Four centuries of cumulative impacts on a Finnish river and its estuary: an ecosystem health-approach
- 1) Environmental Impact Assessment Unit, National Board of Waters and the Environment, P.O. Box 250, SF-00101, Helsinki, Finland
- 2) Statistics Canada, Coats Building, K1A 0T6, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
Changes in forest cover and draining of wetlands for agriculture appear to have caused changes in the aquatic ecosystem of the River Kyrönjoki by the 16th century. In the 19th century, a decline of salmonid fish populations was widely observed as a further sign of degradation. During the latter half of the present century intensified use of naturally acidic soils has resulted in increased acidic run-off. Deterioration of water quality has extended to the estuary, where it has caused large fish-kills and affected the reproductive success of coastal species. Degradation of the coastal ecosystem, first observed in the decline of salmonids and later as a more general decline of other coastal fish populations, can be linked to spatially restricted events. The loss of key river and estuarine habitats exerted an effect over the reproduction and abundance of species migrating throughout the system. This effect contributed to observed temporal and spatial discontinuities in the degradation history. Monitoring changes in critical habitats may prove to be an early indicator of changes in the health of estuarine and coastal aquatic ecosystems.
- 1 - sciences appliquees, technologies et medecines
- 2 - sciences biologiques et medicales
- 3 - sciences biologiques fondamentales et appliquees. psychologie
- 4 - psychologie. psychophysiologie