Advertisement

Urban Ecosystems

, Volume 14, Issue 3, pp 485–499 | Cite as

Environmental and social predictors of phosphorus in urban streams on the Island of Montréal, Québec

  • Laura R. PfeiferEmail author
  • Elena M. Bennett
Article

Abstract

Researchers have identified the importance of social characteristics for understanding ecological patterns in cities but the use of these characteristics in urban stream research has yet to be fully explored. Urban development is currently the second-largest cause of stream impairment in North America due in part to nutrient loading. However, research into factors that influence nutrient concentrations in urban streams is lacking. We sampled seven streams on the island of Montréal daily to measure phosphorus (P) concentration and P flux in each stream. We then compared stream P concentration and flux to several watershed characteristics commonly used to predict stream nutrients (e.g., watershed imperviousness, land use, existence of a riparian buffer) as well as several socio-economic characteristics of the watersheds (e.g., average home value, median household income). Overall, impervious surface cover and measures of land use were most effective at explaining the variation in P concentration and P flux in streams on the island of Montréal, while the riparian buffer and socio-economic variables were less effective. However, dollars spent on fertilizer per hectare of residential land and percent residential land use became important predictors of stream P concentration when impervious surface cover was removed from the regression model. This suggests that after accounting for the impact of physical watershed characteristics, social factors may be important predictors of urban stream P concentration. The results of our study suggest that more research is needed to determine the role that socio-economic variables play with respect to urban stream P.

Keywords

Urban ecology Streams Phosphorus Nutrients Watershed Socio-economic Montréal, Québec 

Notes

Acknowledgements

We are grateful for funding from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) and the Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI). Thanks also to Katherine Priestly and Morgan Botrel for their help in the field, and the many people who provided statistical and editorial advice on this project.

References

  1. Abu-Zrieg M, Rudra RP, Whiteley HR, Lalonde MN, Kaushik NK (2003) Phosphorus removal in vegetated filter strips. J Environ Qual 32:613–619CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Allan JD (2004) Landscapes and riverscapes: the influence of land use on stream ecosystems. Annu Rev Ecol Evol Syst 35:257–284CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Allan JD, Erickson DL, Fay J (1997) The influence of catchment land use on stream integrity across multiple spatial scales. Freshwat Biol 37:149–161CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Arnold CL Jr, Gibbons CJ (1996) Impervious surface coverage: the emergence of a key environmental indicator. J Am Plan Assoc 62:243–258CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Baker LA (2007) Stormwater pollution: Getting at the source. Stormwater November-December 2007Google Scholar
  6. Band LE, Cadenasso M, Grimmond S, Grove M, Pickett ST (2005) Heterogeneity in urban ecosystems: pattern and process. In: Lovett GM, Jones CG, Turner MG, Weathers KC (eds) Ecosystem function in heterogeneous landscapes. Springer, New York, pp 257–278CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Bannerman RT, Owens D, Dodds RB, Hornewer NJ (1993) Sources of pollutants in Wisconsin stormwater. Water Sci Technol 28:241–259Google Scholar
  8. Bennett EM, Carpenter SR, Caraco NF (2001) Human impact on erodible phosphorus and eutrophication: a global perspective. Bioscience 51:227–234CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Booth DB, Jackson CR (1997) Urbanization of aquatic systems: degradation thresholds, stormwater detection, and the limits of mitigation. J Am Water Resour Assoc 33:1077–1090CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Brabec E, Schulte S, Richards PL (2002) Impervious surfaces and water quality: a review of current literature and its implications for watershed planning. J Plan Lit 16:499–514CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Carpenter SR (2005) Eutrophication of aquatic ecosystems: bistability and soil phosphorus. Proc Natl Acad Sci 102:10002–10005PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Carpenter SR (2008) Phosphorus control is critical to mitigating eutrophication. Proc Natl Acad Sci 105:11039–11040PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Carpenter SR, Caraco NF, Correll DL, Howarth RW, Sharpley AN, Smith VH (1998) Nonpoint pollution of surface waters with phosphorus and nitrogen. Ecol Appl 8:559–568CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Chabaeva A, Civco D, Prisloe S (2004) Development of a population density and land use based regression model to calculate the amount of imperviousness. Proc. 2004 ASPRS Annual Convention, Denver, COGoogle Scholar
  15. Chambers PA, Guy M, Roberts ES, Charlton MN, Kent R, Gagnon C, Grove G, Foster N (2001) Nutrients and their Impact on the Canadian Environment. Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Environment Canada, Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Health Canada, and Natural Resources Canada. 241pGoogle Scholar
  16. City of Annapolis (2008) Sale and application of lawn fertilizer. Chapter 10.34. Annapolis, Maryland Municipal Code and CharterGoogle Scholar
  17. Collins JP, Kinzig A, Grimm NB, Fagan WF, Hope D, Wu J, Borer ET (2000) A new urban ecology: modelling human communities as integral parts of ecosystems poses special problems for the development and testing of ecological theory. Am Sci 88:416–425CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Communuaté Urbaine de Montréal (CUM) (1996) Occupation du Sol. Montréal, QuébecGoogle Scholar
  19. DMTI Spatial Inc. (2006) Quickbird Satellite Streetview. Markham, OntarioGoogle Scholar
  20. Ebina J, Tsutsui T, Shirai T (1983) Simultaneous determination of total nitrogen and total phosphorus in water using peroxodisulfate oxidation. Water Res 17:1721–1726CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Environics Analytics (2008) Documentation: household expenditure potential (Methodology White Paper). 3pGoogle Scholar
  22. Fitzpatrick ML, Long DT, Pijanowski BC (2007) Exploring the effects of urban and agricultural land use on surface water chemistry, across a regional watershed, using multivariate statistics. Appl Geochem 22:1825–1840CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Garn HS (2002) Effects of lawn fertilizer on nutrient concentration in runoff from lakeshore lawns, Lauderdale Lakes, Wisconsin. U.S. Geological Survey Water-Resources Investigations Report 02-4130. 6pGoogle Scholar
  24. Government of Manitoba (2008) Nutrient management regulation. Manitoba water protection Act C.C.S.M. c. W65Google Scholar
  25. Groffman PM, Boulware NJ, Zipperer WC, Pouyat RV, Band LE, Colosimo MF (2002) Soil nitrogen cycle processes in urban riparian zones. Environ Sci Technol 36:4547–4552PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Hatt BE, Fletcher TD, Walsh CJ, Taylor SL (2004) The influence of urban density and drainage infrastructure on the concentrations and loads of pollutants in small streams. Environ Manage 34:112–124PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Hope D, Gries C, Zhu W, Fagan WF, Redman CL, Grimm NB, Nelson AL, Martin C, Kinzig A (2003) Socioeconomics drive urban plant diversity. Proc Natl Acad Sci 100:8788–8792PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Hope D, Shu W, Gries C, Oleson J, Kaye J, Grimm NB, Baker LA (2005) Spatial variation in soil inorganic nitrogen across an arid urban ecosystem. Urban Ecosyst 8:251–273CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Kaye JP, Groffman PM, Grimm NB, Baker LA, Pouyat RV (2006) A distinct urban biogeochemistry? Trends Ecol Evol 21:192–199PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Kinzig AP, Warren P, Martin C, Hope D, Katti M (2005) The effects of human socioeconomic status and cultural characteristics on urban patterns of biodiversity. Ecol Soc 10:23Google Scholar
  31. Klein RD (1979) Urbanization and stream quality impairment. Water Resour Bull 15:948–963Google Scholar
  32. La Valle PD (1975) Domestic sources of stream phosphates in urban streams. Water Res 9:913–915CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Law NL, Band LE, Grove JM (2004) Nitrogen input from residential lawn care practices in suburban watersheds in Baltimore County, MD. J Environ Plan Manage 47:737–755CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Lee KH, Isenhart TM, Schultz RC (2003) Sediment and nutrient removal in an established multi-species riparian buffer. J Soil Water Conserv 58:1–8Google Scholar
  35. Mallin MA, Ensign SH, Wheeler TL, Mayes DB (2002) Pollutant removal efficacy of three wet detention ponds. J Environ Qual 31:654–660PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. May CW, Horner RR, Karr JR, Mar BW, Welch EB (1997) Effects of urbanization on small streams in the Puget Sound lowland ecoregion. Water Protection Techniques 2:483–494Google Scholar
  37. Meybeck M (1998) Man and the river interface: Multiple impacts on water and particulates chemistry illustrated in the Seine river basin. Hydrobiologia 373:1–20CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Meyer JL, Wallace JB (2001) Lost linkages in lotic ecology: rediscovering small streams. In: Press M, Huntly N, Levin S (eds) Ecology: achievement and challenge. Blackwell Sci, Boston, pp 295–317Google Scholar
  39. Meyer JL, Paul MJ, Taulbee WK (2005) Stream ecosystem function in urbanizing landscapes. J N Am Benthol Soc 24:602–612Google Scholar
  40. Minnesota State Legislature (2006) Fertilizer, soil amendment, and plant amendment law, Chapter 18C Minnesota State StatuesGoogle Scholar
  41. Morgan RP, Kline KM, Cushman SF (2007) Relationships among nutrients, chloride and biological indices in urban Maryland streams. Urban Ecosyst 10:153–166CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Paul MJ, Meyer JL (2001) Streams in the urban landscape. Annu Rev Ecol Syst 32:333–365CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Pickett STA, Cadenasso ML, Grove JM, Nilon CH, Pouyat RV, Zipperer WC, Costanza R (2001) Urban ecological systems: linking terrestrial ecological, physical, and socioeconomic components of metropolitan areas. Annu Rev Ecol Syst 32:127–157CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Pouyat RV, Pataki DE, Belt KY, Groffman PM, Hom J, Band LE (2007) Effects of urban land-use change on biogeochemical cycles. In: Pataki DE, Pitelka LF (eds) JG Canadell. Terrestrial ecosystems in a changing world. Springer-Verlag, Berlin, pp 45–58Google Scholar
  45. Réseau de Suivi du Milieu Aquatique (RSMA). Qualité des ruisseaux et des lacs intérieurs. Ville de Montréal. (1 April 2009; http://ville.montreal.qc.ca/portal/page?_pageid=3216,3787888&_dad=portal&_schema=PORTAL)
  46. Roth NE, Allan JD, Erickson DL (1996) Landscape influences on stream biotic integrity assessed at multiple spatial scales. Landscape Ecol 11:141–156CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Roy AH, Rosemond AD, Paul MJ, Leigh DS, Wallace JB (2003) Stream macroinvertebrate response to catchment urbanisation (Georgia, U.S.A.). Freshwat Biol 48:329–346CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Roy AH, Freeman MC, Freeman BJ, Wenger SJ, Ensign WE, Meyer JL (2005) Investigating hydrologic alteration as a mechanism of fish assemblage shifts in urbanizing streams. J N Am Benthol Soc 24:656–678Google Scholar
  49. Schindler DW, Hecky RE, Findlay DL, Stainton MP, Parker BR, Paterson MJ, Beaty KG, Lyng M, Kasian SEM (2008) Eutrophication of lakes cannot be controlled by reducing nitrogen input: results of a 37-year whole-ecosystem experiment. Proc Natl Acad Sci 105:11254–11258PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Schmitt TJ, Dosskey MG, Hoagland KD (1999) Filter strip performance and processes for different vegetation, widths, and contaminants. J Environ Qual 28:1479–1489CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Smith VH (2003) Eutrophication of freshwater and coastal marine ecosystems: a global problem. Environ Sci and Poll Res 10:126–139CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. Sokal RR, Rohlf FJ (1995) Biometry: the principles and practice of statistics in biological research, 3rd edn. Freeman, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  53. Statistics Canada (2007) 2006 Canadian census data accessed through Canadian Census Analyzer. University of Toronto. (February 2008; http://dc1.chass.utoronto.ca/census/index.html)
  54. Tong STY, Chen W (2002) Modeling the relationship between land use and surface water quality. J Environ Manage 66:377–393PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  55. Troy AR, Grove JM, O’Neil-Dunne JPM, Pickett STA, Cadenasso ML (2007) Predicting opportunities for greening and patterns of vegetation on private urban lands. Environ Manage 40:394–412PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. U.S. Geological Survey (USGS). 1999. The quality of our nation’s waters: Nutrients and pesticides. USGS Circular 1225. 82pGoogle Scholar
  57. Walker WW Jr (1987) Phosphorus removal by urban runoff detention basins. Lake and Res Manage 3:314–326CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  58. Walsh CJ (2004) Protection of in-stream biota from urban impacts: minimize catchment imperviousness or improve drainage design? Mar Freshwat Res 55:317–326CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  59. Walsh CJ, Roy AH, Feminella JW, Cottingham PD, Groffman PM, Morgan RP II (2005) The urban stream syndrome: current knowledge and the search for a cure. J N Am Benthol Soc 24:706–723Google Scholar
  60. Waschbusch RJ, Selbig WR, Bannerman RT (1999) Sources of phosphorus in stormwater and street dirt from two urban residential basins in Madison, Wisconsin, 1994–95. U.S. Geological Survey Water-Resources Investigations Report 99-4021. 51pGoogle Scholar
  61. Wenger S (1999) A review of the scientific literature on riparian buffer width, extent and vegetation. Office of Public Service and Outreach Institute of Ecology, University of Georgia. 59pGoogle Scholar
  62. Winter JG, Duthie HC (2000) Export coefficient modelling to assess phosphorus loading in an urban watershed. J Am Water Resour Assoc 38:1053–1061CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  63. Young WJ, Marston FM, Davis JR (1996) Nutrient exports and land use in Australian catchments. J Environ Manage 47:165–183CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  64. Zhou W, Troy A, Grove M (2008) Modeling residential lawn fertilization practices: integrating high resolution remote sensing with socioeconomic data. Environ Manage 41:742–752PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Natural Resource SciencesMcGill UniversitySte. Anne de BellevueCanada
  2. 2.McGill School of EnvironmentMcGill UniversitySte. Anne de BellevueCanada

Personalised recommendations