Advertisement

Wetlands

, Volume 13, Issue 4, pp 277–292 | Cite as

Beaver pond biogeochemistry: Acid neutralizing capacity generation in a headwater wetland

  • Christopher P. Cirmo
  • Charles T. Driscoll
Article

Abstract

A beaver pond and its associated inlet and outlet waters in the Adirondack Mountains of New York were monitored for major chemical solutes for 26 months in an effort to quantify underlying chemical controls on the production and consumption of acid neutralizing capacity (ANC). The pond was a net annual sink for inlet Al, SO4 2−, NO3 ; and H4SiO4. The pond was a net annual source of dissolved organic carbon (DOC), NH4 +, and Fe2−. Losses of ANC resulting from Al and basic cation retention, as well as organic anion release (RCOO) associated with DOC, were more than offset by SO4 2−, and NO3 retention and Fe2− and NH4 + release, resulting in a net production of ANC. Rates of ANC generation were 120 meq m−2 yr−1 and 310 meq m−2 yr−1, respectively (based on pond surface area), for the non-summer (October-June) and summer (July–September) periods. Seasonal variations in ANC in the outlet stream were largely associated with Fe2+ and DOC release, while ANC in the upland inlet stream was associated with Al, NO3 , and basic cations, with much less seasonal variation. Controls on stream chemistry were temporally and longitudinally different, for the inlet and outlet streams. The shift to seasonal control of outlet stream ANC by processes associated with organic matter decomposition reactions and anaerobic zone nutrient transformations may be characteristic of headwater wetlands, in temperate zones with seasonal temperature extremes. Beaver impoundments and wetlands may also be important in the upstream mobilization or retention of geologically bound solutes like Al, Fe, and H4SiO4. Headwater wetlands, as sinks for solutes associated with acidic deposition and watershed acidification (i.e., SO4 2−, NO3 , and Al), may play a role in the amelioration of the effects of these solutes on downstream receiving waters and associated biota. Depending on their location in relation to drainage patterns, these ponded systems may influence the nutrient dynamics of receiving waters through nitrogen transformations and organic carbon cycling.

Key Words

Acid deposition acid neutralizing capacity Adirondacks beaver impoundment biogeochemistry Castor canadensis mass balance pond watershed wetland 

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Literature Cited

  1. Aber, J.D., K.J. Nadelhoffer, P. Steudler, and J.M. Mellillo. 1989. Nitrogen saturation in northern forest ecosystems. Bioscience 39: 378–386.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. American Public Health Association. 1985. Standard Methods for the Examination of Water and Wastewater. American Public Health Association. New York, NY, USA.Google Scholar
  3. Andrus, R.E. 1986. Some aspects ofSphagnum ecology. Canadian Journal of Botany 64:416–426.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Apple, L.L. 1985. Riparian habitat restoration and beavers. p. 489–490.In R.R. Johnson, C.D. Ziebell, D.R. Patton, P.F. Pfolliott, and R.H. Hamre (tech. coords.) Riparian Ecosystems and Their Management: Reconciling Conflicting Uses. General Technical Report RM-120. Rocky Mountain Forest and Range Experiment Station, USDA Forest Service, Tucson, AZ, USA.Google Scholar
  5. April, R. and R.M. Newton. 1985. Influence of geology on lake acidification in the ILWAS watersheds. Water Air and Soil Pollution 26:373–386.Google Scholar
  6. Aulenbach, B. 1992. Streamflow generation and episodic acidification during hydrologic events at Woods Lake, Adirondack Mountains, New York, USA. Masters Thesis, Syracuse University, Syracuse, NY, USA.Google Scholar
  7. Bayley, S.E., R.S. Behr, and C.A. Kelly. 1986. Retention and release of S from a freshwater wetland. Water Air and Soil Pollution 31:101–114.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Bayley, S.E., D.H. Vitt, R.W. Newbury, K.G. Beaty, R. Behr, and C. Miller. 1987. Experimental acidification of aSphagnum dominated peatland: first year results. Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences 44:194–205.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Bennett, P.C., D.I. Siegel, B.M. Hill, and P.H. Glaser. 1991. Fate of silicate minerals in a peat bog. Geology 19:328–331.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Cappo, K.A., L.J. Blume, G.A. Raab, J.K. Bartz, and J.L. Engels. 1987. Analytical Methods Manual for the Direct/Delayed Response Project Soil Survey. United States Environmental Protection Agency, Environmental Monitoring Systems Laboratory, Office of Research and Development, Las Vegas, NV, USA. EPA 600/8-87/020.Google Scholar
  11. Clymo, R.S. 1963. Ion exchange inSphagnum and its relation to bog ecology. Annals of Botany (New Series) 27:309–324.Google Scholar
  12. Cook, R.B., C.A. Kelly, D.W. Schindler, and D.A. Turner. 1986. Mechanisms of hydrogen ion neutralization in an experimentally acidified lake. Limnology and Oceanography 31:134–148.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Cook, R.B., K.A. Rose, A.L. Brenkert, and P.F. Ryan. 1992. Systematic comparison of ILWAS, MAGIC, and ETD watershed acidification models: 3. Mass balance budgets for acid neutralizing capacity. Environmental Pollution 77:235–242.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Craigie, J.S. and W.S.G. Maass. 1966. The cation exchanger inSphagnum spp. Annals of Botany (London, New Series) 30:153–154.Google Scholar
  15. Dahm, C.N., E.H. Trotter, and J.R. Sedell. 1987. Role of anaerobic zones and processes in stream ecosystem productivity. p. 157–178.In R.C. Averett and D.M. McKnight (eds.) Chemical Quality of Water and the Hydrologic Cycle. Lewis Publishers, Inc., Chelsea, MI, USA.Google Scholar
  16. DeVito, K.J., P.J. Dillon, and B.D. LaZerte. 1989. Phosphorus and nitrogen retention in five Precambrian shield wetlands. Biogeochemistry 8:185–204.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Dohrmann Operatoral Manual. 1984. Automated Laboratory Total Carbon Analyzer. Zertex Corp., Santa Clara, CA, USA.Google Scholar
  18. Driscoll, C.T., J.P. Baker, J.J. Bisogni, and C.L. Schofield. 1980. Effect of aluminum speciation on fish in dilute acidified waters. Nature (London) 284:161–164.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Driscoll, C.T. 1984. A procedure for the fractionation of aqueous aluminum in dilute acidic waters. International Journal of Environmental Analytical Chemistry 16:267–284.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Driscoll, C.T., R.D. Fuller, and W.D. Schecher. 1989. The role of organic acids in the acidification of surface waters in the eastern United States. Water Air and Soil Pollution 43:21–40.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Driscoll, C.T., M.D. Lehtinen, and T.J. Sullivan. 1993. Modeling the acid-base chemistry of organic solutes in Adirondack, NY, lakes. Water Resources Research (in-press).Google Scholar
  22. Driscoll, C.T. and R. van Dreason. 1993. Seasonal and long-term temporal patterns in the chemistry of Adirondack Lakes. Water Air and Soil Pollution 67:319–344.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Driscoll, C.T., B.J. Wyskowski, C.C. Cosentini, and M.E. Smith. 1987. Processes regulating temporal and longitudinal variations in the chemistry of a low-order stream in the Adirondack region of New York. Biogeochemistry 3:225–241.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Ford, T.E. and R.J. Naiman. 1988. Alteration of carbon cycling by beaver: methane evasion rates from boreal forest streams and rivers. Canadian Journal of Zoology 66:529–533.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Fordham, G.F. and C.T. Driscoll. 1989. Short-term changes in the acid/base chemistry of two acidic lakes following calcium carbonate treatment. Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences 46:306–314.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Francis, M.M., R.J. Naiman, and J.M. Melillo. 1985. Nitrogen fixation in subarctic streams influenced by beaver (Castor canadensis). Hydrobiologia 121:193–202.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Fry, B. 1986. Stable sulfur isotopic distributions and sulfate reduction in lake sediments of the Adirondack Mountains, New York. Biogeochemistry 2:329–343.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Goldstein, R.A., S.A. Gherini, C.T. Driscoll, R. April, C.L. Schofield, and C.W. Chen. 1987. Lake-watershed acidification in the North Branch of the Moose River: Introduction. Biogeochemistry 3:5–20.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Gorham, E., S.E. Bayley, and D.W. Schindler. 1984. Ecological effects of acid deposition on peatlands: A neglected field of acid rain research. Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences 41:1256–1268.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Gorham, E., S.J. Eisenreich, J. Ford, and M.V. Santelmann. 1985. The chemistry of bog waters. p. 339–363.In W. Stumm (ed.) Chemical Processes in Lakes. Wiley-InterScience, New York, NY, USA.Google Scholar
  31. Gran, G. 1952. Determination of the equivalence point in potentiometric titration. International Congress of Chemistry 77:661–671.Google Scholar
  32. Gubala, C.P. and C.T. Driscoll. 1990. The influence of a beaver impoundment upon the acid-base chemistry within a small Adirondack catchment. Meeting Abstract, American Chemical Society 199:146.Google Scholar
  33. Hall, R.J., C.T. Driscoll, G.E. Likens, and J.M. Pratt. 1985. Physical, chemical and biological consequences of episodic aluminum additions to a stream ecosystem. Limnology and Oceanography 30:212–220.Google Scholar
  34. Hemond, H.F. 1990. Acid neutralizing capacity, alkalinity and acid-base status of natural waters containing organic acids. Environmental Science and Technology 24:1486–1489.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Hiebert, F.K. and P.C. Bennett. 1992. Microbial control of silicate weathering in organic-rich ground water. Science 258:278–281.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Hodkinson, I.D. 1975. Energy flow and organic matter decomposition in an abandoned beaver pond system. Oecologia 21:131–139.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Johnston, C.A. and R.J. Naiman. 1987. Boundary dynamics at the aquatic-terrestrial interface: the influence of beaver and geomorphology. Landscape Ecology 1:47–57.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Johnston, C.A. and R.J. Naiman. 1990. Aquatic patch creation in relation to beaver population trends. Ecology 71:1617–1621.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Kelly C.A., J.W.M. Rudd, R.B. Cook, and D.W. Schindler. 1982. The potential importance of bacterial processes in regulating rate of lake acidification. Limnology and Oceanography 27:868–882.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Kelly, C.A. and J.W.M. Rudd. 1984. Epilimnetic sulfate reduction and its relationship to lake acidification. Biogeochemistry 1:63–77.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Kerekes, J., S. Beauchamp, R. Torden, and T. Pollock. 1986. Sources of sulphate and acidity in wetlands and lakes of Nova Scotia. Water Air and Soil Pollution 31:207–214.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. LaZerte, B.D. 1993. The impact of drought and acidification on the chemical exports from a minerotrophic conifer swamp. Biogeochemistry 18:153–175.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Lovley, D.R. and E.J.P. Phillips. 1986a. Organic matter mineralization with reduction of ferric iron in anaerobic sediments. Applied Environmental Microbiology 51:683–689.Google Scholar
  44. Lovley, D.R. and E.J.P. Phillips. 1986b. Availability of ferric iron for microbial reduction in bottom sediments of the freshwater tidal Potomac River. Applied Environmental Microbiology 52: 751–757.Google Scholar
  45. Madsen, E.L., M.D. Morgan and R.E. Good. 1986. Simultaneous photo-reduction and microbial oxidation of iron in a stream in the New Jersey Pinelands. Limnology and Oceanography 31:832–838.Google Scholar
  46. Maret, J.J., M. Parker, and T.E. Fanny. 1987. The effect of beaver ponds on the non-point source water quality of a stream in southwestern Wyoming. Water Research 21:263–268.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. McKnight, D.M., B.A. Kimball, and K.E. Bencala. 1988. Iron photo-reduction and oxidation in an acidic mountain stream. Science 240:637–640.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Munson, R.K., C.T. Driscoll, and S.A. Gherini. 1990a. Phenomenological analysis of ALSC chemistry data. p.(2-27)–(2-69).In Adirondack Lakes Survey: An Interpretive Analysis of Fish Communities and Water Chemistry, 1984–1987. Adirondack Lakes Survey Corporation. Ray Brook, NY, USA.Google Scholar
  49. Munson, R.K., S.A. Gherini, K.H. Reckhow, and C.T. Driscoll. 1990b. Integrated analysis. p.(2-92)–(2-110).In Adirondack Lakes Survey: An Interpretive Analysis of Fish Communities and Water Chemistry, 1984–1987. Adirondack Lakes Survey Corporation, Ray Brook, NY, USA.Google Scholar
  50. Munson, R.K. and S.A. Gherini. 1993. Influence of organic acids on pH and acid-neutralizing capacity of Adirondack lakes. Water Resources Research 29:891–899.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Naiman, R.J., C.A. Johnston, and J.C. Kelley. 1988. Alteration of North American streams by beaver. BioScience 38:753–762.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. Naiman, R.J., T. Manning, and C.A. Johnston. 1991. Beaver population fluctuations and tropospheric methane emissions in boreal wetlands. Biogeochemistry 12:1–15.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. Naiman, R.J. and J.M. Mellillo. 1984. Nitrogen budget of a subarctic stream altered by beaver (Castor canadensis). Oecologia 62: 150–155.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. Naiman, R.J., J.M. Melillo, and J.E. Hobbie. 1986. Ecosystem alteration of boreal forest streams by beaver (Castor canadensis). Ecology 67:1254–1269.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  55. New York State Atmospheric Deposition Monitoring Network. 1991. Wet deposition, Nicks Lake, 1991. New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, Division of Air Resources, Albany, NY, USA.Google Scholar
  56. Nisbet, E.G. 1989. Some northern sources of atmospheric methane: production, history and future implications. Canadian Journal of Earth Sciences 26:1603–1611.Google Scholar
  57. Nriagu, J.O. and Y.K. Soon. 1985. Distribution and isotopic composition of sulfur in lake sediments of northern Ontario. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta 49:823–834.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  58. Orion Instruction Manual. 1976. Fluoride Electrodes. Orion Research Inc., Cambridge, MA, USA.Google Scholar
  59. Parker, M. 1986. Beaver, water quality, and riparian systems. p. 88–94.In Proceedings: Wyoming Water and Streamside Zone Conference. Wyoming Water Research Center, University of Wyoming, Laramie, NY, USA.Google Scholar
  60. Perdue, E.M. 1985. Acidic functional groups of humic substances. p. 493–526.In G.R. Aiken, D.M. McKnight, R.L. Wershaw, and P. MacCarthy (eds.) Humic Substances in Soil Sediments and Water. Wiley-InterScience, New York, NY, USA.Google Scholar
  61. Remillard, M.M., G.K. Gruendling, and D.J. Bogucki. 1987. Disturbance by beaver (Castor canadensis Kuhl) and increased landscape heterogeneity. p. 103–122.In Landscape Heterogeneity and Disturbance: Ecological Studies #64. Springer-Verlag Inc., New York, NY, USA.Google Scholar
  62. Roulet, N.T. and R. Ash. 1992. Low boreal wetlands as a source of atmospheric methane. Journal of Geophysical Research 97: 3739–3749.Google Scholar
  63. SAS Institute Inc. 1985. SAS Procedures Guide for Personal Computers, Version 6 Edition. Cary, NC, USA.Google Scholar
  64. Schafran, G.C. and C.T. Driscoll. 1987. Comparison of terrestrial and hypolimnetic sediment generation of acid neutralizing capacity for an acidic Adirondack Lake. Environmental Science and Technology 21:988–993.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  65. Schecher, W.D. and C.T. Driscoll. 1993. ALCHEMI: A chemical equilibrium model to assess the acid-base chemistry and speciation of aluminum in dilute solutions.In R. Loeppert, A.P. Schwab, and S. Goldberg (eds.) Chemical Equilibrium and Reaction Models. Soil Science Society of America, Madison, WI, USA (in-press).Google Scholar
  66. Schiff, S.L. and R.F. Anderson. 1986. Alkalinity production in epilimnetic sediments: acidic and non-acidic lakes. Water Air and Soil Pollution 31:941–948.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  67. Schindler, D.W. 1986. The significance of in-lake production of alkalinity. Water Air and Soil Pollution 30:931–944.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  68. Schindler, D.W., R. Wagemann, R.B. Cook, T. Ruszczyunski, and J. Prokopowich. 1980. Experimental acidification of Lake 223, Experimental Lakes Area: background data and the first three years of acidification. Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences 37:342–354.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  69. Schofield, C.L. and J.R. Trojnar. 1980. Aluminum toxicity to brook trout (Salvelinus fontinalis) in acidified waters. p. 347–366.In T.Y. Toribara, M.W. Miller and P.E. Morrow (eds.) Polluted Rain. Plenum Press, New York, NY, USA.Google Scholar
  70. Schofield, C.L. 1993. Habitat suitability for brook trout (Salvelinus fontinalis) reproduction in Adirondack lakes. Water Resources Research 77:875–879.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  71. Slavin, W. 1968. Atomic absorption Spectroscopy. John Wiley InterScience, New York, NY, USA.Google Scholar
  72. Small, H., T.S. Stevens, and W.C. Bauman. 1975. Novel ion exchange chromatographic method using conductimetric detection. Analytical Chemistry 47:1801–1809.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  73. Smith, M.E., C.T. Driscoll, B.J. Wyskowski, C.M. Brooks, and C.C. Cosentini. 1991. Modification of stream ecosystem structure and function by beaver (Castor canadensis) in the Adirondack Mountains, New York. Canadian Journal of Zoology 69:55–61.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  74. Stoddard, J.L. and P.S. Murdoch. 1991. Catskill Mountains. p. 237–271.In D.F. Charles (ed.) Acidic Deposition and Aquatic Ecosystems: Regional Case Studies. Springer-Verlag, Inc., New York, NY, USA.Google Scholar
  75. Stuiver, M. 1967. The sulfur cycle in lake waters during thermal stratification. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta 31:2151–2167.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  76. Stumm, W. and J.J. Morgan. 1981. Aquatic Chemistry (2nd. ed.), John Wiley and Sons, Inc., New York, NY, USA.Google Scholar
  77. Tipping, E., C.A. Bakkes, and M.A. Hurley, 1988. The complexation of protons, aluminum and calcium by aquatic humic substances: A model incorporating binding-site heterogeneity and macroionic effects. Water Research 22:597–564.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  78. Urban, N.R. and S.E. Bayley. 1986. The acid-base balance of peatlands: a short term perspective. Water Air and Soil Pollution 30: 791–800.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  79. Urban, N.R., S.J. Eisenreich, and D.F. Grigal. 1989. Sulphur cycling in a forestedSphagnum bog in northern Minnesota. Biogeochemistry 7:81–109.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  80. Vogt, K.A., R. Dahlgren, F.C. Ugolini, D. Zabowski, E.E. Moore, and R. Zasoski. 1987. Aluminum, Fe, Ca, Mg, K, Mn, Cu, Zn and P in above-and below-ground biomass. Part I. Concentrations in subalpineAbies amabilis andTsuga mertensiana. Biogeochemistry. 4:295–311.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  81. Wieder, R.K., G.E. Lang, and V.A. Granus. 1987. Sulphur transformations inSphagnum-derived peat during incubation. Soil Biology and Biochemistry 19:101–106.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  82. Woo, M.K. and J.M. Waddington. 1990. Effects of beaver dams on sub-arctic wetland hydrology. Aretic 43:223–230.Google Scholar
  83. Wood, J.A. 1989. Peatland acidity budgets and the effects of acid deposition. Discussion Paper No. 5., Ecological Applications Research Division, Environment Canada. Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.Google Scholar
  84. Yavitt, J.B., L. Angell, T.J. Fahey, C.P. Cirmo, and C.T. Driscoll. 1992. Methane fluxes, concentrations and production in two Adirondack beaver impoundments. Limnology and Oceanography 37:1057–1066.Google Scholar
  85. Yavitt, J.B., G.E. Lang, and A.J. Sextone. 1990. Methane fluxes in wetland forest and soils, beaver ponds, and low-order streams of a temperate forest ecosystem. Journal of Geophysical Research (Oceans) 95:22463–22474.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Society of Wetland Scientists 1993

Authors and Affiliations

  • Christopher P. Cirmo
    • 1
  • Charles T. Driscoll
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Civil and Environmental EngineeringSyracuse UniversitySyracuse

Personalised recommendations