Nutrient enrichment and fish nutrient tolerance: Assessing biologically relevant nutrient criteria

Journal of the American Water Resources Association
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Abstract

Relationships between nutrient concentrations and fish nutrient tolerance were assessed relative to established nutrient criteria. Fish community, nitrate plus nitrite (nitrate), and total phosphorus (TP) data were collected during summer low-flow periods in 2003 and 2004 at stream sites along a nutrient-enrichment gradient in an agricultural basin in Indiana and Ohio and an urban basin in the Atlanta, Georgia, area. Tolerance indicator values for nitrate and TP were assigned for each species and averaged separately for fish communities at each site (TIVo). Models were used to predict fish species expected to occur at a site under minimally disturbed conditions and average tolerance indicator values were determined for nitrate and TP separately for expected communities (TIVe). In both areas, tolerance scores (TIVo/TIVe) for nitrate increased significantly with increased nitrate concentrations whereas no significant relationships were detected between TP tolerance scores and TP concentrations. A 0% increase in the tolerance score (TIVo/TIVe = 1) for nitrate corresponded to a nitrate concentration of 0.19 mg/l (compared with a USEPA summer nitrate criterion of 0.17 mg/l) in the urban area and 0.31 mg/l (compared with a USEPA summer nitrate criterion of 0.86 mg/l) in the agricultural area. Fish nutrient tolerance values offer the ability to evaluate nutrient enrichment based on a quantitative approach that can provide insights into biologically relevant nutrient criteria.

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Additional publication details

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Nutrient enrichment and fish nutrient tolerance: Assessing biologically relevant nutrient criteria
Series title Journal of the American Water Resources Association
DOI 10.1111/jawr.12015
Volume 49
Issue 2
Year Published 2013
Language English
Publisher Journal of the American Water Resources Association
Publisher location Herndon, VA
Contributing office(s) National Water Quality Assessment Program
Description 11 p.
First page 253
Last page 263
Country United States
State Georgia, Indiana, Ohio