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Biogeochemistry

, Volume 76, Issue 1, pp 85–111 | Cite as

Spatial and Temporal Variability in Sediment Denitrification Within an Agriculturally Influenced Reservoir

  • Lareina G. Wall
  • Jennifer L. Tank
  • Todd V. Royer
  • Melody J. Bernot
Article

Abstract

Reservoirs are intrinsically linked to the rivers that feed them, creating a river–reservoir continuum in which water and sediment inputs are a function of the surrounding watershed land use. We examined the spatial and temporal variability of sediment denitrification rates by sampling longitudinally along an agriculturally influenced river–reservoir continuum monthly for 13 months. Sediment denitrification rates ranged from 0 to 63 μg N2O g ash free dry mass of sediments (AFDM)−1 h−1 or 0–2.7 μg N2O g dry mass of sediments (DM)−1 h−1 at reservoir sites, vs. 0–12 μg N2O gAFDM−1 h−1 or 0–0.27 μg N2O gDM−1 h−1 at riverine sites. Temporally, highest denitrification activity traveled through the reservoir from upper reservoir sites to the dam, following the load of high nitrate (NO 3 -N) water associated with spring runoff. Annual mean sediment denitrification rates at different reservoir sites were consistently higher than at riverine sites, yet significant relationships among theses sites differed when denitrification rates were expressed per gDM vs. per gAFDM. There was a significant positive relationship between sediment denitrification rates and NO 3 -N concentration up to a threshold of 0.88 mg NO 3 -N l−1, above which it appeared NO 3 -N was no longer limiting. Denitrification assays were amended seasonally with NO 3 -N and an organic carbon source (glucose) to determine nutrient limitation of sediment denitrification. While organic carbon never limited sediment denitrification, all sites were significantly limited by NO 3 -N during fall and winter when ambient NO 3 -N was low.

Keywords

Agriculture Denitrification Nitrogen Reservoir River Sediments 

Abbreviations

AFDM

ash free dry mass

ANOVA

analysis of variance

APHA

American Public Health Association

C

carbon

chl a

chlorophyll a

CV

coefficient of variation

DM

dry mass

DOC

dissolved organic carbon

Figure

figure

g

gram

He

helium

h

hour

km

kilometers

l

liter

LSMeans

least-squared means

LSV

Lake Shelbyville, Illinois

m

meter

mg

milligram

ml

milliliter

mM

millimolar

N

nitrogen

N + C

nitrogen plus carbon

N2

di-nitrogen gas

N2O

nitrous oxide

NH4+

ammonium

NO3

nitrate

O2

oxygen

SE

standard error

TDN

total dissolved nitrogen

TN

total nitrogen

USEPA

United States Environmental Protection Agency

USGS

United Stated Geologic Survey

μg

microgram

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Copyright information

© Springer 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Lareina G. Wall
    • 1
  • Jennifer L. Tank
    • 1
  • Todd V. Royer
    • 2
  • Melody J. Bernot
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Biological SciencesUniversity of Notre DameNotre Dame
  2. 2.Department of Biological SciencesKent State UniversityKent

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