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Centennial-long trends of lake browning show major effect of afforestation

  • Emma S Kritzberg
Publishing year: 2017
Language: English
Pages: 105-112
Publication/Series: Limnology and Oceanography Letters
Volume: 2
Issue: 4
Document type: Journal article
Publisher: Wiley Online Library

Abstract english

Observations of increasing water color and organic carbon concentrations in lakes are widespread across the Northern Hemisphere. The drivers of these trends are debated. Declining atmospheric sulfur deposition has been put forward as an important underlying factor, since recovery from acidification enhances mobility of organic matter from surrounding soils. This would suggest that the current browning represents a return to a more natural state. This study explores historical lake data from Sweden—1935 to 2015—providing a unique opportunity to see how and why water color has varied during almost a century. The data shows that sulfur deposition has not been the primary driver of water color trends over this period. I propose that the observed browning is to a large extent driven by a major transition from agriculture to forestry.


  • Oceanography, Hydrology, Water Resources
  • Other Earth and Related Environmental Sciences


  • ISSN: 2378-2242
Emma Kritzberg
E-mail: emma [dot] kritzberg [at] biol [dot] lu [dot] se

Senior lecturer

Aquatic ecology

+46 46 222 40 79



Research group

Aquatic Ecology


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PhD students, main supervisor

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Post docs

Johanna Sjöstedt