Journal of Paleolimnology

, Volume 35, Issue 3, pp 571–592 | Cite as

Assessing Recent Eutrophication in Coastal Waters of the Gulf of Finland (Baltic Sea) using Subfossil Diatoms

  • Kaarina Weckström
Article

Abstract

Marine eutrophication of estuaries and coastal waters is considered to be a significant problem worldwide. In the semi-enclosed Baltic Sea, where the nutrient load has strongly increased from its natural level, this has led to marked changes in the coastal ecosystems. A key to successful management of coastal waters is reliable scientific evidence of their past state. The palaeolimnological record of subfossil diatoms was used to study the rate and magnitude of eutrophication over the last ca. 200 years in two urban and three rural sites. The urban sites showed marked increases in the percentage abundance of planktonic diatoms (from <50 to ca. 90% and from <5 to ca. 70%) and diatom-inferred total dissolved nitrogen (from <800 to ca. 3000 μg l−1 and from <400 to ca. 800 μg l−1), and a decrease in species richness starting in the 19th – early 20th century with increased urbanisation. At both sites a clear recovery was observed after the cessation of waste water loading by the mid 1980s. The present planktonic diatom assemblages of these embayments, however, show no change back to the pre-disturbance diverse benthic communities. In contrast, the changes observed in the rural sites were only moderate and occurred later starting in the 1940s. No marked increases in diatom-inferred total dissolved nitrogen were seen, however, all sites showed an increase in small planktonic taxa (from ca. 1–6% to 8–36%) indicating increased nutrient enrichment and turbidity. These small floristic changes could be seen as an early warning signal despite little change in the inferred nutrient concentrations. The results have implications for the European Water Framework Directive, which requires European surface waters to be of good ecological status, defined both by biological and chemical quality elements.

Keywords

Baltic Sea Diatoms European Water Framework Directive Eutrophication Species richness Transfer function 

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. Andrén, E., Andren, T., Kunzendorf, H. 2000Holocene history of the Baltic Sea as a background for assessing records of human impact in the sediments of the Gotland BasinHolocene10687702CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Andrén, E., Shimmield, G., Brand, T. 1999Environmental changes of the last three centuries indicated by siliceous microfossil records from the southwestern Baltic SeaHolocene92538CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Anonymous 2000. Directive 200/60/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 23 October 2000 establishing a framework for Community action in the field of water policy. Official J. L 327/1.Google Scholar
  4. Appleby, P. 2001

    Chronostratigraphic techniques in recent sediments

    Last, W.M.Smol, J.P. eds. Tracking Environmental Change Using Lake Sediments, Vol 1: Basin Analysis, Coring, and Chronological TechniquesKluwerDordrecht171203
    Google Scholar
  5. Appleby P.G. 1998. Dating recent sediments by 210Pb: Problems and solutions. Proceedings of 2nd NKS/EKO-1 Seminar, Helsinki, 2–4, April 1997, STUK, Helsinkipp. 7–24.Google Scholar
  6. Appleby, P.G., Richardson, N., Nolan, P.J. 1992Self-absorption corrections for well-type germanium detectorsNucl. Instrum. Methods B71228233CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Appleby, P.G., Nolan, P.J., Gifford, D.W., Godfrey, M.J., Oldfield, F., Anderson, N.J., Battarbee, R.W. 1986210Pb dating by low background gamma countingHydrobiologia1412127Google Scholar
  8. Battarbee, R.W., Jones, V.J., Flower, R.J., Cameron, N.G., Bennion, H., Carvalho, L., Juggins, S 2001

    Diatoms

    Last, W.M.Birks, H.J.B.Smol, J.P. eds. Tracking Environmental Change Using Lake Sediments, Vol 3: Terrestrial, Algal, and Siliceous IndicatorsKluwerDordrecht155202
    Google Scholar
  9. Bennett, K.D. 1996Determination of the number of zones in a biostratigraphical sequenceNew Phytol.132155170Google Scholar
  10. Bennion, H. 1995Surface sediment diatom assemblages in shallow, artificial, enriched ponds, and implications for reconstructing trophic statusDiatom Res.10119Google Scholar
  11. Bennion, H., Appleby, P., Phillips, G.L. 2001Reconstructing nutrient histories in the Norfolk Broads, UK: implications for the role of diatom-total phosphorus transfer functions in shallow lake managementJ. Paleolimnol.26181204Google Scholar
  12. Bennion, H., Fluin, J., Simpson, G.L. 2004Assessing eutrophication and reference conditions for Scottish freshwater lochs using subfossil diatomsJ. Appl. Ecol.41124138CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Billen, G., Garnier, J. 1997The Phison River plume: coastal eutrophication in response to changes in land use and water management in the watershedAquat. Microb. Ecol.13317Google Scholar
  14. Birks, H.J.B., Line, J.M. 1992The use of rarefaction analysis for estimating palynological richness from Quaternary pollen-analytical dataHolocene2110Google Scholar
  15. Bonsdorff, E., Blomqvist, E.M., Mattila, J., Norkko, A. 1997Coastal eutrophication: causes, consequences and perspectives in the archipelago areas of the northern Baltic SeaEstuar. Coast. Shelf Sci.446372Google Scholar
  16. Boyle, J. 2004A comparison of two methods for estimating the organic matter content of sedimentsJ. Paleolimnol.31125127CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Bradshaw E.G. 2001. Linking land and lake. The response of lake nutrient regimes and diatoms to long-term land-use change in Denmark. Ph.D. thesis, University of Copenhagen, 118 pp.Google Scholar
  18. Bradshaw, E.G., Anderson, N.J., Jensen, J.P., Jeppesen, E. 2002Phosphorus dynamics in Danish lakes and the implications for diatom ecology and palaeoecologyFreshwat. Biol.4719631975Google Scholar
  19. Cederwall, H., Elmgren, R. 1990Biological effects of eutrophication in the Baltic Sea, particularly the coastal zoneAmbio19109112Google Scholar
  20. Clarke, A., Juggins, S., Conley, D. 2003A 150-year reconstruction of the history of coastal eutrophication in Roskilde Fjord, DenmarkMar. Pollut. Bull.4616151618Google Scholar
  21. Conley, D.J., Schelske, C.L., Stoermer, E.F. 1993Modification of the biogeochemical cycle of silica with eutrophicationMar. Ecol. Prog. Ser.101179192Google Scholar
  22. Cooper, S.R. 1995Diatoms in sediment cores from the mesohaline Chesapeake Bay, U.S.ADiatom Res.103989Google Scholar
  23. Cooper, S.R., Brush, G.S. 1991Long-term history of Chesapeake Bay anoxiaScience254992996Google Scholar
  24. Cooper, S.R., McGlothlin, S.K., Madritch, M., Jones, D.L. 2004Paleoecological evidence of human impacts on the Neuse and Pamlico estuaries of North Carolina, USAEstuaries27617633Google Scholar
  25. Denys, L. 1990

    Fragilaria blooms in the Holocene of the western coastal plain of Belgia

    Simola, H. eds. Proceedings of the Tenth International Diatom SymposiumKoeltzKoenigstein397406
    Google Scholar
  26. EDDI 2001. European Diatom Database. (http://craticula.ncl.ac.uk:8000/Eddi/jsp/index.jsp).
  27. Enkvist, T. 1974Yhdeksän vuosikymmentä elintarvike-ja ympäristöhygienian hyväksi. Helsingin kaupungin terveydellisten tutkimusten laboratorio 1884–1974Lahden kirjapaino ja Sanomalehti OyLahti116Google Scholar
  28. Finni, T., Laurila, S., Laakkonen, S. 2001The history of eutrophication in the sea area of Helsinki in the 20th century. Long-term analysis of plankton assemblagesAmbio30264271Google Scholar
  29. Grall, J., Chauvaud, L. 2002Marine eutrophication and benthos: the need for new approaches and conceptsGlobal Change Biol.8813830CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Granéli, E., Wallström, K., Larsson, U., Granéli, W., Elmgren, R. 1990Nutrient limitation of primary production in the Baltic Sea AreaAmbio19142151Google Scholar
  31. Gray, J.S., Wu, R.S., Or, Y.Y. 2002Effects of hypoxia and organic enrichment on the coastal marine environmentMar. Ecol. Prog. Ser.238249279Google Scholar
  32. Haworth, E.Y. 1976Two late-glacial (Late Devensian) diatom assemblage profiles from northern ScotlandNew Phytol.77225256Google Scholar
  33. HELCOM 2005. Nutrient pollution to the Baltic Sea in 2000. Baltic Sea Environment Proceedings 100. Helsinki Commission, 22 pp.Google Scholar
  34. Hill, M.O., Gauch, H.G. 1980Detrended correspondence analysis: an improved ordination techniqueVegetatio424758CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Hynynen, J., Palomäki, A., Meriläinen, J.J., Witick, A., Mäntykoski, K. 2004Pollution history and recovery of a boreal lake exposed to a heavy bleached pulping effluent loadJ. Paleolimnol.32351374CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Häyrén, E. 1921Studier över föroreningens inflytande på strändernas vegetation och flora i Helsingfors hamnområdeBidrag till Kännedom af Finlands Natur ock Folk80128Google Scholar
  37. IFA 1996–2005. International Fertilizer Industry Association. (http://www.fertilizer.org/ifa/statistics/IFADATA/dataline.asp).
  38. Jickells, T.D. 1998Nutrient biochemistry of the coastal zoneScience281217222CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Jones, V.J., Battarbee, R.W., Rose, N.L., Curtis, C., Appleby, P.G., Harriman, R., Shine, A. 1997Evidence for pollution of Loch Ness from the analysis of its recent sedimentsSci. Total Environ.2033749Google Scholar
  40. Juggins, S. 1991ZONE v.2.1. – unpublished computer programDepartment of Geography, University of NewcastleUKGoogle Scholar
  41. Juggins, S. 2004C2 Data Analysis, Version 1.4. Beta (build 3.2)University of NewcastleUKGoogle Scholar
  42. Jørgensen, B.B., Bang, M., Blackburn, T.H. 1990Anaerobic mineralization in marine sediments from the Baltic Sea-North Sea transitionMar. Ecol. Prog. Ser.593954Google Scholar
  43. Kauppila, P., Bäck, S. 2001The state of Finnish coastal waters in the 1990sFinnish Environ472134Google Scholar
  44. Kauppila, P., Weckström, K., Vaalgamaa, S., Pitkänen, H., Korhola, A., Reuss, N., Drew, S. 2005Tracing pollution and recovery using sediments in an urban estuary, the northern Baltic Sea: are we far from ecological reference conditions?Mar. Ecol. Prog. Ser.2903553Google Scholar
  45. Kohonen T. 1974. Suomen rannikon läheisten merialueiden tila vuosina 1966–1970. Vesientutkimuslaitoksen julkaisuja 8, Vesihallitus, 124 pp.Google Scholar
  46. Kokko H. and Turunen T. 1986. Viro- ja Urpalanjoen vesistöalueiden sekä Virolahden kalatalousselvitys vuonna 1986. Vesi-ja ympäristöhallituksen monistesarja 169, Vesi-ja ympäristöhallitus, 69 pp.Google Scholar
  47. Korhola, A., Blom, T. 1996Marked early 20th century pollution and the subsequent recovery of Töölö Bay, central Helsinkias indicated by subfossil diatom assemblage changesHydrobiologia341169179CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Krammer, K., Lange-Bertalot, H. 1986

    Bacillariophyceae 1 Teil: Naviculaceae

    Ettl, H.Gerloff, J.Heynig, H.Mollenhauer, D. eds. Süsswasserflora von MitteleuropaGustav Fischer VerlagStuttgart876
    Google Scholar
  49. Krammer, K., Lange-Bertalot, H. 1988

    Bacillariophyceae 2. Teil: Bacillariaceae, Epithemiaceae, Surirellaceae

    Ettl, H.Gerloff, J.Heynig, H.Mollenhauer, D. eds. Süsswasserflora von MitteleuropaGustav Fischer VerlagStuttgart596
    Google Scholar
  50. Krammer, K., Lange-Bertalot, H. 1991a

    Bacillariophyceae 3. Teil: Centrales, Fragilariaceae, Eunotiaceae

    Ettl, H.Gerloff, J.Heynig, H.Mollenhauer, D. eds. Süsswasserflora von MitteleuropaGustav Fischer VerlagStuttgart576
    Google Scholar
  51. Krammer, K., Lange-Bertalot, H. 1991b

    Bacillariophyceae 4. Teil: Achnanthaceae, Kritische Ergänzungen zu Navicula (Lineolatae) und Gomphonema

    Ettl, H.Gärtner, G.Gerloff, J.Heynig, H.Mollenhauer, D. eds. Süsswasserflora von MitteleuropaGustav Fischer VerlagStuttgart437
    Google Scholar
  52. Laakkonen, S., Lehtonen, P. 1999A quantitative analysis of discharges into the Helsinki urban sea area in 1850–1995Eur. Water Mgmt.23039Google Scholar
  53. Larsson, U., Elmgren, R., Wulff, F. 1985Eutrophication and the Baltic Sea: causes and consequencesAmbio14914Google Scholar
  54. Linnasalo, K., Penttilä, S. 2003Suojavyöhykkeiden ja maisemanhoidon yleissuunnitelma Ilolanjoen vesistöalueella Porvoossa, Askolassa, Myrskylässä, Pukkilassa ja Pernajassa. Uudenmaan ympäristökeskus – monisteita 122EditaHelsinki116Google Scholar
  55. Mackereth, F.J.H. 1969A short core sampler for subaquaeous depositsLimnol. Oceanogr.14145151Google Scholar
  56. Michelutti, N., Holtham, A.J., Douglas, M.S.V., Smol, J.P. 2003Periphytic diatom assemblages from ultra-oligotrophic and UV transparent lakes and ponds on Victoria Island and comparisons with other diatom surveys in the Canadian ArcticJ. Phycol.39465480CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  57. MOLTEN 2004. Monitoring long-term trends in eutrophication and nutrients in the coastal zone. (http://Craticula.ncl.ac.uk/Molten/jsp/).
  58. Niemi, G.J., DeVore, P., Detenbeck, N., Taylor, D., Lima, A., Pastor, J., Yount, J.D., Naiman, R.J. 1990Overview of case studies on recovery of aquatic systems from disturbanceEnviron. Mgmt.14571587Google Scholar
  59. Nixon, S.W. 1995Coastal marine eutrophication: a definition, social causes, and future concernsOphelia41199219Google Scholar
  60. Overpeck, J.T., Web, T.,III, Prentice, I.C. 1985Quantitative interpretation of fossil pollen spectra: dissimilarity coefficients and the method of modern analoguesQuat. Res.2387108CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  61. Pitkänen H. 1994. Eutrophication of the Finnish coastal waters: origin, fate and effects of riverine nutrient fluxes. Publ. Wat. Environ. Res. Inst. 18. Nat. Bd Wat. Environ., Helsinki, 45 pp.Google Scholar
  62. Pitkänen H., Kangas P., Miettinen V. and Ekholm P. 1987. The state of the Finnish coastal waters in 1979–1983. Publ. Wat. Environ. Admin. 8. Nat. Bd Wat. Environ., Helsinki, 167 pp.Google Scholar
  63. Pitkänen H., Kangas P., Sarkkula J., Lepistö L., Hällfors G. and Kauppila P. 1990. Veden laatu ja rehevyys itäisellä Suomenlahdella. Vesi- ja Ympäristöhallinnon Julkaisuja A50, 139 pp.Google Scholar
  64. Reid, M. 2005Diatom-based models for reconstructing past water quality and productivity in New Zealand lakesJ. Paleolimnol.331338CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  65. Renberg, I. 1990A procedure for preparing large sets of diatom slides from sediment coresJ. Paleolimnol.48790CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  66. Seppälä P. and Huttunen E. 2002. Virojokilaaksoviljelyalueiden suojavyöhykeyleissuunnitelma (Virojoki, Onkamaanjoki, Onkamaanjärvi). Pro Agria Kymenlaakson Maaseutukeskus, 24 pp.Google Scholar
  67. Snoeijs P. 1993. Intercalibration and distribution of diatom species in the Baltic SeaVolume 1. The Baltic Marine Biologists Publication 16a. Opulus Press, Uppsala, 129, pp.Google Scholar
  68. Snoeijs P. and Balashova N. 1998. Intercalibration and distribution of diatom species in the Baltic Sea, Volume 5. The Baltic Marine Biologists Publication 16e. Opulus Press, Uppsala, 144 pp.Google Scholar
  69. Snoeijs P. and Kasperovičienė J. 1996. Intercalibration and distribution of diatom species in the Baltic Sea, Volume 4. The Baltic Marine Biologists Publication 16d. Opulus Press, Uppsala, 126 pp.Google Scholar
  70. Snoeijs, P., Potapova, M. 1995Intercalibration and distribution of diatom species in the Baltic Sea, Volume 3Opulus PressUppsala126The Baltic Marine Biologists Publication 16c.Google Scholar
  71. Snoeijs P. and Vilbaste S. 1994. Intercalibration and distribution of diatom species in the Baltic Sea, Volume 2. The Baltic Marine Biologists Publication 16b. Opulus Press, Uppsala, 126 pp.Google Scholar
  72. Soininen A. 1974. Vanha maataloutemme. Historiallisia tutkimuksia 96. Suomen historiallinen seura, 459 pp.Google Scholar
  73. Sundbäck, K., Snoeijs, P. 1991Effects of nutrient enrichment on microalgal community composition in a coastal shallow-water sediment system: an experimental studyBot. Mar.34341358Google Scholar
  74. Suomen kartasto 1990. Vihko 123–126, Geologia. Maanmittaushallitus, Helsinki, 58 pp.Google Scholar
  75. Tamminen E. and Kukkamäki M. 1985. Helsingin vesipiirin vesitoimiston maastotarkastus-muistio, 3 pp.Google Scholar
  76. Ter Braak, C.J.F., Juggins, S. 1993Weighted averaging partial least squares regression (WA-PLS): an improved method for reconstructing environmental variables from species assemblagesHydrobiologia269/270485502Google Scholar
  77. Ter Braak C.J.F. and Šmilauer P. 1998. CANOCO Reference Manual and User’s Guide to Canoco for Windows: Software for Canonical Community Ordination (version 4). Microcomputer PowerIthaca, 499 pp.Google Scholar
  78. Tibby, J. 2004Development of a diatom-based model for inferring total phosphorus in southeastern Australian water storagesJ. Paleolimnol.312336CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  79. Tikkanen M., Korhola A., Seppä H. and Virkanen J. 1996. Töölönlahden ympäristöhistoria ja veden laadun muutokset pohjasedimenttien kuvastamana. Helsingin kaupungin tietokeskuksen tutkimuksia 1996, 4, 96 pp.Google Scholar
  80. Tikkanen, M., Korhola, A., Seppä, H., Virkanen, J. 1997A long-term record of human impacts on an urban ecosystem in the sediments of Töölönlahti Bay in Helsinki, FinlandEnviron. Conserv.24326337Google Scholar
  81. Vaalgamaa, S. 2004The effect of urbanisation on Laajalahti Bay, Helsinki City, as reflected by sediment geochemistryMar. Pollut. Bull.48650662Google Scholar
  82. Villström M. 2002. Uudenmaan ympäristökeskuksen lausunto asiasta: Kasteluvesiallas tilalla rn:o 11:0 sekä vesien johtaminen tilojen rn:o 11:0 ja rn:o 10:0 rajaojalta, Ilolanjoen perkausyhtiön ojiin. Askola.Google Scholar
  83. Weckström, K., Juggins, S., Korhola, A. 2004Quantifying background nutrient concentrations in coastal waters: a case study from an urban embayment of the Baltic SeaAmbio33324327Google Scholar
  84. Weckström, K., Korhola, A., Shemeikka, P. 2002Physical and chemical characteristics of shallow embayments on the southern coast of FinlandHydrobiologia477115127CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  85. Wetzel, R.G. 2001Limnology. Lake and River EcosystemsAcademic PressSan Diego1006Google Scholar
  86. Witkowski A. 1994. Recent and fossil diatom flora of the Gulf of Gdańsk, Southern Baltic Sea. Origin, composition and changes of diatom assemblages during the Holocene. Bibl. Diat. 28. J, Cramer, Berlin, 313 pp.Google Scholar
  87. Witkowski, A., Lange-Bertalot, H., Metzeltin, D. 2000

    Diatom flora of marine coasts I

    Lange-Bertalot, H. eds. Iconographia Diatomologica, Annotated Diatom Micrographs 7A.R.G. Gantner Verlag K.GRuggell925
    Google Scholar
  88. Wolin, J.A., Stoermer, E.F. 2005Response of a Lake Michigan coastal lake to anthropogenic catchment disturbanceJ. Paleolimnol.337397CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kaarina Weckström
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Biological and Environmental Sciences, Division of Aquatic SciencesUniversity of HelsinkiFinland

Personalised recommendations