thumbnail

Seasonal relationships between precipitation, forest floor, and streamwater nitrogen, Isle Royale, Michigan

Soil Science Society of America Journal

By:
and

Links

  • The Publications Warehouse does not have links to digital versions of this publication at this time
  • Download citation as: RIS

Abstract

The Upper Great Lakes receive large amounts of precipitation-NH4/+ and moderate NO3/- inputs. Increased atmospheric inorganic N input has led to concern about ecosystem capacity to utilize excess N. This paper summarizes a 5-yr study of seasonal N content and flux in precipitation, snowpack, forest floor, and streamwater in order to assess the source of inorganic N outputs in streamflow from a small boreal watershed. Average precipitation N input was 3 kg ha-1 yr-1. The peak snowpack N content averaged 0.55 kg ha-1. The forest floor inorganic N pool was ???2 kg ha-1, eight times larger than monthly precipitation N input. The inorganic N pool size peaked in spring and early summer. Ninety percent of the forest floor inorganic N pool was made up of NH4/+-N. Forest floor inorganic N pools generally increased with temperature. Net N mineralization was 15 kg ha-1 yr-1, and monthly rates peaked in early summer. During winter, the mean monthly net N mineralization rate was twice the peak snowpack N content. Streamwater NO3/- concentration peaked in winter, and inorganic N output peaked in late fall. Beneath the dominant boreal forest species, net N mineralization rates were positively correlated (P < 0.05) with streamwater NO3/- concentrations. Forest floor NO3/- pools beneath alder [Alnus rugosa (Du Roi) Spreng] were positively correlated (P < 0.01) to streamwater NO3/- output. At the watershed mouth, streamwater NO3/- concentrations were positively correlated (P < 0.05) with precipitation NO3/- input and precipitation amount. The relatively small snowpack N content and seasonal precipitation N input compared to forest floor inorganic N pools and net N mineralization rates, the strong ecosystem retention of precipitation N inputs, and the seasonal streamwater NO3/- concentration and output pattern all indicated that little streamwater NO3/- came directly from precipitation or snowmelt.The Upper Great Lakes receive large amounts of precipitation-NH4+ and moderate NO3- inputs. Increased atmospheric inorganic N input has led to concern about ecosystem capacity to utilize excess N. This paper summarizes a 5-yr study of seasonal N content and flux in precipitation, snowpack, forest floor, and streamwater in order to assess the source of inorganic N outputs in streamflow from a small boreal watershed. Average precipitation N input was 3 kg ha-1 yr-1. The peak snowpack N content averaged 0.55 kg ha-1. The forest floor inorganic N pool was ??? 2 kg ha-1, eight times larger than monthly precipitation N input. The inorganic N pool size peaked in spring and early summer. Ninety percent of the forest floor inorganic N pool was made up of NH4+-N. Forest floor inorganic N pools generally increased with temperature. Net N mineralization was 15 kg ha-1 yr-1, and monthly rates peaked in early summer. During winter, the mean monthly net N mineralization rate was twice the peak snowpack N content. Streamwater NO3- concentration peaked in winter, and inorganic N output peaked in late fall. Beneath the dominant boreal forest species, net N mineralization rates were positively correlated (P < 0.05) with streamwater NO3- concentrations. Forest floor NO3- pools beneath alder [Alnus rugosa (Du Roi) Spreng] were positively correlated (P<0.01) to streamwater NO3- output. At the watershed mouth, streamwater NO3- concentrations were positively correlated (P < 0.05) with precipitation NO3- input and precipitation amount. The relatively small snowpack N content and seasonal precipitation N input compared to forest floor inorganic N pools and net N mineralization rates, the strong ecosystem retention of precipitation N inputs, and the seasonal streamwater NO3- concentration and output pattern all indicated that little streamwater NO3- came directly from precipitation or snowmelt.

Additional Publication Details

Publication type:
Article
Publication Subtype:
Journal Article
Title:
Seasonal relationships between precipitation, forest floor, and streamwater nitrogen, Isle Royale, Michigan
Series title:
Soil Science Society of America Journal
Volume
63
Issue:
2
Year Published:
1999
Language:
English
Publisher:
Soil Science Soc of America
Publisher location:
Madison, WI, United States
Larger Work Type:
Article
Larger Work Subtype:
Journal Article
Larger Work Title:
Soil Science Society of America Journal
First page:
389
Last page:
398
Number of Pages:
10