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Effect of reduced winter precipitation and increased temperature on watershed solute flux, 1988-2002, Northern Michigan

Biogeochemistry

By:
and
DOI: 10.1007/s10533-005-1810-1

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Abstract

Since 1987 we have studied weekly change in winter (December-April) precipitation, snowpack, snowmelt, soil water, and stream water solute flux in a small (176-ha) Northern Michigan watershed vegetated by 65-85 year-old northern hardwoods. Our primary study objective was to quantify the effect of change in winter temperature and precipitation on watershed hydrology and solute flux. During the study winter runoff was correlated with precipitation, and forest soils beneath the snowpack remained unfrozen. Winter air temperature and soil temperature beneath the snowpack increased while precipitation and snowmelt declined. Atmospheric inputs declined for H+, NO 3- , NH 4+ , dissolved inorganic nitrogen (DIN), and SO 42- . Replicated plot-level results, which could not be directly extrapolated to the watershed scale, showed 90% of atmospheric DIN input was retained in surface shallow (<15 cm deep) soils while SO 42- flux increased 70% and dissolved organic carbon (DOC) 30-fold. Most stream water base cation (C B), HCO 3- , and Cl- concentrations declined with increased stream water discharge, K+, NO 3- , and SO 42- remained unchanged, and DOC and dissolved organic nitrogen (DON) increased. Winter stream water solute outputs declined or were unchanged with time except for NO 3- and DOC which increased. DOC and DIN outputs were correlated with the percentage of winter runoff and stream discharge that occurred when subsurface flow at the plot-level was shallow (<25 cm beneath Oi). Study results suggest that the percentage of annual runoff occurring as shallow lateral subsurface flow may be a major factor regulating solute outputs and concentrations in snowmelt-dominated ecosystems. ?? Springer 2006.

Additional Publication Details

Publication type:
Article
Publication Subtype:
Journal Article
Title:
Effect of reduced winter precipitation and increased temperature on watershed solute flux, 1988-2002, Northern Michigan
Series title:
Biogeochemistry
DOI:
10.1007/s10533-005-1810-1
Volume
77
Issue:
3
Year Published:
2006
Language:
English
Larger Work Type:
Article
Larger Work Subtype:
Journal Article
Larger Work Title:
Biogeochemistry
First page:
409
Last page:
440