University of Oulu

Hashemi, F.; Pohle, I.; Pullens, J.W.; Tornbjerg, H.; Kyllmar, K.; Marttila, H.; Lepistö, A.; Kløve, B.; Futter, M.; Kronvang, B. Conceptual Mini-Catchment Typologies for Testing Dominant Controls of Nutrient Dynamics in Three Nordic Countries. Water 2020, 12, 1776.

Conceptual mini-catchment typologies for testing dominant controls of nutrient dynamics in three Nordic countries

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Author: Hashemi, Fatemeh1; Pohle, Ina2; Pullens, Johannes W.M.3;
Organizations: 1Department of Bioscience, Aarhus University, Vejlsøvej 25, 8600 Silkeborg, Denmark
2Environmental and Biochemical Sciences, The James Hutton Institute, Craigiebuckler, Aberdeen AB15 8QH, Scotland, UK
3Department of Agroecology, Aarhus University, Blichers Allé 20, 8830 Tjele, Denmark
4Department of Soil and Environment, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, P.O. Box 7014, 750 07 Uppsala, Sweden
5Water Resources and Environmental Engineering Research Unit, Olulu University, 90014 Oulu, Finland
6Finnish Environment Institute, Latokartanonkaari 11, 00790 Helsinki, Finland
7Department of Aquatic Sciences and Assessment, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, P.O. Box 7050, 750 07 Uppsala, Sweden
Format: article
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 1.9 MB)
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Language: English
Published: Multidisciplinary Digital Publishing Institute, 2020
Publish Date: 2020-09-15


Optimal nutrient pollution monitoring and management in catchments requires an in-depth understanding of spatial and temporal factors controlling nutrient dynamics. Such an understanding can potentially be obtained by analysing stream concentration–discharge (C-Q) relationships for hysteresis behaviours and export regimes. Here, a classification scheme including nine different C-Q types was applied to a total of 87 Nordic streams draining mini-catchments (0.1–65 km²). The classification applied is based on a combination of stream export behaviour (dilution, constant, enrichment) and hysteresis rotational pattern (clock-wise, no rotation, anti-clockwise). The scheme has been applied to an 8-year data series (2010–2017) from small streams in Denmark, Sweden, and Finland on daily discharge and discrete nutrient concentrations, including nitrate (NO₃⁻), total organic N (TON), dissolved reactive phosphorus (DRP), and particulate phosphorus (PP). The dominant nutrient export regimes were enrichment for NO₃⁻ and constant for TON, DRP, and PP. Nutrient hysteresis patterns were primarily clockwise or no hysteresis. Similarities in types of C-Q relationships were investigated using Principal Component Analysis (PCA) considering effects of catchment size, land use, climate, and dominant soil type. The PCA analysis revealed that land use and air temperature were the dominant factors controlling nutrient C-Q types. Therefore, the nutrient export behaviour in streams draining Nordic mini-catchments seems to be dominantly controlled by their land use characteristics and, to a lesser extent, their climate.

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Series: Water
ISSN: 2073-4441
ISSN-E: 2073-4441
ISSN-L: 2073-4441
Volume: 12
Article number: 1776
DOI: 10.3390/w12061776
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 218 Environmental engineering
Funding: This study was part of the Nordic Centre of Excellence BIOWATER project and funded by Nordforsk (project number 82263).
Dataset Reference: Supplementary File 1:
Copyright information: © 2020 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license (