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Valérie Duliere, Nathalie Gypens, Christiane Lancelot, Vincent Thieu, Patrick Luyten, Xavier Desmit and Geneviève Lacroix (2014)

Linking human activities to eutrophication in the Southern North Sea.

In: AMEMR (Advances in Marine Ecosystem Research) in Plymouth (UK), June 30th to July 3rd 2014.

The Southern North Sea faces eutrophication problems. They result from growing anthropogenic pressure in the river watersheds, and subsequent increase in nutrients (nitrogen and phosphorus) loading to the sea. Establishing the link between human activities and eutrophication problems requires the identification of the major nutrient sources and the ecological response of the coastal ecosystem to these nutrient alterations. This information is crucial to mitigate eutrophication in coastal zones by applying appropriate dual-nutrient reduction strategies, therefore achieving the Good Environmental Status of EU marine waters by 2020. Very recently, MIRO&CO; has been upgraded to MIRO&CO; V2 and coupled to a generic watershed model based on Riverstrahler/Seneque (Billen et al. 1994). A nutrient tracking approach (Ménesguen et al. 2006) has been adapted and implemented in MIRO&CO; V2. The transboundary nutrient transport method has been used to track the nutrients in the sea, and trace back their sources (river, ocean, and atmosphere). This new model tool is used to assess the current eutrophication status in the Southern North Sea based on existing metrics (OSPAR, MSFD and WFD). This is a first and necessary step before assessing the impacts of realistic nutrient reduction scenarios on eutrophication problems. This work is done in the framework of the EMoSEM EU project (www2.mumm.ac.be/emosem/) that aims at providing support to eutrophication management in the North Atlantic Ocean, using state-of-the-art modelling tools.
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