Assessing the effects of WFD nutrient reductions within an OSPAR frame using trans-boundary nutrient modeling

Hermann-Josef Lenhart, Fabian Große

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

2 Citations (Scopus)
5 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

The reduction of riverine nutrients inputs is considered the means of choice to improve the eutrophication status of the southern North Sea. With the European Union's Water Framework Directive (WFD) reduction measures presently under debate, two questions arise: (1) What changes in eutrophication indicators can be expected? (2) How do the reductions by the individual member states contribute to these? We combine an element tracing method (TBNT) with a biogeochemical model to analyze the effects of WFD-compliant nitrogen reductions proposed by OSPAR's North Sea member states. We first analyze changes in selected OSPAR assessment parameters relative to a reference simulation. Second, we quantify the source-specific contributions to total nitrogen (TN) in different regions. An overall nitrogen load reduction of 14 % is achieved. However, the response shows significant spatial variations due to strong differences between the countries' load reductions. TN and dissolved inorganic nitrogen reductions up to 60 % and 35 % are simulated near the Bay of Seine (France) and in the German Bight, respectively. Along the Dutch coast, reductions are below 10 %, and no changes occur along the British coast. Reductions in chlorophyll-a are generally lower. The TBNT analysis for the German Exclusive Economic Zone shows a TN reduction in the coastal region comparable to the N reductions in the German rivers (~25 %). In the offshore region, TN is reduced by only 6 % due to the strong influence of riverine sources with only low reductions and non-riverine sources. Our analysis reveals that non-linear responses in the biogeochemistry cause a faster removal of N from rivers with strong reductions by benthic denitrification, which enhances indirectly the removal of N from less reduced sources. Consequently, reductions in remote sources in non-problem areas can have a relevant positive effect on problem areas. This demonstrates that the TBNT method is an ideal tool to put in practice the “source-oriented approach” advocated by OSPAR, and to inform stakeholders about the effects of defined reduction strategies. However, an assessment framework is required to efficiently use it in management and for decision making, either by OSPAR, or in the context of WFD or Marine Strategy Framework Directive.
Original languageEnglish
Article number447
Number of pages19
JournalFrontiers in Marine Science
Volume5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 27 Nov 2018

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Nutrients
Water
nutrient
nutrients
nitrogen
Modeling
modeling
Nitrogen
water
eutrophication
coasts
rivers
dissolved inorganic nitrogen
biogeochemistry
Eutrophication
North Sea
denitrification
European Union
stakeholders
spatial variation

Keywords

  • European Union's Water Framework Directive (WFD)
  • element tracing method
  • eutrophication
  • marine ecosystems

Cite this

@article{9073370454874cbdbe71d3ece61f81a9,
title = "Assessing the effects of WFD nutrient reductions within an OSPAR frame using trans-boundary nutrient modeling",
abstract = "The reduction of riverine nutrients inputs is considered the means of choice to improve the eutrophication status of the southern North Sea. With the European Union's Water Framework Directive (WFD) reduction measures presently under debate, two questions arise: (1) What changes in eutrophication indicators can be expected? (2) How do the reductions by the individual member states contribute to these? We combine an element tracing method (TBNT) with a biogeochemical model to analyze the effects of WFD-compliant nitrogen reductions proposed by OSPAR's North Sea member states. We first analyze changes in selected OSPAR assessment parameters relative to a reference simulation. Second, we quantify the source-specific contributions to total nitrogen (TN) in different regions. An overall nitrogen load reduction of 14 {\%} is achieved. However, the response shows significant spatial variations due to strong differences between the countries' load reductions. TN and dissolved inorganic nitrogen reductions up to 60 {\%} and 35 {\%} are simulated near the Bay of Seine (France) and in the German Bight, respectively. Along the Dutch coast, reductions are below 10 {\%}, and no changes occur along the British coast. Reductions in chlorophyll-a are generally lower. The TBNT analysis for the German Exclusive Economic Zone shows a TN reduction in the coastal region comparable to the N reductions in the German rivers (~25 {\%}). In the offshore region, TN is reduced by only 6 {\%} due to the strong influence of riverine sources with only low reductions and non-riverine sources. Our analysis reveals that non-linear responses in the biogeochemistry cause a faster removal of N from rivers with strong reductions by benthic denitrification, which enhances indirectly the removal of N from less reduced sources. Consequently, reductions in remote sources in non-problem areas can have a relevant positive effect on problem areas. This demonstrates that the TBNT method is an ideal tool to put in practice the “source-oriented approach” advocated by OSPAR, and to inform stakeholders about the effects of defined reduction strategies. However, an assessment framework is required to efficiently use it in management and for decision making, either by OSPAR, or in the context of WFD or Marine Strategy Framework Directive.",
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language = "English",
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Assessing the effects of WFD nutrient reductions within an OSPAR frame using trans-boundary nutrient modeling. / Lenhart, Hermann-Josef; Große, Fabian.

In: Frontiers in Marine Science, Vol. 5, 447, 27.11.2018.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

TY - JOUR

T1 - Assessing the effects of WFD nutrient reductions within an OSPAR frame using trans-boundary nutrient modeling

AU - Lenhart, Hermann-Josef

AU - Große, Fabian

PY - 2018/11/27

Y1 - 2018/11/27

N2 - The reduction of riverine nutrients inputs is considered the means of choice to improve the eutrophication status of the southern North Sea. With the European Union's Water Framework Directive (WFD) reduction measures presently under debate, two questions arise: (1) What changes in eutrophication indicators can be expected? (2) How do the reductions by the individual member states contribute to these? We combine an element tracing method (TBNT) with a biogeochemical model to analyze the effects of WFD-compliant nitrogen reductions proposed by OSPAR's North Sea member states. We first analyze changes in selected OSPAR assessment parameters relative to a reference simulation. Second, we quantify the source-specific contributions to total nitrogen (TN) in different regions. An overall nitrogen load reduction of 14 % is achieved. However, the response shows significant spatial variations due to strong differences between the countries' load reductions. TN and dissolved inorganic nitrogen reductions up to 60 % and 35 % are simulated near the Bay of Seine (France) and in the German Bight, respectively. Along the Dutch coast, reductions are below 10 %, and no changes occur along the British coast. Reductions in chlorophyll-a are generally lower. The TBNT analysis for the German Exclusive Economic Zone shows a TN reduction in the coastal region comparable to the N reductions in the German rivers (~25 %). In the offshore region, TN is reduced by only 6 % due to the strong influence of riverine sources with only low reductions and non-riverine sources. Our analysis reveals that non-linear responses in the biogeochemistry cause a faster removal of N from rivers with strong reductions by benthic denitrification, which enhances indirectly the removal of N from less reduced sources. Consequently, reductions in remote sources in non-problem areas can have a relevant positive effect on problem areas. This demonstrates that the TBNT method is an ideal tool to put in practice the “source-oriented approach” advocated by OSPAR, and to inform stakeholders about the effects of defined reduction strategies. However, an assessment framework is required to efficiently use it in management and for decision making, either by OSPAR, or in the context of WFD or Marine Strategy Framework Directive.

AB - The reduction of riverine nutrients inputs is considered the means of choice to improve the eutrophication status of the southern North Sea. With the European Union's Water Framework Directive (WFD) reduction measures presently under debate, two questions arise: (1) What changes in eutrophication indicators can be expected? (2) How do the reductions by the individual member states contribute to these? We combine an element tracing method (TBNT) with a biogeochemical model to analyze the effects of WFD-compliant nitrogen reductions proposed by OSPAR's North Sea member states. We first analyze changes in selected OSPAR assessment parameters relative to a reference simulation. Second, we quantify the source-specific contributions to total nitrogen (TN) in different regions. An overall nitrogen load reduction of 14 % is achieved. However, the response shows significant spatial variations due to strong differences between the countries' load reductions. TN and dissolved inorganic nitrogen reductions up to 60 % and 35 % are simulated near the Bay of Seine (France) and in the German Bight, respectively. Along the Dutch coast, reductions are below 10 %, and no changes occur along the British coast. Reductions in chlorophyll-a are generally lower. The TBNT analysis for the German Exclusive Economic Zone shows a TN reduction in the coastal region comparable to the N reductions in the German rivers (~25 %). In the offshore region, TN is reduced by only 6 % due to the strong influence of riverine sources with only low reductions and non-riverine sources. Our analysis reveals that non-linear responses in the biogeochemistry cause a faster removal of N from rivers with strong reductions by benthic denitrification, which enhances indirectly the removal of N from less reduced sources. Consequently, reductions in remote sources in non-problem areas can have a relevant positive effect on problem areas. This demonstrates that the TBNT method is an ideal tool to put in practice the “source-oriented approach” advocated by OSPAR, and to inform stakeholders about the effects of defined reduction strategies. However, an assessment framework is required to efficiently use it in management and for decision making, either by OSPAR, or in the context of WFD or Marine Strategy Framework Directive.

KW - European Union's Water Framework Directive (WFD)

KW - element tracing method

KW - eutrophication

KW - marine ecosystems

U2 - 10.3389/fmars.2018.00447

DO - 10.3389/fmars.2018.00447

M3 - Article

VL - 5

JO - Frontiers in Marine Science

JF - Frontiers in Marine Science

SN - 2296-7745

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ER -