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Title [en]
UPPBASER - Understanding Past and Present Baltic Sea Ecosystem Response - background for a sustainable future
Abstract [en]
The Baltic Sea is today one of earth's most endangered semi enclosed seas as a result of increased anthropogenic pressure manifested in e.g. eutrophication, overfishing, biodiversity loss, toxic pollutants and alien species. Eutrophication causes hypoxia (oxygen concentration less than 2 mg L-1) in bottom waters, killing benthic organisms and altering biogeochemical cycles. It is considered one of the most severe threats to marine ecosystems. The role of humans and climate in driving the eutrophication and hypoxia in the Baltic Sea needs to be understood, especially at present when global warming in the basin is projected to be around 3-5°C during the course of the 21st century (HELCOM 2007). The Baltic Sea coastal zone contains at present >20% of all identified hypoxic sites worldwide and shows an increasing trend since 1950, but data on long-term trends of hypoxia are lacking. Knowledge of pristine nutrient conditions in the Baltic coastal zone is essential to set appropriate targets within the EU Water Framework Directive and limitations on nutrient emissions for countries bordering the Baltic Sea within the Baltic Sea Action Plan.This proposed project will disentangle the role of human- and climate-driven processes that result in events of eutrophication and hypoxia in the Baltic Sea during the last 2000 years. Research emphasis is on the coastal zone, where responses to human activities on land can be expected to be first recorded, and its coupling with the open Baltic Sea, and will be accomplished by focusing on four over-arching objectives:• The long-term trends in coastal hypoxia in time and space • The driving forces for hypoxia in the coastal zone through time • Influence of changes in land-use on coastal waters and interactions between the coast and open Baltic Sea • Background nutrient conditions in the coastal zone as a target for sustainable Baltic Sea management There is a strong need for interdisciplinary work to solve the environmental problems of the Baltic Sea and our results will be of interest to a wide range of scientists working with sustainability within the Baltic Sea drainage area as well as management authorities.
Publications (6 of 6) Show all publications
Norbäck Ivarsson, L., Andrén, T., Moros, M., Andersen, T. J., Lönn, M. & Andrén, E. (2019). Baltic Sea Coastal Eutrophication in a Thousand Year Perspective. Frontiers in Environmental Science, 7, Article ID 88.
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Baltic Sea Coastal Eutrophication in a Thousand Year Perspective
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2019 (English)In: Frontiers in Environmental Science, ISSN 2296-665X, Vol. 7, article id 88Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Sediment cores from three sites along the east-coast of Sweden, north-western Baltic Proper, have been studied with respect to lithologies, geochemistry and diatom assemblages to trace and date early human impact with emphasis on nutrient discharge. The three sites Bråviken, Himmerfjärden and Ådfjärden, have been impacted to various degree during the last millennia by multiple stressors like excessive nutrient discharge and hazardous substances, leading to coastal hypoxia, eutrophication and pollution. These stressors are mainly caused by drivers in the drainage area as increased human population, changed land use and point sources as industries and a sewage treatment plant. Even though their detailed history differs, the results show similar general patterns for all three sites. We find no evidence in our data from the coastal zone supporting the hypothesis that the extensive areal distribution of hypoxia in the open Baltic Sea during the Medieval Climate Anomaly was caused by human impact. Timing of the onset of man-made eutrophication, as identified from d15N and changes in diatom composition, differs between the three sites, reflecting the site specific geography and local environmental histories of these areas. The onset of eutrophication dates to 1800 CE in Bråviken and Himmerfjärden areas, and to 1900 CE in the less urban area of Ådfjärden. We conclude that the recorded environmental changes during the last centuries are unique in a thousand year perspective.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Frontiers Media S.A., 2019
Keywords
diatom stratigraphy, stable nitrogen isotopes, hypoxia, Medieval Climate Anomaly, NW Baltic proper, nutrient discharge
National Category
Environmental Sciences
Research subject
Environmental Studies; Baltic and East European studies
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:sh:diva-38479 (URN)10.3389/fenvs.2019.00088 (DOI)2-s2.0-85068480167 (Scopus ID)1562/3.1.1/2013 (Local ID)1562/3.1.1/2013 (Archive number)1562/3.1.1/2013 (OAI)
Funder
The Foundation for Baltic and East European Studies, 1562/3.1.1/2013Stockholm County Council
Available from: 2019-06-25 Created: 2019-06-25 Last updated: 2019-08-06Bibliographically approved
van Wirdum, F., Andrén, E., Wienholz, D., Kotthoff, U., Moros, M., Fanget, A.-S. -., . . . Andrén, T. (2019). Middle to late holocene variations in salinity and primary productivity in the central Baltic Sea: A multiproxy study from the landsort deep. Frontiers in Marine Science, 6, Article ID 51.
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Middle to late holocene variations in salinity and primary productivity in the central Baltic Sea: A multiproxy study from the landsort deep
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2019 (English)In: Frontiers in Marine Science, E-ISSN 2296-7745, Vol. 6, article id 51Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Anthropogenic forcing has led to an increased extent of hypoxic bottom areas in the Baltic Sea during recent decades. The Baltic Sea ecosystem is naturally prone to the development of hypoxic conditions due to its geographical, hydrographical, geological, and climate features. Besides the current spreading of hypoxia, the Baltic Sea has experienced two extensive periods of hypoxic conditions during the Holocene, caused by changing climate conditions during the Holocene Thermal Maximum (HTM; 8–4.8 cal ka BP) and the Medieval Climate Anomaly (MCA; 1–0.7 cal ka BP). We studied the variations in surface and bottom water salinity and primary productivity and their relative importance for the development and termination of hypoxia by using microfossil and geochemical data from a sediment core retrieved from the Landsort Deep during IODP Expedition 347 (Site M0063). Our findings demonstrate that increased salinity was of major importance for the development of hypoxic conditions during the HTM. In contrast, we could not clearly relate the termination of this hypoxic period to salinity changes. The reconstructed high primary productivity associated with the hypoxic period during the MCA is not accompanied by considerable increases in salinity. Our proxies for salinity show a decreasing trend before, during and after the MCA. Therefore, we suggest that this period of hypoxia is primarily driven by increasing temperatures due to the warmer climate. These results highlight the importance of natural climate driven changes in salinity and primary productivity for the development of hypoxia during a warming climate.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Frontiers Media S.A., 2019
Keywords
paleoceanography, hypoxia, geochemistry, diatoms, foraminifera, palynomorphs, IODP Expedition 347
National Category
Climate Research
Research subject
Baltic and East European studies; Environmental Studies
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:sh:diva-37781 (URN)10.3389/fmars.2019.00051 (DOI)2-s2.0-85061721558 (Scopus ID)1562/3.1.1/2013 (Local ID)1562/3.1.1/2013 (Archive number)1562/3.1.1/2013 (OAI)
Funder
The Foundation for Baltic and East European Studies, 1562/3.1.1/2013The Foundation for Baltic and East European Studies, 2207/3.1.1/2014Swedish Research Council, 826- 2012-5114
Note

This research was supported by the Foundation for Baltic and East European Studies (Grants 1562/3.1.1/2013 and 2207/3.1.1/2014), the Swedish Research Council (Grant 826- 2012-5114), the Carlsberg Foundation (IVAR-347 project) and Geocenter Denmark (DAN-IODP-SEIS project), the Independent Research Fund Denmark (Grant 7014-00113B, G-Ice), and the German Research Foundation (DFG, projects Ko3944/6-1 and Ko3944/8–1).

Available from: 2019-03-01 Created: 2019-03-01 Last updated: 2019-06-25Bibliographically approved
Ning, W., Nielsen, A., Norbäck Ivarsson, L., Jilber, T., Åkesson, C., Slomp, C., . . . Filipsson, H. (2018). Anthropogenic and climatic impacts on a coastal environment in the Baltic Sea over the last 1000 years. Anthropocene, 21, 66-79
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Anthropogenic and climatic impacts on a coastal environment in the Baltic Sea over the last 1000 years
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2018 (English)In: Anthropocene, E-ISSN 2213-3054, Vol. 21, p. 66-79Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Coastal environments have experienced large ecological changes as a result of human activities over the last 100−200 years. To understand the severity and potential consequences of such changes, paleoenvironmental records provide important contextual information. The Baltic Sea coastal zone is naturally a vulnerable system and subject to significant human-induced impacts. To put the recent environmental degradation in the Baltic coastal zone into a long-term perspective, and to assess the natural and anthropogenic drivers of environmental change, we present sedimentary records covering the last 1000 years obtained from a coastal inlet (Gåsfjärden) and a nearby lake (Lake Storsjön) in Sweden. We investigate the links between a pollen-based land cover reconstruction from Lake Storsjön and paleoenvironmental variables from Gåsfjärden itself, including diatom assemblages,organic carbon (C) and nitrogen (N) contents, stable C and N isotopic ratios, and biogenic silica contents. The Lake Storsjön record shows that regional land use was characterized by small-scale agricultural activity between 900 and 1400 CE, which slightly intensified between 1400 and 1800 CE. Substantial expansion of cropland was observed between 1800 and 1950 CE, before afforestation between 1950 and 2010 CE. From the Gåsfjärden record, prior to 1800 CE, relatively minor changes in the diatom and geochemical proxies were found. The onset of cultural eutrophication in Gåsfjärden can be traced to the 1800s and intensified land use is identified as the main driver. Anthropogenic activities in the 20th century have caused unprecedented ecosystem changes in the coastal inlet, as reflected in the diatom composition and geochemical proxies.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Elsevier, 2018
Keywords
land use, eutrophication, mining, hypoxia, coastal area, Baltic Sea
National Category
Earth and Related Environmental Sciences
Research subject
Environmental Studies
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:sh:diva-34716 (URN)10.1016/j.ancene.2018.02.003 (DOI)000429091500006 ()2-s2.0-85043469367 (Scopus ID)1562/3.1.1/2013 (Local ID)1562/3.1.1/2013 (Archive number)1562/3.1.1/2013 (OAI)
Funder
Swedish Research Council Formas, 217-2010-126The Foundation for Baltic and East European Studies, 1562/3.1.1/2013The Crafoord FoundationEU, European Research Council, 278364
Note

Funder

Royal Physiographic Society in Lund

Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research (NWO Vidi 86405.004)

Available from: 2018-03-05 Created: 2018-03-05 Last updated: 2019-06-25Bibliographically approved
Kotthoff, U., Groeneveld, J., Ash, J., Fanget, A.-S., Krupinski, N., Peyron, O., . . . Bauersachs, T. (2017). Reconstructing Holocene temperature and salinity variations in the western Baltic Sea region: a multi-proxy comparison from the Little Belt (IODP Expedition 347, Site M0059). Biogeosciences, 14, 5607-5632
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Reconstructing Holocene temperature and salinity variations in the western Baltic Sea region: a multi-proxy comparison from the Little Belt (IODP Expedition 347, Site M0059)
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2017 (English)In: Biogeosciences, ISSN 1726-4170, E-ISSN 1726-4189, Vol. 14, p. 5607-5632Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Sediment records recovered from the Baltic Sea during Integrated Ocean Drilling Program Expedition 347 provide a unique opportunity to study paleoenvironmental and climate change in central and northern Europe. Such studies contribute to a better understanding of how environmental parameters change in continental shelf seas and enclosed basins. Here we present a multi-proxy-based reconstruction of paleotemperature (both marine and terrestrial), paleosalinity, and paleoecosystem changes from the Little Belt (Site M0059) over the past  ∼  8000 years and evaluate the applicability of inorganic- and organic-based proxies in this particular setting. All salinity proxies (diatoms, aquatic palynomorphs, ostracods, diol index) show that lacustrine conditions occurred in the Little Belt until  ∼  7400 cal yr BP. A connection to the Kattegat at this time can thus be excluded, but a direct connection to the Baltic Proper may have existed. The transition to the brackish–marine conditions of the Littorina Sea stage (more saline and warmer) occurred within  ∼  200 years when the connection to the Kattegat became established after  ∼  7400 cal yr BP. The different salinity proxies used here generally show similar trends in relative changes in salinity, but often do not allow quantitative estimates of salinity. The reconstruction of water temperatures is associated with particularly large uncertainties and variations in absolute values by up to 8 °C for bottom waters and up to 16 °C for surface waters. Concerning the reconstruction of temperature using foraminiferal Mg  /  Ca ratios, contamination by authigenic coatings in the deeper intervals may have led to an overestimation of temperatures. Differences in results based on the lipid paleothermometers (long chain diol index and TEXL86) can partly be explained by the application of modern-day proxy calibrations to intervals that experienced significant changes in depositional settings: in the case of our study, the change from freshwater to marine conditions. Our study shows that particular caution has to be taken when applying and interpreting proxies in coastal environments and marginal seas, where water mass conditions can experience more rapid and larger changes than in open ocean settings. Approaches using a multitude of independent proxies may thus allow a more robust paleoenvironmental assessment.

National Category
Geosciences, Multidisciplinary
Research subject
Environmental Studies
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:sh:diva-33885 (URN)10.5194/bg-14-5607-2017 (DOI)000417849900001 ()2-s2.0-85038405810 (Scopus ID)2207/3.1.1/2014 (Local ID)2207/3.1.1/2014 (Archive number)2207/3.1.1/2014 (OAI)
Funder
The Foundation for Baltic and East European Studies, 1562/3.1.1/2013The Foundation for Baltic and East European Studies, 2207/3.1.1/2014
Available from: 2017-12-14 Created: 2017-12-14 Last updated: 2019-08-19Bibliographically approved
Andrén, E., Telford, R. J. & Jonsson, P. (2017). Reconstructing the history of eutrophication and quantifying total nitrogen reference conditions in Bothnian Sea coastal waters. Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science, 198, 320-328
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Reconstructing the history of eutrophication and quantifying total nitrogen reference conditions in Bothnian Sea coastal waters
2017 (English)In: Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science, ISSN 0272-7714, E-ISSN 1096-0015, Vol. 198, p. 320-328Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Reference total nitrogen (TN) concentrations for the Gårdsfjärden estuary in the central Bothnian Sea, which receives discharge from an industrial point-source, have been estimated from diatom assemblages using a transfer function. Sedimentological and diatom evidence imply a good ecological status before 1920 with an assemblage dominated by benthic taxa indicating excellent water transparency, high diatom species richness and less organic sedimentation resulting in homogeneous well oxygenated sediments. A change in the diatom assemblage starts between 1920 and 1935 when the species richness declines and the proportion of planktic taxa increases. Increased organic carbon sedimentation after 1920 led to hypoxic bottom waters, and the preservation of laminae in the sediments. The trend in the reconstructed TN-values agrees with the history of the discharge from the mill, reaching maximum impact during the high discharge between 1945 and 1990. The background condition for TN in Gårdsfjärden is 260-300 μg L-1, reconstructed until 1920.

Keywords
Baltic Sea, Nitrogen reconstruction, Diatoms, Transfer function, Water framework directive, BSAP
National Category
Earth and Related Environmental Sciences
Research subject
Environmental Studies; Politics, Economy and the Organization of Society
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:sh:diva-30837 (URN)10.1016/j.ecss.2016.07.015 (DOI)000416187500002 ()2-s2.0-84996525916 (Scopus ID)1562/3.1.1/2013 (Local ID)1562/3.1.1/2013 (Archive number)1562/3.1.1/2013 (OAI)
Projects
DEFINE
Funder
Nordic Council of Ministers, 04NUT9EU, FP7, Seventh Framework Programme, EVK3-CT-2000-00031The Foundation for Baltic and East European Studies, 1562/3.1.1/2013Stockholm County Council
Available from: 2016-09-08 Created: 2016-09-08 Last updated: 2019-06-25Bibliographically approved
Andrén, E. & Andrén, T. (2014). Syrefria bottnar - orsakade av klimat, människa eller både och?. Havsutsikt (2), 12-14
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Syrefria bottnar - orsakade av klimat, människa eller både och?
2014 (Swedish)In: Havsutsikt, ISSN 1104-0513, no 2, p. 12-14Article in journal (Other (popular science, discussion, etc.)) Published
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Stockholm University, 2014
Keywords
Östersjöns miljö, syrefria bottnar, laminerade sediment
National Category
Biological Sciences Earth and Related Environmental Sciences
Research subject
Environmental Studies
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:sh:diva-25488 (URN)1562/3.1.1/2013 (Local ID)1562/3.1.1/2013 (Archive number)1562/3.1.1/2013 (OAI)
Funder
The Foundation for Baltic and East European Studies, 1562/3.1.1/2013
Available from: 2014-12-15 Created: 2014-12-15 Last updated: 2019-06-25Bibliographically approved
Co-InvestigatorAndrén, Thomas
Principal InvestigatorAndrén, Elinor
Coordinating organisation
Södertörn University
Funder
Period
2014-01-01 - 2016-12-31
Keywords [sv]
Östersjö- och Östeuropaforskning
Keywords [en]
Baltic and East European studies
National Category
Environmental SciencesPhysical Geography
Identifiers
DiVA, id: project:1764Project, id: 34/2013_OSS

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