Publication: Jounral of Environmental Quality Abstract - Landscape and Watershed Processes
Author(s): McDowell RW, Elkin, KR, Kleinman PJA
Climate change will likely increase the growing season, temperatures, and ratio of nitrogen (N) to phosphorus (P) loss from land to water. However, it is unknown how these factors influence P concentrations in streams. We sought to evaluate differences in biotic and abiotic processes affecting stream sediment P dynamics under different temperature and N-enrichment regimes. Analysis of sediment samples indicated that P uptake via abiotic processes was greater at 19 than at 26¬∞C. The addition of N stimulated P uptake by the microbial biomass at 19¬∞C, but microbial uptake was potentially inhibited at 26¬∞C. Because microbial biomass is a temporary store of P, these data suggest that more P may be available with increasing temperatures during the growing season, especially under baseflow, implying that strategies to mitigate P losses from land to water should be strengthened to prevent potential water quality impairment.