Advertisement

Biogeochemistry

, Volume 97, Issue 2–3, pp 123–140 | Cite as

Seasonal variability of diurnal in-stream nitrate concentration oscillations under hydrologically stable conditions

  • Simon RusjanEmail author
  • Matjaž Mikoš
Article

Abstract

Seasonal and diurnal variations of in-stream NO3-N concentration oscillations were studied through high-frequency measurements of streamwater’s physical, chemical parameters (in-stream NO3-N concentration, water temperature, dissolved oxygen, pH) and hydrometeorological variables (stream discharge, solar radiation) under hydrologically stable conditions. The study was carried out in 2006, within the 42 km2 forested Padež stream watershed in the southwestern part of Slovenia, which is characterized by distinctive hydrogeological settings (flysch) and climate conditions (transitional area between the Mediterranean and continental climate). Fine temporal data resolution (15-min interval) enabled identification of the factors responsible for seasonal variability in the diurnal pattern of the streamwater NO3-N concentrations versus seasonal and diurnal behavior of meteorological and other water chemistry constituents. The observed seasonal variability of in-stream NO3-N daily oscillations indicates the important role of primary production uptake, particularly during seasons when deciduous vegetation is dormant and light levels in the stream are high. Highest daily NO3-N concentration amplitudes (0.3 mg/l-N) and daily changes in the NO3-N flux (0.4–0.5 g/s-N) were observed in spring; the NO3-N concentration oscillations in summer showed a considerably smaller effect of the in-stream uptake (maximum NO3-N daily concentration amplitude 0.1 mg/l-N; daily change in the NO3-N flux 0.02 g/s-N). Seasonal shifts in the timing of daily maximum (up to 6 h) and minimum NO3-N concentrations (between 1 and 3 h) provided some additional indications of seasonal changes in the in-stream primary production uptake and its relation to the terrestrial component of the forested watershed.

Keywords

Diurnal oscillations Forested watersheds High-frequency measurements Seasonality Slovenia In-stream nitrate 

Notes

Acknowledgments

This research was supported by the Slovenian Research Agency (doctoral grant No. 3311-03-831624 and research program P2-0180) and the Ministry of the Environment and Spatial Planning of the Republic of Slovenia. We gratefully acknowledge M. Padežnik, A. Vidmar, D. Matthews, and T. Kralj for field and technical support. The authors wish to thank two anonymous reviewers for their constructive suggestions and helpful comments on earlier versions of the manuscript.

References

  1. Aber JD, Melillo JM, Nadelhoffer KJ, Pastor J, Boone RD (1991) Factors controlling nitrogen cycling and nitrogen saturation in northern temperate forest ecosystems. Ecol Appl 1:303–315CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Aber JD, Magill A, McNulty SG, Boone RD, Nedelhoffer KJ, Downs M, Hallett R (1995) Forest biochemistry and primary production altered by nitrogen saturation. Water Air Soil Pollut 85:1665–1670CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Aber JD, Ollinger SV, Driscoll CT (1997) Modeling nitrogen saturation in forest ecosystems in response to land use and atmospheric deposition. Ecol Model 101:61–78CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Aber JD, Goodale CL, Ollinger SV, Smith M, Magill AH, Martin ME, Hallett RA, Stoddard JL (2003) Is nitrogen deposition altering the nitrogen status of northeastern forests? Bioscience 53(4):375–389CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Alexander RB, Smith RA, Schwarz GE (2000) Effect of stream channel size on the delivery of nitrogen to the Gulf of Mexico. Nature 403:758–761CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Andersson L, Lepisto H (1998) Links between runoff generation, climate and nitrate-N leaching from forested catchments. Water Air Soil Pollut 105:227–237CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Arheimer B, Andersson L, Lepisto A (1996) Variation of nitrogen concentration in forest streams–influences of flow, seasonality and catchment characteristics. J Hydrol 179:281–304CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. ARSO (2007) Kakovost zraka v Sloveniji v letu 2006 (Air quality in Slovenia in 2006—In Slovenian). Environmental Agency of the Republic of Slovenia, Ljubljana, p 90Google Scholar
  9. Band LE, Tague CL, Groffman P, Belt K (2001) Forest ecosystem processes at the watershed scale: hydrological and ecological controls of nitrogen export. Hydrol Process 15(10):2013–2028CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Beachtold JC, Edwards RT, Naiman RJ (2003) Biotic versus hydrologic control over seasonal nitrate leaching in a floodplain forest. Biogeochemistry 63:53–72CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Bernal S, Butturini A, Sabater F (2005) Seasonal variations of dissolved nitrogen and DOC: DON ratios in an intermittent Mediterranean stream. Biogeochemistry 75:351–372CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Bernhardt ES, Hall RO, Likens GE (2002) Whole-system estimates of nitrification and nitrate uptake in streams of the Hubbard Brook Experimental Forest. Ecosystems 5:419–430CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Bernhardt ES, Likens GE, Hall RO, Buso DC, Fisher SG, Burton TM, Meyer JL, McDowell WH, Mayer MS, Bowden WB, Findlay SEG, MacNeale KH, Stelzer RS, Lowe WH (2005) Can’t see the forest for the stream? In-stream processing and terrestrial nitrogen exports. Bioscience 55:219–230CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Binkley D, Sollins P, Bell R, Sachs R, Myrold D (1992) Biogeochemistry of adjacent conifer and alder-conifer stands. Ecology 73:2022–2033CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Binkley D, Son Y, Valentine DW (2000) Do forests receive occult inputs of nitrogen? Ecosystems 3:321–331CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Binkley D, Ice GG, Kaye J, Williams CA (2004) Nitrogen and phosphorus concentrations in forest streams of the United States. J Am Water Resour As 40:1277–1292CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Brilly M, Rusjan S, Vidmar A (2006) Monitoring the impact of urbanisation on the Glinscica stream. Phys Chem Earth 31(17):1089–1096Google Scholar
  18. Burns DA (1998) Retention of NO3—in an upland stream environment: a mass balance approach. Biogeochemistry 40:73–96CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Burns DA (2004) The effects of atmospheric nitrogen deposition in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado and southern Wyoming, USA—a critical review. Environ Pollut 127:257–269CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Christensen PB, Nielsen LP, Sorensen J, Revsbech NP (1990) Denitrification in nitrate-rich streams: diurnal and seasonal variation related to benthic oxygen metabolism. Limnol Oceanogr 35:640–651Google Scholar
  21. Cirmo CP, McDonnell JJ (1997) Linking the hydrologic and biogeochemical controls of nitrogen transport in near-stream zones of temperate-forested catchments: a review. J Hydrol 199:88–120CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Clark MJ, Cresser MS, Smart R, Chapman PJ, Edwards AC (2004) The influence of catchment characteristics on the seasonality of carbon and nitrogen species concentrations in upland rivers of Northern Scotland. Biogeochemistry 68:1–19CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. DeNicola DM (1996) Periphyton responses to temperature at different ecological levels. In: Stevenson RJ, Bothwell ML, Lowe RL (eds) Algal ecology, freshwater benthic ecosystem. Academic Press, London, pp 150–176Google Scholar
  24. Fenn ME, Poth MA, Aber JD, Baron JS, Bormann BT, Johnson DW, Lemly AD, McNulty SG, Ryan DF, Stottlemyer R (1998) Nitrogen excess in North American ecosystems: predisposing factors, ecosystem responses, and management strategies. Ecol Appl 8:706–733CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Fitzhugh RD, Lovett GM, Ventereia RT (2003) Biotic and abiotic immobilization of ammonium, nitrite and nitrate in soils developed under different tree species in the Catskill Mountains, New York, USA. Glob Change Biol 9:1591–1601CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Goodale CL, Aber JD, McDowell WH (2000) The long-term effects of disturbance on organic and inorganic nitrogen export in the White Mountains, New Hampshire. Ecosystems 3:433–450CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Goodale CL, Lajhta K, Nadelhoffer KJ, Boyer EW, Jaworski NA (2002) Forest nitrogen sinks in large eastern US watersheds: estimates from forest inventory and an ecosystem model. Biogeochemistry 57(58):239–266CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Gundersen P, Callesen I, de Vries W (1998) Nitrate leaching in forest ecosystems is controlled by forest floor C/N ratio. Environ Pollut 102:403–407CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Gundersen P, Schmidt IK, Rasmussen KR (2006) Leaching of nitrate from temperate forests—effects of air pollution and forest management. Environ Rev 14:1–57CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Hamilton SK, Tank JL, Raikow DF, Wollheim WM, Peterson BJ, Webster JR (2001) Nitrogen uptake and transformation in a Midwestern US stream: a stable isotope enrichment study. Biogeochemistry 54:297–340CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Hart SC, Binkley D, Perry DA (1997) Influence of red alder on soil nitrogen transformations in two conifer forests of contrasting productivity. Soil Biol Biochem 29:1111–1123CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Heathwaite AL, Burt TP, Trudgill ST (1993) Overview—the nitrate issue. In: Burt TP, Heathwaite AL, Trudgill ST (eds) Nitrate: processes, patterns and management. Wiley, ChichesterGoogle Scholar
  33. Hessen DO, Henriksen A, Smelhus AM (1997) Seasonal fluctuations and diurnal oscillations in nitrate of a heathland brook. Water Res 31:1813–1817CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Holloway JM, Dahlgren RA (2001) Seasonal and event-scale variations in solute chemistry for four Sierra Nevada catchments. J Hydrol 250:106–121CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Holmes RM, Jones JB, Fisher SG, Grimm NB (1996) Denitrification in a nitrogen-limited stream ecosystem. Biogeochemistry 33:125–146CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Hood EW, Williams MW, Caine M (2003) Landscape controls on organic and inorganic nitrogen leaching across an alpine/subalpine ecotone, Green Lakes Valley, Colorado Front Range. Ecosystems 6:31–45CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Inamdar SP, Christopher S, Mitchell MJ (2004) Flushing of DOC and nitrate from a forested catchment: role of hydrologic flow paths and water sources. Hydrol Process 18(14):2651–2661CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Kaplan LA, Bott TL (1989) Diel fluctuations in bacterial activity on streambed substrata during vernal algal blooms: effects of temperature, water chemistry, and habitat. Limnol Oceanogr 34(4):118–733CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Kirchner JW, Feng X, Neal C, Robson AJ (2004) The fine structure of water—quality dynamics: the (high-frequency) wave of the future. Hydrol Process 18(7):1353–1359CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Likens GE, Bormann FH (1995) Biogeochemistry of a forested ecosystem, 2nd edn. Springer, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  41. Lovett GM, Weathers KC, Arthur MA (2002) Control of nitrogen loss from forested watersheds by soil carbon: nitrogen ratio and tree species composition. Ecosystems 5:712–718CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Lovett GM, Weathers KC, Arthur MA, Schultz JC (2004) Nitrogen cycling in a northern hardwood forest: do species matter? Biogeochemistry 67:289–308CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. McGlynn BL, McDonnell JJ (2003) Quantifying the relative contributions of riparian and hillslope zones to catchment runoff. Water Resour Res 39:1310–1320CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. McHale MR, McDonnell JJ, Mitchell MJ, Cirmo CP (2002) A field-based study of soil water and groundwater nitrate release in an Adirondack forested watershed. Water Resour Res 38:1031–1047CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Mitchell MJ, Driscoll CT, Kahl JS, Likens GE, Murdoch PS, Pardo LH (1996) Climatic control of nitrate loss from forested watersheds in the Northeast United States. Environ Sci Tech 30:2609–2612CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Mulholland PJ (1992) Regulation of nutrient concentrations in a temperate forest stream: roles of upland, riparian, and instream processes. Limnol Oceanogr 37(7):1512–1526Google Scholar
  47. Mulholland PJ (2004) The importance of in-stream uptake for regulating stream concentrations and outputs of N and P from a forested watershed: evidence from long-term chemistry records for Walker Branch Watershed. Biogeochemistry 70:403–426CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Mulholland PJ, Thomas SA, Valett HM, Webster JR, Beaulieu J (2006) Effects of light on NO3 uptake in small forested streams: diurnal and day-to-day variations. J N Am Benthol Soc 25(3):583–595CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Murdoch PS, Baron JS, Miller TL (2000) Potential effects of climate change on surface water quality in North America. J Am Water Resour As 36:347–366CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Ollinger SV, Smith ML, Martin ME, Hallett RA, Goodale CL, Aber JD (2002) Regional variation in foliar chemistry and N cycling among forests of diverse history and composition. Ecology 83:339–355Google Scholar
  51. Pastor J, Binkley D (1998) Nitrogen fixation and the mass balances of carbon and nitrogen in ecosystems. Biogeochemistry 43:63–78CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. Percival DB, Walden AT (2000) Wavelet methods for time series analysis. Cambridge University Press, UK, p 594Google Scholar
  53. Peterson BJ, Wollheim WM, Mulholland PJ, Webster JR, Meyer JL, Tank JL, Marti E, Bowden WB, Valett HM, Hershey AE (2001) Control of nitrogen export from watersheds by headwater streams. Science 292:86–90CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. Roberts BJ, Mulholland PJ (2007) In-stream biotic control on nutrient biogeochemistry in a forested stream, West Fork of Walker Branch. J Geophys Res 112:G04002. doi: 10.1029/2007JG000422 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  55. Rogora M (2007) Synchronous trends in N-NO3 export from N-saturated river catchments in relation to climate. Biogeochemistry 86:251–268CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. Rusjan S, Brilly M, Mikoš M (2008) Flushing of nitrate from a forested watershed: an insight into hydrological nitrate mobilization mechanisms through seasonal high-frequency stream nitrate dynamics. J Hydrol 354:187–202CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  57. Scholefield D, Goff T, Braven J, Ebdon L, Long T, Butler M (2005) Concerted diurnal patterns in riverine nutrient concentrations and physical conditions. Sci Total Environ 344:201–210CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  58. Šebenik I (1996) Brkini and Ilirska Bistrica basin. Regional geography of Slovenia. Part 4, (in Slovenian). Institute of Geography, Ljubljana, pp 48–68Google Scholar
  59. Sickman JO, Leydecker A, Chang CCY, Kendall C, Melack JM, Lucero DM, Schimel J (2003) Mechanisms underlying export of N from high-elevation catchments during seasonal transitions. Biogeochemistry 64:1–24CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  60. Slovenian Forest Service (2000) Silvicultural plans for the Kozina and Ilirska Bistrica local forest units (in Slovenian), Unpublished documentationGoogle Scholar
  61. Stoddard JL (1994) Long term changes in watershed retention of nitrogen: its causes and consequences. In: Baker LA (ed) Environmental chemistry of lakes and reservoirs, Advances in Chemistry Series 237. Americal Chemical Society, Washington, pp 223–283CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  62. Triska FJ, Kennedy VC, Avanzino RJ, Reilly BN (1983) Effect of simulated canopy cover on regulation of nitrate uptake and primary production by natural periphyton assemblages. In: Fontaine TD, Bartell SM (eds) Dynamics of lotic ecosystems. Ann Arbor Science, Ann Arbor, pp 129–159Google Scholar
  63. Van Miegroet H, Creed IF, Nicholas NS, Traboton DG, Webster KL, Shubzda J, Robinson B, Smoot J, Johnson DW, Lindberg SE, Lovett G, Nodvin S, Moore S (2001) Is there synchronicity in nitrogen input and output fluxes at the Noland Divide Watershed, a small N-saturated forested catchment in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park? Sci World 1:480–492Google Scholar
  64. Vanderbilt CL, Lajhta K, Swanson FJ (2003) Biogeochemistry of unpolluted forested watersheds in the Oregon Cascades: temporal patterns of participation and stream nitrogen fluxes. Biogeochemistry 62:87–117CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Faculty of Civil and Geodetic EngineeringUniversity of LjubljanaLjubljanaSlovenia

Personalised recommendations