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Evaluating hillslope and riparian contributions to dissolved nitrogen (N) export from a boreal forest catchment
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2017 (English)In: Journal of Geophysical Research - Biogeosciences, ISSN 2169-8953, E-ISSN 2169-8961, Vol. 122, no 2, 324-339 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Catchment science has long held that the chemistry of small streams reflects the landscapes they drain. However, understanding the contribution of different landscape units to stream chemistry remains a challenge which frequently limits our understanding of export dynamics. For limiting nutrients such as nitrogen (N), an implicit assumption is that the most spatially extensive landscape units (e.g., uplands) act as the primary sources to surface waters, while near-stream zones function more often as sinks. These assumptions, based largely on studies in high-gradient systems or in regions with elevated inputs of anthropogenic N, may not apply to low-gradient, nutrient-poor, and peat-rich catchments characteristic of many northern ecosystems. We quantified patterns of N mobilization along a hillslope transect in a northern boreal catchment to assess the extent to which organic matter-rich riparian soils regulate the flux of N to streams. Contrary to the prevailing view of riparian functioning, we found that near-stream, organic soils supported concentrations and fluxes of ammonium (NH4+) and dissolved organic nitrogen that were much higher than the contributing upslope forest soils. These results suggest that stream N chemistry is connected to N mobilization and mineralization within the riparian zone rather than the wider landscape. Results further suggest that water table fluctuation in near-surface riparian soils may promote elevated rates of net N mineralization in these landscapes.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
AMER GEOPHYSICAL UNION , 2017. Vol. 122, no 2, 324-339 p.
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Geosciences, Multidisciplinary
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URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-133554DOI: 10.1002/2016JG003535ISI: 000396130400004OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-133554DiVA: diva2:1088149
Available from: 2017-04-11 Created: 2017-04-11 Last updated: 2017-04-11Bibliographically approved

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Sponseller, Ryan A.
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CiteExportLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link
Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • harvard1
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
  • rtf