Coastal darkening exacerbates eutrophication symptoms through bottom-up and top-down control modification

Aurélie Garnier, Örjan Östman, Jenny Ask, Olivia Bell, Martin Berggren, Mayra P.D. Rulli, Hani Younes, Magnus Huss

Forskningsoutput: TidskriftsbidragArtikel i vetenskaplig tidskriftPeer review


Coastal eutrophication due to excessive anthropogenic nutrient loading is a major threat worldwide, and especially in estuaries and semi-enclosed waterbodies, like the brackish Baltic Sea. In addition, coastal waters may become darker (coastal darkening) due to increased input of colored compounds from terrestrial run-off and sediment resuspension. Still, the effects of darkening on coastal food web responses to eutrophication are unknown. In a mesocosm experiment with benthic and pelagic habitats, we manipulated nutrient loading, presence of fish and light availability to disentangle bottom-up and top-down control of eutrophication symptoms in ambient and darkened waters. Overall, we found higher pelagic Chlorophyll a concentrations (a proxy of algal biomass) with darkening and with nutrient enrichment in both clear and dark waters. Albeit fish had a strong impact on zooplankton and zoobenthos, they had no cascading effect on algae. We conclude that coastal darkening due to changes in land use and climate change can pose an additional challenge concerning the recovery of coastal waters from eutrophication.

Sidor (från-till)678-691
TidskriftLimnology and Oceanography
Tidigt onlinedatum2023
StatusPublished - 2023

Ämnesklassifikation (UKÄ)

  • Oceanografi, hydrologi, vattenresurser
  • Ekologi


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