Wet deposition of atmospheric nitrogen contributes to nitrogen loading in the surface waters of Lake Tanganyika, East Africa: a case study of the Kigoma region
Lake Tanganyika, an African Great Lake, is a complex tropical ecosystem that has been subjected to extreme climate-related changes in the last century, including seasonal changes in temperature and rainfall, decreased overall annual rainfall, and greater frequency of rainstorms. Atmospheric nitrogen (N) is an important component of the lake’s N loading, but how long-term and seasonal changes in precipitation affect this loading still needs clarification. This study aimed to improve our understanding of the seasonal features of N deposition in the lake, by monitoring atmospheric N deposition concentrations and fluxes from March 2013 to February 2014. There was a significant temporal variation in wet N depositions in the study area. The distribution of the annual rainfall into major (March–May 299.8 mm) and minor (October–December 343.2 mm) rainy seasons translated into 20 and 30% of N deposition. In September and January–February, there was 10 and 12% precipitation, representing 43 and 7% of N deposition in the lake. Nitrogen deposition was highest in September due to farmlands’ burning during the dry season (June–August), leading to N accumulation in the atmosphere. In conclusion, the pattern of N deposition appears to be driven by the unique climatic characteristics of the lake basin and to be closely associated with local anthropogenic activities.
KeywordsAtmospheric nitrogen deposition Deposition flux Seasonal difference Lake Tanganyika Climate change Africa
We thank the staff of TAFIRI Kigoma who helped with sampling at Lake Tanganyika and laboratory work. We thank Professor Jaonna Tamburino for providing help with written English. We would like to thank Editage (www.editage.com) for English language editing and Publication Support.
This research was financially supported by the Construction Plan for Oversea Scientific Education Base of Chinese Academy of Sciences (SAJC201609).
Compliance with ethical standards
This article does not contain any studies with humans or animals subjects performed by any of the authors.
Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no conflicts of interest.
- Boersma KF, Eskes HJ, Dirksen RJ, van der ARJ, Veefkind JP, Stammes P, Huijnen V, Kleipool QL, Sneep M, Claas J, Leitao J, Richter A, Zhou Y, Brunner D (2011) An improved retrieval of tropospheric NO2 columns from the ozone monitoring instrument. Atmos Meas Tech 4(9):1905–1928. https://doi.org/10.5194/amt-4-1905-2011 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Bowman WD, Steltzer H (1998) Positive feedbacks to anthropogenic nitrogen deposition in Rocky Mountain Alpine tundra. Ambio 27:514–517Google Scholar
- Bootsma HA, Mwita J, Mwichande B, Hecky RE, Kihedu J, Mwambungu J (1999) The atmospheric deposition of nutrients on Lake Malawi/Nyasa. In:Bootsma HA and Hecky RE (eds) water quality report for the SADC/GEF Lake Malawi/Nyasa biodiversity conservation project. SADC/GEF Project Report, Burlington, Ontario, pp 85–111Google Scholar
- Bootsma HA, Hecky RE (2003) A comparative introduction to the biology and limnology of the African Great Lakes J Great Lakes Res 29:3–18.doi: https://doi.org/10.1016/S0380-1330 (03)70535–8
- Brion N, Nzeyimana E, Goeyens L, Nahimana D, Tungaraza C, Baeyens W (2006) Inorganic nitrogen uptake and river inputs in northern Lake Tanganyika. J Great Lakes Res 32:553–564. https://doi.org/10.3394/0380-1330(2006)32[553,INUARI]2.0.CO;2Google Scholar
- Burnett AP, Soreghan MJ, Scholz CA, Brown ET (2011) Tropical east African climate change and its relation to global climate: a record from Lake Tanganyika, tropical East Africa, over the past 90+kyr. Palaeogeogr Palaeoclimatol Palaeoecol 303(1-4):155–167. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.palaeo.2010.02.011 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Cohen AS, Bills R, Cocquyt CZ, Caljon AG (1993) The impact of sediment pollution on biodiversity in Lake Tanganyika. Conserv Biol 7(3):667–677. https://doi.org/10.1046/j.1523-1739.1993.07030667.x CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Cohen AS, Gergurich EL, Kraemer BM, McGlue MM, McIntyre PB, Russell JM, Simmons JD, Swarzenski PW (2016) Climate warming reduces fish production and benthic habitat in Lake Tanganyika, one of the most biodiverse freshwater ecosystems. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 113(34):9563–9568. https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1603237113 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Coulter GW (1991) Lake Tanganyika and its life. Natural History Museum and Oxford University Press, London, Oxford, and New YorkGoogle Scholar
- Coulter GW, Spigel RH (1991) Hydroynamics. In: Coulter GW (ed) Lake Tanganyika and Its Life. Natural History Museum and Oxford University Press, London, Oxford, and New York, pp 49–75Google Scholar
- Coulter GW (1994) Lake Tanganyika. In: Martens K, Goddccris B, Coulter G (eds) Speciation in Ancient Lakes. Arch Hydrobiol–BeihErgebn Limnol 44:13–18Google Scholar
- Elliott EM, Kendall C, Wankel SD, Burns DA, Boyer EW, Harlin K, Bain DJ, Butler TJ (2007) Nitrogen isotopes as indicators of NOx source contributions to atmospheric nitrate deposition across the Midwestern and northeastern United States. Environ Sci Technol 41(22):7661–7667. https://doi.org/10.1021/es070898t CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Fenn ME, Baron JS, Allen EB, Rueth HM, Nydick KR, Geiser L, Bowman WD, Sickman JO, Meixner T, Johnson DW, Neitlich P (2003) Ecological effects of nitrogen deposition in the western United States. Bio Science 53:404–420. https://doi.org/10.1641/0006-3568(2003)053[0404Google Scholar
- Fowler D, Coyle M, Skiba U, Sutton MA, Cape J, Reis NS, Sheppard LJ, Jenkins A, Grizzetti B, Galloway JN, Vitousek P, Leach A, Bouwman AF, Butterbach-Bahl K, Dentener F, Stevenson D, Amann M, Voss M (2013) The global nitrogen cycle in the twenty-first century. Philos Trans R Soc London B Biol Sci 368(1621):91–97. https://doi.org/10.1098/rstb.2013.0164 Google Scholar
- Galloway JN, Aber JD, Erisman JW, Seitzinger SP, Howarth RW, Cowling EB, Cosby BJ (2003) The nitrogen cascade. Bioscience 53:341–356. https://doi.org/10.1641/0006-3568(2003)053[0341:TGoogle Scholar
- Galloway JN, Dentener FJ, Capone DG, Boyer EW, Howarth RW, Seitzinger SP, Asner GP, Cleveland C, Green P, Holland E, Karl DM, Michaels AF, Porter JH, Townsend A, Vorosmarty C (2004) Nitrogen cycles: past, present and future. Biogeochemistry 70(2):153–122. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10533-004-0370-0 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Galloway JN, Townsend AR, Erisman JW, Bekunda M, Cai ZC, Freney JR, Martinelli LA, Seitzinger SP, Sutton MA (2008) Transformation of the nitrogen cycle: recent trends, questions, and potential solutions. Science320:889–892. doi: https://doi.org/10.1126/science.1136674
- Gichere SK, Sikoyo GM, Saidi AM (2011) Climate change and its effect on cities of eastern African countries. In: Yuen B, Kumssa A (eds) Climate change and sustainable urban development in Africa and Asia. Springer, Berlin, pp 211–220. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-90-481-9867-2_12 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Hinga KR, Keller AA, Oviatt CA (1991) Atmospheric deposition and nitrogen inputs to coastal waters. Ambio 20:256–260Google Scholar
- Jia JY, Zhang Y, Cai XB, Liu XJ (2009) A dynamic changes of wet deposition of nitrogen in southeast Tibet: taking Lin zhi experiment station as an example. Acta Ecol Sin 29:1907–1913Google Scholar
- Kituyi E, Wandiga SO, Andreae MO, Helas G (2005) Biomass burning in Africa: role in atmospheric change and opportunities for emission mitigation. In: Low PS (ed) Climate Change and Africa, Cambridge, pp 79-89Google Scholar
- Kraemer BM, Hook S, Huttula T, Kotilainen P, O’Reilly CM, Peltonen A, Plisnier P, Sarvala J, Tamatamah R, Vadeboncoeur Y, Wehrli B, McIntyre PB (2015) Century-long warming trends in the upper water column of Lake Tanganyika. PLoS One 10(7):e0132490. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0132490 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- National Bureau of Statistics (2013) 2012 population and housing census: population distribution by administrative areas. NBS-Dar es Salaam and OCGS-Zanzibar, Dar es SalaamGoogle Scholar
- Sarvala J, Salonen K, Järvinen M, Aro E, Huttula T, Kotilainen P, Kurki H, Langenberg VT, Mannini P, Peltonen A, Plisnier PD, Vuorinen I, Mölsä H, Lindqvist O (1999) Trophic structure of Lake Tanganyika: carbon flows in the pelagic food web. Hydrobiologia 407:149–173. https://doi.org/10.1023/A:1003753918055 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Su CG, Yin B, Zhu ZL, Shen QR (2003) Ammonia volatilization loss of nitrogen fertilizer from rice growing season. Chin J Appl Ecol 14(11):1884–1888Google Scholar
- Vitousek PM, Aber J, Howarth RW, Tilman DG (1997) Human alteration of the global nitrogen cycle: sources and consequences. Ecol Appl 7:737–750. https://doi.org/10.1890/1051-0761(1997)007[0737,HAOTGN]2.0.CO;2Google Scholar
- Wang XZ, Zhu JG, Gao R, Hosen Y (2004) Dynamics and ecological significance of nitrogen wet-deposition in Taihu Lake region: taking Changshu agro-ecological experimental station as an example. Chinese J Appl Ecol 15:1616–1620Google Scholar
- Wang XZ, Yin WQ, Shan YH, Feng K, Zhu JG (2009) Nitrogen and phosphorus input from wet deposition in Taihu Lake region: a case study in Changshu agro-ecological experimental station. Chin J Appl Ecol 20(10):2487–2492Google Scholar
- World Bank (2014) http://data.worldbank.org. Accessed on April 2015
- Zheng DN, Wang XS, Xie SD, Duan L, Chen DS (2014) Simulation of atmospheric nitrogen deposition in China in 2010. China Environ Sci 34:1089–1097Google Scholar