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Closed Access item Point-source effects on N and P uptake in a forested and an agricultural Mediterranean streams

Authors:Merseburger, G. C.
Martí, Eugènia
Sabater, Francesc
Ortiz, J. D.
Keywords:Point-source, Stream, Nitrogen, Phosphorus, Nutrient uptake
Issue Date:Feb-2011
Citation:Science of the Total Environment 409(5) : 957-967 (2011)
Abstract:We examined the effect of point-source inputs from wastewater treatment plants (WWTP) on in-stream uptake of ammonium, nitrate and phosphate and compared it between two streams draining catchments with contrasting land use. The selected streams were La Tordera and Gurri (NE Spain), draining a forest- and an agriculture-dominated catchment, respectively. In each stream, we compared nutrient uptake metrics, estimated from nutrient additions, between two reaches located upstream and downstream of a WWTP input. Measurements were done on 8–9 dates during 2002–2003. In La Tordera, the point-source increased concentrations of all studied nutrients; whereas in Gurri, this effect was less evident. Point-source effects on nutrient uptake differed between the two streams, and among solutes. In La Tordera, uptake lengths (Sw) of ammonium and phosphate averaged hundreds of meters above the point-source, and increased (i.e., decreased uptake efficiency) 4 and 5 times, respectively, below the point-source. Sw of nitrate was ≥2 km regardless of reach location. In Gurri, Sw of all studied nutrients was within the km range in the two reaches. In this stream, diffuse nutrient inputs from adjacent fields may overwhelm the local effect of the point-source input. Uptake velocities (vf) of the studied nutrients ranged between 10EXP−6 and 10EXP−4 m/s in the two streams, and were similar between the two reaches in each stream. However, phosphate vf decreased under increasing concentrations following a power function. This trend remained significant when combining our results with those compiled from literature, suggesting the efficiency loss response may be a general trend for phosphate across streams. The relative increases in uptake rates (U) below the point-source were proportional to the relative point-source contribution to downstream nutrient loads, especially for ammonium and nitrate. However, the increases in U were not enough to compensate for the increases in nutrient loads downstream of theWWTP input.
Description:11 Páginas ; 4 Figuras ; 4 Tablas
Publisher version (URL):http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2010.11.014
Appears in Collections:(CEAB) Artículos

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