In the last century, fourfold increase in phosphorus (P) loadings to Lake Champlain, Vermont (VT), USA, have led to nuisance levels of algal growth occurring more often. To better understand the transport, storage, and cycling of P within the lake's catchment, we examined the chemistry, bioavailability and processes controlling sediment P release to waters of the Winooski River, VT, the largest tributary to Lake Champlain. Iron-oxide strip P (algal-bioavailable P) of the river sediments adjacent to agricultural land (3.6 mg kg-1) was greater (P < 0.05) than adjacent to forested land (2.4 mg kg-1). When compared among flow regimes, impoundment (731 mg kg-1) and reservoir sediments (803 mg kg-1) had greater total P concentrations than river sediment (462 mg kg-1). This was attributed to more fines (< 63 ??m) in impoundments and reservoirs (64%) than in river sediments (33%), which also decreased the ability of impoundment sediments to release P to solution and thereby be a sink for P. Although land use and flow regime influenced whether Winooski River sediments acted as a sink or source of P to Lake Champlain, long-term remedial strategies for the catchment should continue to focus on decreasing P losses in agricultural and urban runoff. ?? 2002 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved.
Additional publication details
Land use and flow regime effects on phosphorus chemical dynamics in the fluvial sediment of the Winooski River, Vermont