Indexed on: 30 Sep '14Published on: 30 Sep '14Published in: Marine Pollution Bulletin
The aim of the paper was to evaluate 23 catchment factors that determine total phosphorus and total nitrogen load to the Baltic Sea. Standard correlation analysis and clustering were used. Both phosphorus and nitrogen loads were found to be positively related to the number of pigs and the human population associated with wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs) per km(2), while the number of cattle and agricultural area were found to influence nitrogen rather than phosphorus load, and the area of forests is negatively related to loads of both nutrients. Clustering indicates an overall north-south pattern in the spatial co-occurrence of socio-ecological factors, with some exceptions discussed in the paper. Positive steps in the Baltic Sea region have already been taken, but much remains to be done. The development of coherent response policies to reduce eutrophication in the Baltic Sea should be based on a comprehensive knowledge base, an appropriate information strategy and learning alliance platform in each drainage river catchments.