 The Authors. Published by Elsevier B.V.


Boreal; Oligotrophication; Phosphorus; Lakes; Long-term trends; Water quality

Publicerad i

Science of the Total Environment
2018, Volym: 613, sidor: 240-249