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Title

The influence of riparian evapotranspiration on stream hydrology and nitrogen retention in a subhumid Mediterranean catchment

AuthorsLupon, Anna ; Bernal, Susana ; Poblador, Sílvia; Martí, Eugènia ; Sabater, Francesc
KeywordsIn-stream nitrification
Mediterranean headwater catchmen
Stream hydrological retention
Riparian evapotranspiration
Net groundwater inputs
Issue Date2016
PublisherEuropean Geosciences Union
CitationHydrology and Earth System Sciences Discussions : doi:10.5194/hess-2016-56 (2016)
AbstractRiparian evapotranspiration (ET) can influence stream hydrology at catchment scale by promoting the net loss of water from the stream towards the riparian zone (i.e., stream hydrological retention). However, the consequences of stream hydrological retention on nitrogen dynamics are not well understood. To fill this gap of knowledge, we investigated changes in riparian ET, stream discharge, and nutrient chemistry in two contiguous reaches (headwater and valley) with contrasted riparian forest size in a small forested Mediterranean catchment. Additionally, riparian groundwater level (hgw) was measured at the valley reach. The temporal pattern of riparian ET was similar between reaches, was positively correlated with hgw (ρ = 0.60), and negatively correlated with net riparian groundwater inputs (ρ < -0.55). During the vegetative period, stream hydrological retention occurred only at the valley reach (59% of the time), and was accompanied by in-stream nitrate release and ammonium uptake. During the dormant period, when the stream gained water from riparian groundwater, results showed small influences of riparian ET on stream hydrology and nitrogen concentrations. Despite being a small component of annual water budgets (4.5%), our results highlight that riparian ET drives stream and groundwater hydrology in this Mediterranean catchment and, furthermore, question the potential of the riparian zone as a natural filter of nitrogen loads.
DescriptionContiene 6 figuras, 3 tablas
Publisher version (URL)http://dx.doi.org/10.5194/hess-2016-56
URIhttp://hdl.handle.net/10261/136966
DOI10.5194/hess-2016-56
ISSN1812-2108
E-ISSN1812-2116
Appears in Collections:(CEAB) Artículos
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