IWA Publishing

Documenting success stories of management of phosphorus emissions at catchment scale: an example from the pilot river Odense, Denmark

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Courtesy of IWA Publishing

Documentation of the effects of different mitigation measures adopted at different scales to reduce phosphorus (P) loadings to surface waters is needed to help catchment managers select the best management practices. Water quality monitoring data from the outlets of two paired catchments (the river Odense catchment versus a neighbouring control catchment) on the island of Funen, Denmark, showed significantly different trends in annual flow-weighted P concentrations during the period 2000–2013. A significant downward trend in flow-weighted particulate P (PP) concentrations (0.051 mg P L−1) and loss (0.155 kg P ha−1) was detected for the river Odense catchment, whereas a similar trend did not emerge in the control catchment. The observed differences in PP reductions may be due to wetlands acting as P sinks since wetland restoration activities have been much more comprehensive in the river Odense catchment (1.8 ha wetlands km−2) than in the control catchment (0.5 ha wetland km−2). The excess downward trend in total P and PP in the river Odense catchment (5,600 kg P and 3,700 kg P) is corroborated by extrapolating the results from a mass-balance study and 10 years of in situ measurements of P storage (3,700 kg P and 15,000 kg P).

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