Environmental Management

, 48:795

Landscape Influences on Headwater Streams on Fort Stewart, Georgia, USA

  • Henriette I. Jager
  • Mark S. Bevelhimer
  • Roy L. King
  • Katy A. Smith
Article

DOI: 10.1007/s00267-011-9722-4

Cite this article as:
Jager, H.I., Bevelhimer, M.S., King, R.L. et al. Environmental Management (2011) 48: 795. doi:10.1007/s00267-011-9722-4
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Abstract

Military landscapes represent a mixture of undisturbed natural ecosystems, developed areas, and lands that support different types and intensities of military training. Research to understand water-quality influences of military landscapes usually involves intensive sampling in a few watersheds. In this study, we developed a survey design of accessible headwater watersheds intended to improve our ability to distinguish land–water relationships in general, and training influences, in particular, on Fort Stewart, GA. We sampled and analyzed water from watershed outlets. We successfully developed correlative models for total suspended solids (TSS), total nitrogen (TN), organic carbon (OC), and organic nitrogen (ON), which dominated in this blackwater ecosystem. TSS tended to be greater in samples after rainfall and during the growing season, and models that included %Wetland suggested a “build-and-flush” relationship. We also detected a positive association between TSS and tank-training, which suggests a need to intercept sediment-laden runoff from training areas. Models for OC showed a negative association with %Grassland. TN and ON both showed negative associations with %Grassland, %Wetland, and %Forest. Unexpected positive associations were observed between OC and equipment-training activity and between ON and %Bare ground + Roads. Future studies that combine our survey-based approach with more intensive monitoring of the timing and intensity of training would be needed to better understand the mechanisms for these empirical relationships involving military training. Looking beyond local effects on Fort Stewart streams, we explore questions about how exports of OC and nitrogen from coastal military installations ultimately influence estuaries downstream.

Keywords

Blackwater riverBuild-and-flushCoastal plainHeadwater watershedLand useMilitary trainingStream-water qualitySurvey design

Supplementary material

267_2011_9722_MOESM1_ESM.doc (80 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOC 80 kb)
267_2011_9722_MOESM2_ESM.pdf (103 kb)
Fig. S1. Plots describing observed versus predicted values (left column) and residuals (right column) for each analyte modeled, including a, b total suspended sediment (TSS); c, d total organic carbon (TOC); e, f dissolved organic carbon (DOC); g, h total nitrogen (TN); and i, j organic nitrogen (ON) (PDF 103 kb)

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC (outside the USA) 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Henriette I. Jager
    • 1
  • Mark S. Bevelhimer
    • 1
  • Roy L. King
    • 2
  • Katy A. Smith
    • 3
  1. 1.Oak Ridge National LaboratoryOak RidgeUSA
  2. 2.Oak Ridge Associated UniversitiesFort StewartUSA
  3. 3.University Georgia Marine Extension ServiceBrunswickUSA