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Adaptive nutrient management for restoration of Danish coastal ecosystems

Activity: Talk or presentation typesLecture and oral contribution

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Jacob Carstensen - Lecturer

  • Section for Marine Ecology
The Danish action plans (1987, 1997, 2003) are among the most successful in terms of reducing nutrient inputs from point and diffuse sources. Large reductions (N: 50%; P: >80%) have been achieved through an adaptive management strategy where reduction measures have been continuously modified to fulfil the targets set. In recent years with the implementation of EU environmental policies management focus has changed from source control to ecological status, where the target ‘good ecological status' is often defined based on a historic state of the ecosystem. The experience from the Danish monitoring program following two decades of eutrophication is that nutrient concentrations have responded as anticipated to nutrient input reductions, whereas phytoplankton and benthic vegetation display limited signs of recovery. Trajectories of ecosystem response to nutrient reductions demonstrate that ecosystem recovery is a complex process showing non-linear responses, different from those observed during the phase of eutrophication, and that the baselines shift over time. The lack of quantitative tools to reliably predict efforts required to achieve targets for ecological status has led to frustration amongst environmental managers and the complexity of ecosystem responses further stresses the need for an improved scientific knowledge base and adaptive management.
5 Nov 2009

Event (Conference)

TitleCERF2009: Estuaries and Coasts in a Changing World
CityPortland, Oregon
Country/TerritoryUnited States

ID: 18690633