Geese as vectors of nitrogen and phosphorus to freshwater systems

Lisa Dessborn, Rebecca Hessel, Johan Elmberg

Forskningsoutput: TidskriftsbidragArtikelPeer review

36 Citeringar (Scopus)


Many goose populations have increased dramatically over the past decades, which may influence inland waters used as roost sites. We reviewed the role of geese in the influx of nitrogen and phosphorus to freshwater systems. Several methods have been used to estimate guanotrophication impacts of geese. Water and sediment analysis have been conducted in areas of high and low geese presence; however, productive wetlands tend to attract more birds, and the causality is therefore ambiguous. Faecal addition experiments have attempted to estimate the impacts of droppings on water chemistry, sediments, algal growth, or invertebrate densities. The most common method of estimating goose guanotrophication is by extrapolation, usually based on multiplication of faecal production and its nutrient content. Based on such studies and those including information about daily migration patterns, we developed an approach to improve estimates of the nutrient contribution of geese. The relative role of geese in wetland eutrophication is also affected by the influx from alternative sources. The greatest guanotrophication impacts are likely found in areas with few alternative nutrient sources and with large goose flocks. Limited inflow and outflow of a freshwater system or a scarcity of wetland roosts may also increase problems at a local scale. Although several studies have looked at the impacts of geese on, for example, water chemistry or soil sediments, the effects are often smaller than expected, in part because no study to date has assessed the ecosystem response by including impacts on all levels, including water nutrient levels, nutrient sedimentation, chlorophyll content, and zooplankton response.

Sidor (från-till)111-122
Antal sidor11
TidskriftInland Waters
StatusPublicerad - 2016

Nationell ämneskategori

  • Ekologi (10611)


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