Food production for a growing world population relies on application of fertilisers and pesticides on agricultural lands. However, these substances threaten surface water quality and thereby endanger valued ecosystem services such as drinking water supply, food production and recreational water use. Such deleterious effects do not merely arise on the local scale, but also on the regional scale through transport of substances as well as energy and biota across the catchment. Here we argue that aquatic ecosystem models can provide a process-based understanding of how these transports by water and organisms as vectors affect – and are affected by – ecosystem state and functioning in networks of connected lakes. Such a catchment scale approach is key to setting critical limits for the release of substances by agricultural practices and other human pressures on aquatic ecosystems. Thereby, water and food production and the trade-offs between them may be managed more sustainably.
Research news | 2020-11-24
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Stephan Barthel, Oonsie Biggs, Örjan Bodin, Thomas Elmqvist, Carl Folke, Per Olsson, Garry Peterson and Johan Rockström on exclusive list of world’s most influential researchers
Research news | 2020-11-18
Four ways to understand the complexity of global environmental change sufficiently well to take policy action
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On the island of Stora Karlsö, the steel built lab gives researchers access to observe the largest seabird colony in the Baltic Sea
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The clothing industry is dominated by a clutch of powerful companies, but interest groups around them are crucial in efforts to make it more sustainable
Research news | 2020-11-12
The pandemic is hitting the seafood industry hard. How can past crises help it survive this one?