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Title: Influence of dual nitrogen and phosphorus additions on nutrient uptake and saturation kinetics in a forested headwater stream

Abstract

Nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) can limit autotrophic and heterotrophic metabolism in lotic ecosystems, yet most studies that evaluate biotic responses to colimitation focus on patch-scale (e.g., nutrient diffusing substrata) rather than stream-scale responses. In this study, we evaluated the effects of single and dual N and P additions on ambient nutrient uptake rates and saturation kinetics during two biologically contrasting seasons (spring, autumn) in Walker Branch, a temperate forested headwater stream in Tennessee, USA. In each season, we used separate instantaneous pulse additions to quantify nutrient uptake rates and saturation kinetics of N (nitrate) and P (phosphate). We then used steady-state injections to elevate background stream water concentrations (to low and then high background concentrations) of one nutrient (e.g., N) and released instantaneous pulses of the other nutrient (e.g., P). We predicted that elevating the background concentration of one nutrient would result in a lower ambient uptake length and a higher maximum areal uptake rate of the other nutrient in this colimited stream. Our prediction held true in spring, as maximum areal uptake rate of N increased with elevated P concentrations from 185 µg m –2 min –1 (no added P) to 354 µg m –2 min –1 (highmore » P). This pattern was not observed in autumn, as uptake rates of N were not measurable when P was elevated. Further, elevating background N concentration in either season did not significantly increase P uptake rates, likely because adsorption rather than biotic uptake dominated P dynamics. Laboratory P sorption assays demonstrated that Walker Branch sediments had a high adsorption capacity and were likely a sink for P during most pulse nutrient additions. Furthermore, it may be difficult to use coupled pulse nutrient additions to evaluate biotic uptake of N and P in streams with strong P adsorption potential. Future efforts should use dual nutrient addition techniques to investigate reach-scale coupled biogeochemical cycles (C–N–P, and other elemental cycles [e.g., Fe, Mo]) across seasons, biomes, and land-use types and over longer time periods.« less

Authors:
ORCiD logo [1];  [2]
  1. Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States)
  2. Indiana Univ., Bloomington, IN (United States); Heidelberg Univ., Tiffin, OH (United States)
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Science (SC), Biological and Environmental Research (BER) (SC-23)
OSTI Identifier:
1484147
Grant/Contract Number:  
[AC05-00OR22725]
Resource Type:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Freshwater Science
Additional Journal Information:
[ Journal Volume: 37; Journal Issue: 4]; Journal ID: ISSN 2161-9549
Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
54 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES; nitrate; phosphate; uptake length; maximum areal uptake rate; Tracer Additions for Spiraling Curve Characterization; steady-state addition; adsorption; coupled biogeochemical cycles

Citation Formats

Griffiths, Natalie A., and Johnson, Laura T. Influence of dual nitrogen and phosphorus additions on nutrient uptake and saturation kinetics in a forested headwater stream. United States: N. p., 2018. Web. doi:10.1086/700700.
Griffiths, Natalie A., & Johnson, Laura T. Influence of dual nitrogen and phosphorus additions on nutrient uptake and saturation kinetics in a forested headwater stream. United States. doi:10.1086/700700.
Griffiths, Natalie A., and Johnson, Laura T. Thu . "Influence of dual nitrogen and phosphorus additions on nutrient uptake and saturation kinetics in a forested headwater stream". United States. doi:10.1086/700700. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1484147.
@article{osti_1484147,
title = {Influence of dual nitrogen and phosphorus additions on nutrient uptake and saturation kinetics in a forested headwater stream},
author = {Griffiths, Natalie A. and Johnson, Laura T.},
abstractNote = {Nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) can limit autotrophic and heterotrophic metabolism in lotic ecosystems, yet most studies that evaluate biotic responses to colimitation focus on patch-scale (e.g., nutrient diffusing substrata) rather than stream-scale responses. In this study, we evaluated the effects of single and dual N and P additions on ambient nutrient uptake rates and saturation kinetics during two biologically contrasting seasons (spring, autumn) in Walker Branch, a temperate forested headwater stream in Tennessee, USA. In each season, we used separate instantaneous pulse additions to quantify nutrient uptake rates and saturation kinetics of N (nitrate) and P (phosphate). We then used steady-state injections to elevate background stream water concentrations (to low and then high background concentrations) of one nutrient (e.g., N) and released instantaneous pulses of the other nutrient (e.g., P). We predicted that elevating the background concentration of one nutrient would result in a lower ambient uptake length and a higher maximum areal uptake rate of the other nutrient in this colimited stream. Our prediction held true in spring, as maximum areal uptake rate of N increased with elevated P concentrations from 185 µg m–2 min–1 (no added P) to 354 µg m–2 min–1 (high P). This pattern was not observed in autumn, as uptake rates of N were not measurable when P was elevated. Further, elevating background N concentration in either season did not significantly increase P uptake rates, likely because adsorption rather than biotic uptake dominated P dynamics. Laboratory P sorption assays demonstrated that Walker Branch sediments had a high adsorption capacity and were likely a sink for P during most pulse nutrient additions. Furthermore, it may be difficult to use coupled pulse nutrient additions to evaluate biotic uptake of N and P in streams with strong P adsorption potential. Future efforts should use dual nutrient addition techniques to investigate reach-scale coupled biogeochemical cycles (C–N–P, and other elemental cycles [e.g., Fe, Mo]) across seasons, biomes, and land-use types and over longer time periods.},
doi = {10.1086/700700},
journal = {Freshwater Science},
number = [4],
volume = [37],
place = {United States},
year = {2018},
month = {10}
}

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Works referencing / citing this record:

Walker Branch Watershed: Effect of Dual Nitrogen and Phosphorus Additions on Nutrient Uptake and Saturation Kinetics, 2011-2012
dataset, January 2018


Vegetation Inventory of Oak-Hickory Forest at Missouri Ozark (MOFLUX) Site: 2004-2017
dataset, January 2019

  • Pallardy, S. G.; Gu, L.; Wood, J. D.
  • Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States)
  • DOI: 10.25581/ornlsfa.016/1498529

Walker Branch Watershed: Effect of Dual Nitrogen and Phosphorus Additions on Nutrient Uptake and Saturation Kinetics, 2011-2012
dataset, January 2018


Vegetation Inventory of Oak-Hickory Forest at Missouri Ozark (MOFLUX) Site: 2004-2017
dataset, January 2019

  • Pallardy, S. G.; Gu, L.; Wood, J. D.
  • Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States)
  • DOI: 10.25581/ornlsfa.016/1498529

Eddy Flux and Meteorology over Deciduous Forest, Prairie, and Soybean Ecosystems in Missouri, USA, during the Total Solar Eclipse of 2017
dataset, January 2019

  • Wood, J. D.; Sadler, E. J.; Fox, N. I.
  • Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States)
  • DOI: 10.25581/ornlsfa.017/1579907