Impacts on water quality in the peatland dominated catchment due to foreseen changes in Nordic Bioeconomy Pathways

Sci Rep. 2023 Apr 18;13(1):6283. doi: 10.1038/s41598-023-33378-7.


The Nordic Bioeconomy Pathways (NBPs), conceptualized subsets of Shared Socioeconomic Pathways varying from environmentally friendly to open-market competition scenarios, can lead to plausible stressors in future for using bioresources. This study analysed the impacts of NBPs on hydrology and water quality based on two different land system management attributes: management strategy and a combination of reduced stand management and biomass removal at a catchment-scale projection. To understand the potential impacts of NBPs, the Simojoki catchment in northern Finland was chosen, as the catchment mainly covered peatland forestry. The analysis integrated a stakeholder-driven questionnaire, the Finnish Forest dynamics model, and Soil and Water Assessment Tool to build NBP scenarios, including Greenhouse gas emission pathways, for multiple management attributes to simulate flows, nutrients, and suspended solids (SS). For the catchment management strategy, an annual decrease in nutrients was observed for sustainability and business-as-usual scenarios. Reduced stand management and biomass removal also led to decreased export of nutrients and SS for the same scenarios, whereas, in other NBPs, the export of nutrients and SS increased with decreased evapotranspiration. Although the study was investigated at a local scale, based on the current political and socioeconomic situation, the approach used in this study can be outscaled to assess the use of forest and other bioresources in similar catchments.

PMID:37072453 | PMC:PMC10113390 | DOI:10.1038/s41598-023-33378-7


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