In situ retention-transport response to nitrate loading and storm discharge in a third-order stream

Journal of the North American Benthological Society
By: , and 

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Abstract

Nitrate retention was assayed in a 264-m reach of a third-order stream, Little Lost Man Creek, Humboldt County, California, USA. Nitrate budgets (24-48 hours) were calculated under background conditions, and during four other intervals of modified nitrate concentration caused by nutrient amendment or storm-enhanced discharge. Under background, low-flow conditions, the reach was a source of nitrate to downstream communities. Retention during the first 36 hours of nitrate amendment was dominated by storage in the hyporheic zone and later by biotic uptake as storage zones became saturated (plateau concentration). The increase in net retention caused by increased nitrate concentration decreased output/input (O/I) ratio from 1.11 before amendment to 0.61 after 36 hours, and to 0.86 after transient storage zones were filled. Dilution, caused by a nearly four-fold increase in discharge, increased biotic retention and also export as previously stored nitrate leached from the hyporheic zone into the channel. Nitrate continued to leach from the hyporheic zone seven days after the amendment ended. This type of response may enhance biotic nutrient cycling by providing waters of higher nutrient concentration to partially scoured epilithic surfaces following reset of the benthic community by a major storm.

Additional publication details

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title In situ retention-transport response to nitrate loading and storm discharge in a third-order stream
Series title Journal of the North American Benthological Society
DOI 10.2307/1467586
Volume 9
Issue 3
Year Published 1990
Language English
Publisher Society for Freshwater Science
Contributing office(s) California Water Science Center
Description 11 p.
First page 229
Last page 239
Country United States
State California
County Humboldt County
Other Geospatial Little Lost Man Creek
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