Articles | Volume 13, issue 8
Biogeosciences, 13, 2441–2451, 2016
Biogeosciences, 13, 2441–2451, 2016
Research article
27 Apr 2016
Research article | 27 Apr 2016

Global riverine N and P transport to ocean increased during the 20th century despite increased retention along the aquatic continuum

Arthur H. W. Beusen et al.

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Cited articles

Beusen, A. H. W., Bouwman, A. F., Van Beek, L. P. H., Mogollón, J. M., and Middelburg, J. J.: Global riverine nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) input, retention and export during the 20th century (dataset), Data Archiving and Networked Services, Koninklijke Akademie van Wetenschappen,, 2016.
Beusen, A. H. W., Van Beek, L. P. H., Bouwman, A. F., Mogollón, J. M., and Middelburg, J. J.: Coupling global models for hydrology and nutrient loading to simulate nitrogen and phosphorus retention in surface water – description of IMAGE-GNM and analysis of performance, Geosci. Model Dev., 8, 4045–4067,, 2015.
Billen, G., Lancelot, C., and Meybeck, M.: N, P, and Si retention along the aquatic continuum from land to ocean, in: Ocean margin processes in global change, edited by: Mantoura, R. F. C., Martin, J. M., and Wollast, R., John Wiley and Sons, New York, 19–44, 1991.
Bouwman, A. F., Van Drecht, G., Knoop, J. M., Beusen, A. H. W., and Meinardi, C. R.: Exploring changes in river nitrogen export the the world's oceans, Global Biogeochem. Cy., 19, GB1002,, 2005.
Bouwman, A. F., Beusen, A. H. W., Griffioen, J., Van Groenigen, J. W., Hefting, M. M., Oenema, O., Van Puijenbroek, P. J. T. M., Seitzinger, S., Slomp, C. P., and Stehfest, E.: Global trends and uncertainties in terrestrial denitrification and N2O emissions, Philos. T. R. Soc. B, 368, 1621,, 2013a.
Short summary
Intensifying anthropogenic activity over the 20th century including agriculture, water consumption, urbanization, and aquaculture has almost doubled the global nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) delivery to streams and steadily increased the N : P ratio in freshwater bodies. Concurrently, the cumulative number of reservoirs has driven a rise in freshwater nutrient retention and removal. Still, river nutrient transport to the ocean has also nearly doubled, potentially stressing coastal environments.
Final-revised paper