1PBL Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency, P.O. Box 303, 3720 AH Bilthoven, The Netherlands
2Department of Earth Sciences – Geochemistry, Faculty of Geosciences, Utrecht University, P.O. Box 80021, 3508 TA Utrecht, The Netherlands
3Department of Landscape Ecology, Geo-Information and Hydrology, Faculty of Geosciences, Utrecht University, P.O. Box 80.115, 3508 TC Utrecht, The Netherlands
4Department of Innovation, Environmental and Energy Sciences – Faculty of Geosciences, Utrecht University, P.O. Box 80115, 3508 TA Utrecht, The Netherlands
5Deltares, P.O. Box 85467, 3508 AL Utrecht, The Netherlands
6Ecology and Biodiversity, Department of Biology, Faculty of Natural Sciences, Utrecht University, P.O. Box 800.84, 3508 TB Utrecht, The Netherlands
7Department of Physical Geography – Faculty of Geosciences, Utrecht University, P.O. Box 80115, 3508 TC Utrecht, The Netherlands
Abstract. In river basins, soils, groundwater, riparian zones, streams, rivers, lakes and reservoirs act as successive filters in which the hydrology, ecology and biogeochemical processing are strongly coupled and together act to retain a significant fraction of the nutrients transported. This paper compares existing river ecology concepts with current approaches to describe river biogeochemistry, and assesses the value of these concepts and approaches for understanding the impacts of interacting global change disturbances on river biogeochemistry. Through merging perspectives, concepts, modeling techniques, we propose integrated model approaches that encompass both aquatic and terrestrial components in heterogeneous landscapes. In this model framework, existing ecological and biogeochemistry concepts are extended with a balanced approach for assessing nutrient and sediment delivery on the one hand, and nutrient in-stream retention on the other hand.