Javascript is not activated in your browser. This website needs javascript activated to work properly.
You are here

Browning of freshwaters : Consequences to ecosystem services, underlying drivers, and potential mitigation measures

  • Emma S. Kritzberg
  • Eliza Maher Hasselquist
  • Martin Škerlep
  • Stefan Löfgren
  • Olle Olsson
  • Johanna Stadmark
  • Salar Valinia
  • Lars Anders Hansson
  • Hjalmar Laudon
Publishing year: 2020-02
Language: English
Pages: 375-390
Publication/Series: Ambio
Volume: 49
Issue: 2
Document type: Journal article review
Publisher: Springer

Abstract english

Browning of surface waters, as a result of increasing dissolved organic carbon and iron concentrations, is a widespread phenomenon with implications to the structure and function of aquatic ecosystems. In this article, we provide an overview of the consequences of browning in relation to ecosystem services, outline what the underlying drivers and mechanisms of browning are, and specifically focus on exploring potential mitigation measures to locally counteract browning. These topical concepts are discussed with a focus on Scandinavia, but are of relevance also to other regions. Browning is of environmental concern as it leads to, e.g., increasing costs and risks for drinking water production, and reduced fish production in lakes by limiting light penetration. While climate change, recovery from acidification, and land-use change are all likely factors contributing to the observed browning, managing the land use in the hydrologically connected parts of the landscape may be the most feasible way to counteract browning of natural waters.


  • Environmental Sciences
  • Acid deposition
  • Browning
  • Climate change
  • DOC
  • Iron
  • Land use


  • ISSN: 0044-7447
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


Doctoral students and postdocs

PhD students, main supervisor

PhD students, assistant supervisor

Post docs

Johanna Sjöstedt