Ability of bottom sediments of the Baltic Sea to retain phosphorus and factors influencing it

Baltic Sea has suffered from anthropogenic phosphorus loading for many decades and phosphorus has accumulated into the bottom sediments. During oxic conditions, surface sediments can retain phosphorus. However, this ability also depends on the amount of particle surfaces capable of binding phosphorus and on the amount of sorption sites that are still free. It can be possible that, in areas of strong phosphorus loading, the ability of the sediment to further retain phosphorus has already decreased and, despite oxic conditions, the sediment is not able to retain phosphorus as much as previously.

Objectives of the project

Objectives of this research project are to get more information on which factors influence the ability of the sediments to retain phosphorus and to compare how various sediment types in the Baltic Sea differ in respect of their phosphorus sorption properties. Furthermore, we will try to evaluate, can the sediments in the studied areas further retain phosphorus or has their sorption capacity already decreased. We will also get information on how phosphorus retained in the sediment is affected by potential changes in the water column phosphate concentration.

More information

Senior Research Scientist Kaarina Lukkari, Marine Research Centre/Finnish Environment Institute, Phone: +358 40 182 3249, E-mail: firstname.surname@ymparisto.fi

Published 2013-04-22 at 15:13, updated 2013-04-11 at 14:16