The Danube nutrient loads are affected by human impacts mainly from agriculture and wastewater discharges. Knowledge about the Danube nutrient loads and the changes of these loads over time is essential for understanding the changes within the ecosystem of the Black Sea, induced by these loads. The paper shows the long term changes of the nutrient load along the Danube estimated by measurements from different countries and institutions. The results show large differences between Dissolved Inorganic Nitrogen (DIN) and Total Phosphorus (TP). For TP, the Danube River loads show a strong decrease since 1988–1992, especially in the Middle and Lower basin. This change is probably partly connected to the dramatic economic changes in the Middle and Eastern European countries following the collapse of the communist system. The DIN load does not show a decreasing trend in the last decade. The data indicate that there may be a decreasing trend in the anthropogenic emissions, but that such a trend is counteracted by a significantly increasing trend of the Danube discharge in the last decade. The accuracy of the available data is analysed in the paper as well.

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