Iron in boreal river catchments: Biogeochemical, ecological and management implications

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K. Heikkinen, M. Saari, J. Heino, A.-K. Ronkanen, P. Kortelainen, S. Joensuu, A. Vilmi, S.-M. Karjalainen, S. Hellsten, M. Visuri, H. Marttila. Iron in boreal river catchments: Biogeochemical, ecological and management implications. Science of The Total Environment 805 (2022), 150256, ISSN 0048-9697.

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Title: Iron in boreal river catchments: Biogeochemical, ecological and management implications
Author: Heikkinen, Kaisa; Saari, Markus; Heino, Jani; Ronkanen , Anna-Kaisa; Kortelainen, Pirkko; Joensuu, Samuli; Vilmi, Annika; Karjalainen, Satu Maaria; Hellsten, Seppo; Visuri, Mika; Marttila, Hannu
Contributor organization: Suomen ympäristökeskus
The Finnish Environment Institute
Publisher: Elsevier
Date: 2022
Language: eng
Belongs to series: Science of the Total Environment
ISSN: 0048-9697
Abstract: Iron (Fe) is an important element in aquatic ecosystems worldwide because it is intimately tied with multiple abiotic and biotic phenomena. Here, we give a survey of manifold influences of Fe, and the key factors affecting it in the boreal catchments and their waters. It includes the perspectives of biogeochemistry, hydrology, ecology, and river basin management. We emphasize views on the dynamics and impacts of different forms of Fe in riverine environments, including organic colloids and particles, as well as inorganic fractions. We also provide perspectives for land use management in boreal catchments and suggest guidelines for decision making and water management. Based on our survey, the main emphases of water protection and management programs should be (i) prevention of Fe mobilization from soil layers by avoiding unnecessary land-use activities and minimizing soil disturbance in high-risk areas; (ii) disconnecting Fe-rich ground water discharge from directly reaching watercourses; and (iii) decreasing transport of Fe to watercourses by applying efficient water pollution control approaches. These approaches may require specific methods that should be given attention depending on catchment conditions in different areas. Finally, we highlight issues requiring additional research on boreal catchments. A key issue is to increase our understanding of the role of Fe in the utilization of DOM in riverine food webs, which are typically highly heterotrophic. More knowledge is needed on the metabolic and behavioral resistance mechanisms that aquatic organisms, such as algae, invertebrates, and fish, have developed to counter the harmful impacts of Fe in rivers with naturally high Fe and DOM concentrations. It is also emphasized that to fulfil the needs presented above, as well as to develop effective methods for decreasing the harmful impacts of Fe in water management, the biogeochemical processes contributing to Fe transport from catchments via rivers to estuaries should be better understood.
Description: Highlights • Fe has a key role in biogeochemical and ecological contexts in boreal catchments. • Fe has many harmful impacts on aquatic organisms and ecosystems. • Drivers of Fe transport should be better known in water management. • Catchment-scale approaches are required to create effective management of Fe.
Subject: biogeokemia
aineiden kierto
boreaalinen vyöhyke
Subject (yso): iron
boreal rivers
land use management
ecosystem function
Rights: CC BY 4.0
Usage restriction: openAccess

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