University of Oulu

Hannu Marttila, Satu-Maaria Karjalainen, Minna Kuoppala, Mika L. Nieminen, Anna-Kaisa Ronkanen, Bjørn Kløve, Seppo Hellsten, Elevated nutrient concentrations in headwaters affected by drained peatland, Science of The Total Environment, Volume 643, 2018, Pages 1304-1313, ISSN 0048-9697,

Elevated nutrient concentrations in headwaters affected by drained peatland

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Author: Marttila, Hannu1; Karjalainen, Satu-Maaria2; Kuoppala, Minna2;
Organizations: 1Water Resources and Environmental Engineering Research Unit, PO Box 4300, 90014, University of Oulu, Finland
2Finnish Environment Institute, Freshwater Centre, PO Box 413, 90014 Oulu, Finland
3University of Jyväskylä, Department of Biological and Environmental Science, PO Box 35, FI-40014, Finland
Format: article
Version: accepted version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 1 MB)
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Language: English
Published: Elsevier, 2018
Publish Date: 2020-07-04


Nutrient export from drained peatland has significant impacts on aquatic environments in Nordic catchments. Spatial information on variations in nutrient concentrations across different landscapes and land uses is needed to design measures for achieving the good ecological status of the EU Water Framework Directive. In this study we determined background concentrations in natural peatland-dominated streams and examined effects of peatland use practices on water quality in headwater catchments. We quantified sources for different elements by joint analysis of water chemistry, isotopes, and hydrology for 62 small catchments in North Ostrobothnia, Finland. Concentrations of nutrients and suspended solids were relatively high in catchments containing drained peatland. In particular, dissolved nitrogen and phosphorus concentrations were elevated during baseflow conditions when flow likely originated from deeper soil layers. Total concentrations of nutrients, suspended solids, and loss on ignition also showed elevated values, and changes in the ratio of dissolved and particulate forms, especially the C/N ratio, were observed. Past drainage had a stronger effect on organic matter and nutrients concentrations than local hydroclimate conditions. These results strongly indicate that current water protection methods are not sufficient to capture all seasonal variations in nutrient and suspended solid loads from drained peatland. Thus, more effort and actions are needed for water protection in such areas.

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Series: Science of the total environment
ISSN: 0048-9697
ISSN-E: 1879-1026
ISSN-L: 0048-9697
Volume: 643
Pages: 1304 - 1313
DOI: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2018.06.278
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 218 Environmental engineering
Funding: This work was part of the BioTar project funded by the European Regional Development Fund. Writing was supported by Academy of Finland (AKVA grant no 263597) and the Nordic Centre of Excellence BIOWATER, funded by Nordforsk under project number 82263. Mika L. Nieminen was funded by Maj and Tor Nessling Foundation.
Academy of Finland Grant Number: 263597
Detailed Information: 263597 (Academy of Finland Funding decision)
Copyright information: © 2018 Elsevier B.V. This manuscript version is made available under the CC-BY-NC-ND 4.0 license