Impact of climate change and land cover dynamics on nitrate transport to surface waters

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Springer Science and Business Media Deutschland GmbH

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The study investigated the impact of climate and land cover change on water quality. The novel contribution of the study was to investigate the individual and combined impacts of climate and land cover change on water quality with high spatial and temporal resolution in a basin in Turkey. The global circulation model MPI-ESM-MR was dynamically downscaled to 10-km resolution under the RCP8.5 emission scenario. The Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT) was used to model stream flow and nitrate loads. The land cover model outputs that were produced by the Land Change Modeler (LCM) were used for these simulation studies. Results revealed that decreasing precipitation intensity driven by climate change could significantly reduce nitrate transport to surface waters. In the 2075–2100 period, nitrate-nitrogen (NO3-N) loads transported to surface water decreased by more than 75%. Furthermore, the transition predominantly from forestry to pastoral farming systems increased loads by about 6%. The study results indicated that fine-resolution land use and climate data lead to better model performance. Environmental managers can also benefit greatly from the LCM-based forecast of land use changes and the SWAT model’s attribution of changes in water quality to land use changes. Graphical abstract: (Figure presented.).


This research was supported by the 1003 Programme of the Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey (TUBITAK) under Grant Agreement No 116Y423.

Anahtar Kelimeler

Climate change, SWAT model, Water quality modeling, River-basin, Quality, Hydrology, Modeler, Region


Environmental Monitoring and Assessment

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Boyacıoğlu, H., Gunecti, M. C., Barbaros, F., Gül, A., Gül, G. O., Öztürk, T. & Kurnaz, M. L. (2024). Impact of climate change and land cover dynamics on nitrate transport to surface waters. Environmental Monitoring and Assessment, 196(3), 1-15. doi:10.1007/s10661-024-12402-x