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Sample records for agricultural headwater streams

  1. Conservation implications of amphibian habitat relationships within channelized agricultural headwater streams in the midwestern United States

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The widespread use of stream channelization and subsurface tile drainage for removing water from agricultural fields has led to the development of numerous channelized agricultural headwater streams within agricultural watersheds of the Midwestern United States. Channelized agricultural headwater s...

  2. Implications of fish-habitat relationships for designing restoration projects within channelized agricultural headwater streams

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Channelized headwater streams are common throughout agricultural watersheds in the Midwestern United States. Management of these streams focuses on drainage without consideration of the other ecosystem services they are capable of providing. Restoration of channelized agricultural headwater stream...

  3. Rapid decomposition of maize detritus in agricultural headwater streams.

    PubMed

    Griffiths, Natalie A; Tank, Jennifer L; Royer, Todd V; Rosi-Marshall, Emma J; Whiles, Matt R; Chambers, Catherine P; Frauendorf, Therese C; Evans-White, Michelle A

    2009-01-01

    Headwater streams draining agricultural landscapes receive maize leaves (Zea mays L.) via wind and surface runoff, yet the contribution of maize detritus to organic-matter processing in agricultural streams is largely unknown. We quantified decomposition and microbial respiration rates on conventional (non-Bt) and genetically engineered (Bt) maize in three low-order agricultural streams in northwestern Indiana, USA. We also examined how substrate quality and in-stream nutrient concentrations influenced microbial respiration on maize by comparing respiration on maize and red maple leaves (Acer rubrum) in three nutrient-rich agricultural streams and three low-nutrient forested streams. We found significantly higher rates of microbial respiration on maize vs. red maple leaves and higher rates in agricultural vs. forested streams. Thus both the elevated nutrient status of agricultural streams and the lability of maize detritus (e.g., low carbon-to-nitrogen ratio and low lignin content) result in a rapid incorporation of maize leaves into the aquatic microbial food web. We found that Bt maize had a faster decomposition rate than non-Bt maize, while microbial respiration rates did not differ between Bt and non-Bt maize. Decomposition rates were not negatively affected by genetic engineering, perhaps because the Bt toxin does not adversely affect the aquatic microbial assemblage involved in maize decomposition. Additionally, shredding caddisflies, which are known to have suppressed growth rates when fed Bt maize, were depauperate in these agricultural streams, and likely did not play a major role in maize decomposition. Overall, the conversion of native vegetation to row-crop agriculture appears to have altered the quantity, quality, and predictability of allochthonous carbon inputs to headwater streams, with unexplored effects on stream ecosystem structure and function. PMID:19323178

  4. Influence of instream habitat and water chemistry on amphibians within channelized agricultural headwater streams

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The widespread use of stream channelization and subsurface tile drainage for draining agricultural fields has led to the development of numerous channelized agricultural headwater streams within agricultural watersheds of the Midwestern United States, Canada, and Europe. Channelized agricultural he...

  5. Similarities in fish-habitat relationships within channelized agricultural headwater streams in Ohio and Indiana

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Channelized agricultural headwater streams are common throughout agricultural watersheds in the Midwestern United States. Understanding the fish-habitat relationships within these streams will provide information that can assist with developing restoration strategies for these degraded streams. We...

  6. Characteristics of instream wood within channelized agricultural headwater streams in the Midwestern United States

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Channelized agricultural headwater streams are a common feature within agricultural watersheds of the Midwestern United States. These small streams have been impacted by the physical and chemical habitat alterations incurred to facilitate agricultural drainage. Quantitative information on the instre...

  7. Importance of instream wood characteristics for developing restoration designs for channelized agricultural headwater streams

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Channelized agricultural headwater streams are a common feature within agricultural watersheds of the Midwestern United States. These small streams have been impacted by the physical and chemical habitat alterations incurred to facilitate agricultural drainage. Quantitative information on the instr...

  8. Relative importance of water chemistry and habitat to fish communities in headwater streams influenced by agricultural land use

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Channelized headwater streams are common throughout agricultural watersheds in the Midwestern United States. Understanding the relative impacts of agricultural contaminants and habitat degradation on the aquatic biota within agricultural headwater streams will provide information that can assist wi...

  9. Annual and seasonal differences in pesticide mixtures within channelized agricultural headwater streams in central Ohio

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Only a limited amount of information on pesticide mixtures within agricultural headwater streams is available. A greater understanding of the characteristics of pesticide mixtures and their spatial and temporal trends within agricultural headwater streams is needed to evaluate the risks of pesticid...

  10. Differences in instream wood characteristics between channelized and unchannelized agricultural headwater streams in central Ohio

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Instream wood is an important resource for stream biota because it provides cover for fishes, substrate for macroinvertebrates, and increases habitat diversity. However, current management of instream wood within channelized agricultural headwater streams (drainage ditches) involves removing instrea...

  11. The importance of instream habitat modifications for restoring channelized agricultural headwater streams

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Science based information on the influence of restoration practices on fishes within channelized agricultural headwater streams in the Midwestern United States is currently lacking. Understanding fish-habitat relationships and fish responses to specific restoration practices will provide informatio...

  12. Nitrate removal and denitrification in headwater agricultural streams of the Pacific Northwest

    EPA Science Inventory

    Headwater streams can serve as important sites for nitrogen (N) removal in watersheds. Here we examine the influence of agricultural streams on watershed N export in the Willamette River Basin of western Oregon, USA, a region with mixed agricultural, urban and forestry land uses...

  13. Relative influence of different habitat factors on creek chub population structure within channelized agricultural headwater streams in central Ohio

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Creek chubs (Semotilus atromaculatus) are commonly found within channelized agricultural headwater streams within the Midwestern United States. Understanding the relationships of this headwater fish species with different habitat factors will provide information that can assist with developing resto...

  14. Linking nitrogen management, seep chemistry, and stream water quality in two agricultural headwater watersheds

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Riparian seepage zones in headwater agricultural watersheds represent important sources of nitrate-nitrogen (NO3-N) to surface waters, often connecting N-rich groundwater systems to streams. In this study, we examined how NO3-N concentrations in seep and stream water were affected by NO3-N processin...

  15. The effects of season and agriculture on nitrous oxide production in headwater streams.

    PubMed

    Beaulieu, J J; Arango, C P; Tank, J L

    2009-01-01

    Streams and rivers are a globally significant source of nitrous oxide (N(2)O), a potent greenhouse gas. However, there remains much uncertainty in the magnitude of N(2)O emissions from these sources, partly due to an incomplete understanding of the factors that control microbial N(2)O production in lotic sediments. During 2004-2005 we measured sediment N(2)O production in 12 headwater streams across an agricultural land use gradient. Stream water nitrate (NO(3)(-)) concentrations were positively related to the proportion of agricultural land use in the basin and frequently exceeded 20 mg N L(-1) in the stream draining the most agricultural basin. Stream sediments were nearly always a net source of N(2)O, and production rates were positively related to stream water NO(3)(-) concentrations and sediment carbon content. There were no seasonal patterns in N(2)O production rates during 2004, but stream water NO(3)(-) and N(2)O production both peaked during the winter of 2005. The spike in NO(3)(-) concentrations likely resulted from winter rain and snowmelt that flushed NO(3)(-) from the soils following a dry summer and fall. In turn, the elevated stream water NO(3)(-) concentrations stimulated in-stream N(2)O production rates. Overall, we were only able to explain 29% of the variation in N(2)O production rates on a log scale. The unexplained variation may be due to differences in the fraction of denitrified NO(3)(-) that is converted to N(2)O among the study sites, or that our measures of substrate availability in the water column were not reflective of substrate availability in the porewater used by denitrifiers.

  16. Linking nitrogen management, seep chemistry, and stream water quality in two agricultural headwater watersheds.

    PubMed

    Williams, Mark R; Buda, Anthony R; Elliott, Herschel A; Collick, Amy S; Dell, Curtis; Kleinman, Peter J A

    2015-05-01

    Riparian seepage zones in headwater agricultural watersheds represent important sources of nitrate-nitrogen (NO-N) to surface waters, often connecting N-rich groundwater systems to streams. In this study, we examined how NO-N concentrations in seep and stream water were affected by NO-N processing along seep surface flow paths and by upslope applications of N from fertilizers and manures. The research was conducted in two headwater agricultural watersheds, FD36 (40 ha) and RS (45 ha), which are fed, in part, by a shallow fractured aquifer system possessing high (3-16 mg L) NO-N concentrations. Data from in-seep monitoring showed that NO-N concentrations generally decreased downseep (top to bottom), indicating that most seeps retained or removed a fraction of delivered NO-N (16% in FD36 and 1% in RS). Annual mean N applications in upslope fields (as determined by yearly farmer surveys) were highly correlated with seep NO-N concentrations in both watersheds (slope: 0.06; = 0.79; < 0.001). Strong positive relationships also existed between seep and stream NO-N concentrations in FD36 (slope: 1.01; = 0.79; < 0.001) and in RS (slope: 0.64; = 0.80; < 0.001), further indicating that N applications control NO-N concentrations at the watershed scale. Our findings clearly point to NO-N leaching from upslope agricultural fields as the primary driver of NO-N losses from seeps to streams in these watersheds and therefore suggest that appropriate management strategies (cover crops, limiting fall/winter nutrient applications, decision support tools) be targeted in these zones. PMID:26024271

  17. Implications of the results of colonization experiments for designing riparian restoration projects adjacent to agricultural headwater streams

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Many headwater streams and their riparian habitats in the Midwestern United States have been modified for agricultural drainage. Agricultural drainage often results in reductions of physical habitat diversity, shifts from woody to herbaceous riparian vegetation, and the loss of riparian habitat. T...

  18. Diurnal variation of dominant nitrate retention processes in an agricultural headwater stream

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schuetz, Tobias; Ryabenko, Evgenia; Stumpp, Christine

    2015-04-01

    Nitrate and ammonium are introduced by agricultural practice into the environment and are transformed and retained on their pathway through aquatic environments. In particular, biological transformation processes (i.e. microbial denitrification or ammonium oxidation and assimilation) are responsible for the largest part of nitrate removal, which are also crucial processes in headwater streams. It is well known, that most of the biological processes are influenced by available (solar) energy fluxes, temperatures and dissolved oxygen concentrations, which vary with time and space. However, looking at biogeochemical hot spots in the landscapes` hydrological interface, the stream and river network (e.g. stream sections with a high biological activity), the temporal variability of biological processes can be an important control on total nitrate export. In this study, we therefore identified most important diurnal time periods for nitrate retention in a 75 m impervious section of an agricultural headwater stream using oxygen saturation dynamics and nitrate isotopes. We regularly measured discharge, hydro-geochemical and climate parameters, as well as nitrate and water isotopes in grab samples at three locations along the reach. On average, we observed a decrease of 10% in nitrate concentration from up- to downstream, which was only caused by biological processes and not by dilution. Nitrate isotope analysis indicated distinct trends along the reach and with time of the day. Both nitrate assimilation and nitrification caused significant changes in nitrate isotope distribution in the early day. To explain the distinct observed process dynamics from the morning to the afternoon, we simulated net primary production (NEP) and respiration using the river metabolism model RIVERMETC with observed oxygen concentrations and water temperatures. Comparing the results with the observed nitrate dynamics, the short time period when NEP occurs (~10:30 -12:30) seems to be crucial for

  19. Influence of riparian seepage zones on nitrate variability in two agricultural headwater streams

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Riparian seepage zones are one of the primary pathways of groundwater transport to headwater streams. While seeps have been recognized for their contributions to streamflow, there is little information on how seeps affect stream water quality. The objective of this study was to examine the influence...

  20. From Headwater Streams to Rivers

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Cummins, Kenneth W.

    1977-01-01

    Presents generalizations regarding how running water systems change physically, chemically and biologically with stream order, i. e., from the tiny headwater streams (order 1) to those receiving first order headwater tributaries (order 2) and so on. Food chain diagrams respective of stream order are explained. Stream study projects are suggested.…

  1. Public Health Perspectives of Channelized and Unchannelized Headwater Streams in Central Ohio: A Case Study

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Headwater streams constitute the majority of watersheds in the United States and many headwater streams in the midwest have been channelized for agricultural drainage. Public health implications of water chemistry and aquatic macroinvertebrates within channelized and unchannelized headwater streams ...

  2. Assessing the Success of Regional Measures for Lowering Agricultural Nutrient Pollution in Headwater Streams.

    PubMed

    Barry, C D; Foy, R H

    2016-07-01

    Lowland waters in Northern Ireland experience elevated agricultural phosphorus (P) inputs, and in response a variety of control measures targeting farm nutrient management have been implemented. Their efficacy in lowering nitrogen (N) and P exports and improving water quality is examined in 40 headwater streams from 1990 to 2009, and to 2014 for 24 of these. Over this period manure production in the study catchments declined by 7%, but regional chemical fertilizer inputs declined by 37% for N and 79% for P, and the regional nutrient surplus was lowered by 18% for N and 49% for P. Diminished pollution by organic wastes meant that 85% of streams exhibited chemistry suitable for salmonids in 2009 compared to 40% in 1990. Flow-weighted mean concentrations (FWMCs) of nutrients declined between 1990 and 2009, and their correlations with catchment stocking rates became stronger over time. For catchments with manure inputs <16.6 kg P ha, total P and nitrate FWMCs declined from 123 ± 19 μg P L and 1.92 ± 0.5 mg N L in 1990 at rates of 2.2 ± 0.5 and 30 ± 10 μg L yr, respectively. For catchments with higher manure inputs the respective rates of decline were greater at 5.8 ± 1.0 μg P L yr and 160 ± 20 μg N L yr from 1990 concentrations of 270 ± 25 μg P L and 5.99 ± 0.4 mg N L. Although now lower, P concentrations in the more highly stocked catchments still exceed regional nutrient standards so that the identification of further factors impinging on nutrient losses is critical if such standards are to be achieved. PMID:27380082

  3. Effects of exposure to agricultural drainage ditch water on survivorship, distribution, and abundnance of riffle beetles (Coleoptera: Elmidae) in headwater streams of the Cedar Creek watershed, Indiana

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Riffle Beetles (Coleoptera: Elmidae) require very good water quality, mature streams with riffle habitat, and high dissolved oxygen content. As such, they prove to be good indicators of ecological health in agricultural headwater streams. We conducted static renewal aquatic bioassays using water fro...

  4. Relationship Between Watershed Land Use and Denitrification Enzyme Activity in Headwater Streams

    EPA Science Inventory

    Headwater streams are the dominant land-water interface across much of the landscape. Denitrification is an important ecological service provided by headwater streams. Anthropogenic inputs of N to terrestrial ecosystems largely result from agricultural practices. Animal agricultu...

  5. Influence of adding small instream wood on fishes and hydrology within channelized agricultural headwater streams in central Ohio

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Large instream wood is well known for its importance in headwater streams because it promotes the development of pool habitat for fishes and provides them with cover from predators during the summer. However, little is known about the influence of small instream wood (diameter < 10 cm, length < 1 m...

  6. Using instream wood characteristics to guide the restoration of agricultural headwater streams

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Instream wood is a critical habitat feature for aquatic animals within streams and rivers worldwide. Many stream restoration projects within forested watersheds include the addition of large instream wood (i.e., > 1 m length and > 0.10 m diameter) within their restoration designs. Instream wood add...

  7. [Phosphorus Fractions and Release Risk in Surface Sediments of an Agricultural Headwater Stream System in Hefei Suburban, China].

    PubMed

    Pei, Ting-ting; Li, Ru-zhong; Gao, Su-di; Luo, Yue-ying

    2016-02-15

    A typical water system of agricultural headwater stream in Chaohu Lake basin was selected as the study area, and 17, 16, 14 and 13 surface sediments were collected from the four styles of stream, respectively, including ponds, branches, main channel and mainstream deep pools, in October 2014 (in autumn) and April 2015 (in spring). The forms and space-time variations of phosphorus in the sediments were analyzed. Clustering and variance analysis were conducted on the phosphorus forms data from the four styles of stream by means of multivariate statistical analyses. We quantified the phosphorus release risk (PSI) and identified the main impact factors of PSI via calculating the phosphorus sorption index (PSI) and the correlation analysis. The results showed that: (1) The contents of TP in the surface sediments ranged from 137.517 to 1709.229 mg x kg(-1) with an average value of 532. 245 mg x kg(-1), and the order of the average contents of phosphorus forms was IP (350.347 mg x kg(-1)) > OP (167.333 mg x kg(-1)) > Fe/Al-P ( 78. 869 mg x kg(-1)) > Ca-P (56.343 mg x kg(-1)) > Ex-P (6.609 mg x kg(-1)); (2) The contents of phosphorus forms had the same trend in all the four stream styles, which was deep pool > main channel > branch > pond; (3) In autumn, the deep pool and main channel were clustered into one class, while the pond and branch were clustered into the other class. In spring, branch, main channel and deep pool were clustered into the same class; (4) Variance analysis showed that the differences among the four stream styles were larger in autumn than in spring; (5) The PSI of the surface sediments ranged between 24.49 and 69.94 (mg x L(-1) x (100 g x micromol)(-1). The PSI in spring was lower than that in spring, indicating that phosphorus release risk of surface sediment was higher in spring than in autumn. (6) PSI had a significant negative correlation with Ex-P, IP and pH.

  8. [Phosphorus Fractions and Release Risk in Surface Sediments of an Agricultural Headwater Stream System in Hefei Suburban, China].

    PubMed

    Pei, Ting-ting; Li, Ru-zhong; Gao, Su-di; Luo, Yue-ying

    2016-02-15

    A typical water system of agricultural headwater stream in Chaohu Lake basin was selected as the study area, and 17, 16, 14 and 13 surface sediments were collected from the four styles of stream, respectively, including ponds, branches, main channel and mainstream deep pools, in October 2014 (in autumn) and April 2015 (in spring). The forms and space-time variations of phosphorus in the sediments were analyzed. Clustering and variance analysis were conducted on the phosphorus forms data from the four styles of stream by means of multivariate statistical analyses. We quantified the phosphorus release risk (PSI) and identified the main impact factors of PSI via calculating the phosphorus sorption index (PSI) and the correlation analysis. The results showed that: (1) The contents of TP in the surface sediments ranged from 137.517 to 1709.229 mg x kg(-1) with an average value of 532. 245 mg x kg(-1), and the order of the average contents of phosphorus forms was IP (350.347 mg x kg(-1)) > OP (167.333 mg x kg(-1)) > Fe/Al-P ( 78. 869 mg x kg(-1)) > Ca-P (56.343 mg x kg(-1)) > Ex-P (6.609 mg x kg(-1)); (2) The contents of phosphorus forms had the same trend in all the four stream styles, which was deep pool > main channel > branch > pond; (3) In autumn, the deep pool and main channel were clustered into one class, while the pond and branch were clustered into the other class. In spring, branch, main channel and deep pool were clustered into the same class; (4) Variance analysis showed that the differences among the four stream styles were larger in autumn than in spring; (5) The PSI of the surface sediments ranged between 24.49 and 69.94 (mg x L(-1) x (100 g x micromol)(-1). The PSI in spring was lower than that in spring, indicating that phosphorus release risk of surface sediment was higher in spring than in autumn. (6) PSI had a significant negative correlation with Ex-P, IP and pH. PMID:27363143

  9. Water Quality Response to Changes in Agricultural Land Use Practices at Headwater Streams in Georgia

    EPA Science Inventory

    Poorly managed agricultural watersheds may be one of the most important contributors to high levels of bacterial and sediment loadings in surface waters. We investigated two cattle farms with differing management schemes to compare how physicochemical and meteorological parameter...

  10. Estimating the Regional Flux of Nitrate and Agricultural Herbicide Compounds from Groundwater to Headwater Streams of the Northern Atlantic Coastal Plain, USA

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ator, S.; Denver, J. M.

    2011-12-01

    Agriculture is common in the Northern Atlantic Coastal Plain (NACP, including New Jersey through North Carolina), and groundwater discharge provides nitrogen (primarily in the form of nitrate) and herbicide compounds from agricultural sources along with the majority of flow to NACP streams. Poor water quality has contributed to ecological degradation of tidal streams and estuaries along much of the adjacent mid-Atlantic coast. Although statistical models have provided estimates of total instream nutrient flux in the Coastal Plain, the regional flux of nitrogen and herbicides during base flow is less well understood. We estimated the regional flux of nitrate and selected commonly used herbicide compounds from groundwater to non-tidal headwater streams of the NACP on the basis of late-winter or spring base-flow samples from 174 such streams. Sampled streams were selected using an unequal-probability random approach, and flux estimates are based on resulting population estimates rather than empirical models, which are commonly used for such estimates. Base-flow flux in the estimated 8,834 NACP non-tidal headwater streams are an estimated 21,200 kilograms per day of nitrate (as N) and 5.83, 0.565, and 20.7 kilograms per day of alachlor, atrazine, and metolachlor (including selected degradates), respectively. Base-flow flux of alachlor and metolachlor is dominated by degradates; flux of parent compounds is less than 3 percent of the total flux of parent plus degradates. Base-flow flux of nitrate and herbicides as a percentage of applications generally varies predictably with regional variations in hydrogeology. Abundant nonpoint (primarily agricultural) sources and hydrogeologic conditions, for example, contribute to particularly large base-flow flux from the Delmarva Peninsula to Chesapeake Bay. In the Delmarva Peninsula part of the Chesapeake Watershed, more than 10 percent of total nonpoint nitrogen applications is transported through groundwater to stream base flow

  11. Influence of catchment land cover on stoichiometry and stable isotope compositions of basal resources and macroinvertebrate consumers in headwater streams

    EPA Science Inventory

    Anthropogenic land use affects aquatic landscapes. For example, landscape-level conversion to urban or agricultural land can heavily influence nutrient cycles in headwater streams via increased nutrient loading and altered hydrologic patterns. Recent studies in headwater streams ...

  12. Influence of grass filter strips on structure and function of riparian habitats of agricultural headwater streams in central Ohio

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Grass filter strips are a widely used conservation practice in the United States for reducing nutrient, pesticide, and sediment loadings into agricultural streams. Previous studies have documented the effectiveness of grass filter strips in reducing the input of agricultural pollutants, but the inf...

  13. Characterizing hydrologic permanence in headwater streams

    EPA Science Inventory

    The presentation will be an overview of research to inform jurisdictional determinations for the Clean Water Act, in particular research that hydrographic comparisons of the extent and hydrologic permanence of headwater streams, indicator development, and an evaluation of a rapid...

  14. The seasonal dynamics of the stream sources and input flow paths of water and nitrogen of an Austrian headwater agricultural catchment.

    PubMed

    Exner-Kittridge, Michael; Strauss, Peter; Blöschl, Günter; Eder, Alexander; Saracevic, Ernis; Zessner, Matthias

    2016-01-15

    Our study examines the source aquifers and stream inputs of the seasonal water and nitrogen dynamics of a headwater agricultural catchment to determine the dominant driving forces for the seasonal dynamics in the surface water nitrogen loads and concentrations. We found that the alternating aquifer contributions throughout the year of the deep and shallow aquifers were the main cause for the seasonality of the nitrate concentration. The deep aquifer water typically contributed 75% of the total outlet discharge in the summer and 50% in the winter when the shallow aquifer recharges due to low crop evapotranspiration. The shallow aquifer supplied the vast majority of the nitrogen load to the stream due to the significantly higher total nitrogen concentration (11 mg-N/l) compared to the deep aquifer (0.50 mg-N/l). The main stream input pathway for the shallow aquifer nitrogen load was from the perennial tile drainages providing 60% of the total load to the stream outlet, while only providing 26% of the total flow volume. The diffuse groundwater input to the stream was the largest input to the stream (39%), but only supplied 27% to the total nitrogen load as the diffuse water was mostly composed of deep aquifer water. PMID:26562340

  15. Influence of planting grass filter strips on the structure and function of riparian habitats of agricultural headwater streams

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Grass filter strips are strips of cool or warm season grasses planted adjacent to agricultural streams to reduce nutrient, pesticide, and sediment input. This conservation practice is the most frequently planted riparian buffer type in the United States. Previous studies have not evaluated how gra...

  16. INDICATORS OF HYDROLOGIC PERMANENCE IN HEADWATER STREAMS

    EPA Science Inventory

    Headwater intermittent streams lie at the aquatic-terrestrial interface and represent much of our nation's stream miles. Recent court cases concerning the definition of jurisdictional waters under the Clean Water Act have illuminated a need to better understand the characteristi...

  17. Contrasting controls on the phosphorus concentration of suspended particulate matter under baseflow and storm event conditions in agricultural headwater streams.

    PubMed

    Cooper, Richard J; Rawlins, Barry G; Krueger, Tobias; Lézé, Bertrand; Hiscock, Kevin M; Pedentchouk, Nikolai

    2015-11-15

    Whilst the processes involved in the cycling of dissolved phosphorus (P) in rivers have been extensively studied, less is known about the mechanisms controlling particulate P concentrations during small and large flows. This deficiency is addressed through an analysis of large numbers of suspended particulate matter (SPM) samples collected under baseflow (n=222) and storm event (n=721) conditions over a 23-month period across three agricultural headwater catchments of the River Wensum, UK. Relationships between clay mineral and metal oxyhydroxide associated elements were assessed and multiple linear regression models for the prediction of SPM P concentration under baseflow and storm event conditions were formulated. These models, which explained 71-96% of the variation in SPM P concentration, revealed a pronounced shift in P association from iron (Fe) dominated during baseflow conditions to particulate organic carbon (POC) dominated during storm events. It is hypothesised this pronounced transition in P control mechanism, which is consistent across the three study catchments, is driven by changes in SPM source area under differing hydrological conditions. In particular, changes in SPM Fe-P ratios between small and large flows suggest there are three distinct sources of SPM Fe; surface soils, subsurface sediments and streambed iron sulphide. Further examination of weekly baseflow data also revealed seasonality in the Fe-P and aluminium oxalate-dithionate (Alox-Aldi) ratios of SPM, indicating temporal variability in sediment P sorption capacity. The results presented here significantly enhance our understanding of SPM P associations with soil derived organic and inorganic fractions under different flow regimes and has implications for the mitigation of P originating from different sources in agricultural catchments.

  18. Contrasting controls on the phosphorus concentration of suspended particulate matter under baseflow and storm event conditions in agricultural headwater streams.

    PubMed

    Cooper, Richard J; Rawlins, Barry G; Krueger, Tobias; Lézé, Bertrand; Hiscock, Kevin M; Pedentchouk, Nikolai

    2015-11-15

    Whilst the processes involved in the cycling of dissolved phosphorus (P) in rivers have been extensively studied, less is known about the mechanisms controlling particulate P concentrations during small and large flows. This deficiency is addressed through an analysis of large numbers of suspended particulate matter (SPM) samples collected under baseflow (n=222) and storm event (n=721) conditions over a 23-month period across three agricultural headwater catchments of the River Wensum, UK. Relationships between clay mineral and metal oxyhydroxide associated elements were assessed and multiple linear regression models for the prediction of SPM P concentration under baseflow and storm event conditions were formulated. These models, which explained 71-96% of the variation in SPM P concentration, revealed a pronounced shift in P association from iron (Fe) dominated during baseflow conditions to particulate organic carbon (POC) dominated during storm events. It is hypothesised this pronounced transition in P control mechanism, which is consistent across the three study catchments, is driven by changes in SPM source area under differing hydrological conditions. In particular, changes in SPM Fe-P ratios between small and large flows suggest there are three distinct sources of SPM Fe; surface soils, subsurface sediments and streambed iron sulphide. Further examination of weekly baseflow data also revealed seasonality in the Fe-P and aluminium oxalate-dithionate (Alox-Aldi) ratios of SPM, indicating temporal variability in sediment P sorption capacity. The results presented here significantly enhance our understanding of SPM P associations with soil derived organic and inorganic fractions under different flow regimes and has implications for the mitigation of P originating from different sources in agricultural catchments. PMID:26150307

  19. ARE SALAMANDERS USEFUL INDICATORS OF HYDROLOGIC PERMANENCE IN HEADWATER STREAMS?

    EPA Science Inventory

    Regulatory agencies need appropriate indicators of stream permanence to aid in jurisdictional determinations for headwater streams. We evaluated salamanders as permanence indicators because they are often abundant in fishless headwaters. Salamander and habitat data were collect...

  20. Hydrologic connectivity and the contribution of stream headwaters to ecological integrity at regional scales

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Freeman, Mary C.; Pringle, C.M.; Jackson, C.R.

    2007-01-01

    Cumulatively, headwater streams contribute to maintaining hydrologic connectivity and ecosystem integrity at regional scales. Hydrologic connectivity is the water-mediated transport of matter, energy and organisms within or between elements of the hydrologic cycle. Headwater streams compose over two-thirds of total stream length in a typical river drainage and directly connect the upland and riparian landscape to the rest of the stream ecosystem. Altering headwater streams, e.g., by channelization, diversion through pipes, impoundment and burial, modifies fluxes between uplands and downstream river segments and eliminates distinctive habitats. The large-scale ecological effects of altering headwaters are amplified by land uses that alter runoff and nutrient loads to streams, and by widespread dam construction on larger rivers (which frequently leaves free-flowing upstream portions of river systems essential to sustaining aquatic biodiversity). We discuss three examples of large-scale consequences of cumulative headwater alteration. Downstream eutrophication and coastal hypoxia result, in part, from agricultural practices that alter headwaters and wetlands while increasing nutrient runoff. Extensive headwater alteration is also expected to lower secondary productivity of river systems by reducing stream-system length and trophic subsidies to downstream river segments, affecting aquatic communities and terrestrial wildlife that utilize aquatic resources. Reduced viability of freshwater biota may occur with cumulative headwater alteration, including for species that occupy a range of stream sizes but for which headwater streams diversify the network of interconnected populations or enhance survival for particular life stages. Developing a more predictive understanding of ecological patterns that may emerge on regional scales as a result of headwater alterations will require studies focused on components and pathways that connect headwaters to river, coastal and

  1. Salamander occupancy in headwater stream networks

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Grant, E.H.C.; Green, L.E.; Lowe, W.H.

    2009-01-01

    1. Stream ecosystems exhibit a highly consistent dendritic geometry in which linear habitat units intersect to create a hierarchical network of connected branches. 2. Ecological and life history traits of species living in streams, such as the potential for overland movement, may interact with this architecture to shape patterns of occupancy and response to disturbance. Specifically, large-scale habitat alteration that fragments stream networks and reduces connectivity may reduce the probability a stream is occupied by sensitive species, such as stream salamanders. 3. We collected habitat occupancy data on four species of stream salamanders in first-order (i.e. headwater) streams in undeveloped and urbanised regions of the eastern U.S.A. We then used an information-theoretic approach to test alternative models of salamander occupancy based on a priori predictions of the effects of network configuration, region and salamander life history. 4. Across all four species, we found that streams connected to other first-order streams had higher occupancy than those flowing directly into larger streams and rivers. For three of the four species, occupancy was lower in the urbanised region than in the undeveloped region. 5. These results demonstrate that the spatial configuration of stream networks within protected areas affects the occurrences of stream salamander species. We strongly encourage preservation of network connections between first-order streams in conservation planning and management decisions that may affect stream species.

  2. Antecedent conditions, hydrological connectivity and anthropogenic inputs: Factors affecting nitrate and phosphorus transfers to agricultural headwater streams.

    PubMed

    Outram, Faye N; Cooper, Richard J; Sünnenberg, Gisela; Hiscock, Kevin M; Lovett, Andrew A

    2016-03-01

    This paper examines relationships between rainfall-runoff, catchment connectivity, antecedent moisture conditions and fertiliser application with nitrate-N and total phosphorus (TP) fluxes in an arable headwater catchment over three hydrological years (2012-2014). Annual precipitation totals did not vary substantially between years, yet the timing of rainfall strongly influenced runoff generation and subsequent nitrate-N and TP fluxes. The greatest nitrate-N (>250 kg N day(-1)) and TP (>10 kg TP day(-1)) fluxes only occurred when shallow groundwater was within 0.6m of the ground surface and runoff coefficients were greater than 0.1. These thresholds were reached less frequently in 2012 due to drought recovery resulting in lower annual nitrate-N (7.4 kg N ha(-1)) and TP (0.12 kg P ha(-1)) fluxes in comparison with 2013 (15.1 kg N ha(-1); 0.21 kg P ha(-1)). The wet winter of 2013 with elevated shallow groundwater levels led to more frequent activation of sub-surface pathways and tile drain flow. Throughout the period, dry antecedent conditions had a temporary effect in elevating TP loads. Evidence of TP source exhaustion after consecutive storm events can be attributed to the repeated depletion of temporarily connected critical source areas to the river network via impermeable road surfaces. Fertiliser application varied considerably across three years due to differences in crop rotation between farms, with annual N and P fertiliser inputs varying by up to 21% and 41%, respectively. Proportional reductions in annual riverine nitrate-N and TP loadings were not observed at the sub-catchment outlet as loadings were largely influenced by annual runoff. Nitrate loadings were slightly higher during fertiliser application, but there was little relationship between P fertiliser application and riverine TP load. These data indicate that this intensive arable catchment may be in a state of biogeochemical stationarity, whereby legacy stores of nutrients buffer against changes

  3. HEADWATER INTERMITTENT STREAMS STUDY: COLLABORATION ACROSS THE NATION

    EPA Science Inventory

    Headwater streams are the most abundant and widespread of our nation's surface waters, yet little guidance is available specific to these resources. Headwater streams lie at the terrestrial-aquatic interface, both spatially because of their narrow channels and landscape position ...

  4. BIOLOGICAL INTEGRITY IN MID-ATLANTIC COASTAL PLAINS HEADWATER STREAMS

    EPA Science Inventory

    The objective of this study was to assess the applicability of landscape metrics, in conjunction with stream water quality to estimate the biological integrity of headwater streams in the Mid-Atlantic Coastal Plains using multivariate techniques.

  5. Physical indicators of hydrologic permanence in forested headwater streams

    EPA Science Inventory

    Recent court cases have brought headwater streams and their hydrologic permanence into the forefront for regulatory agencies, so rapid field-based indicators of hydrologic permanence in streams are critically needed. Our study objectives were to 1) identify environmental charact...

  6. Where Did All the Streams Go? Effects of Urbanization on Hydrologic Permanence of Headwater Streams

    EPA Science Inventory

    Headwater streams represent a majority (up to 70%) of the stream length in the United States; however, these small streams are often piped or filled to accommodate residential, commercial, and industrial development. Legal protection of headwater streams under the Clean Water Ac...

  7. SCIENCE TO INFORM POLICY ON PROTECTION OF HEADWATER STREAMS

    EPA Science Inventory

    Recent court cases concerning the definition of jurisdictional waters under the Clean Water Act have illuminated a need to better understand characteristics and functions of headwater streams (and associated riparian and wetland habitats). Research is needed to better quantify 1...

  8. BIOLOGICAL INTEGRITY IN MID-ATLANTIC COASTAL PLAINS HEADWATER STREAMS

    EPA Science Inventory

    The objective of this study was to assess the applicability of using landscape variables in conjunction with water quality and benthic data to efficiently estimate stream condition of select headwater streams in the Mid-Atlantic Coastal Plains. Eighty-two streams with riffle sit...

  9. Toxins in transgenic crop byproducts may affect headwater stream ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Rosi-Marshall, E J; Tank, J L; Royer, T V; Whiles, M R; Evans-White, M; Chambers, C; Griffiths, N A; Pokelsek, J; Stephen, M L

    2007-10-01

    Corn (Zea mays L.) that has been genetically engineered to produce the Cry1Ab protein (Bt corn) is resistant to lepidopteran pests. Bt corn is widely planted in the midwestern United States, often adjacent to headwater streams. We show that corn byproducts, such as pollen and detritus, enter headwater streams and are subject to storage, consumption, and transport to downstream water bodies. Laboratory feeding trials showed that consumption of Bt corn byproducts reduced growth and increased mortality of nontarget stream insects. Stream insects are important prey for aquatic and riparian predators, and widespread planting of Bt crops has unexpected ecosystem-scale consequences. PMID:17923672

  10. Dam removal increases American eel abundance in distant headwater streams

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Hitt, Nathaniel P.; Eyler, Sheila; Wofford, John E.B.

    2012-01-01

    American eel Anguilla rostrata abundances have undergone significant declines over the last 50 years, and migration barriers have been recognized as a contributing cause. We evaluated eel abundances in headwater streams of Shenandoah National Park, Virginia, to compare sites before and after the removal of a large downstream dam in 2004 (Embrey Dam, Rappahannock River). Eel abundances in headwater streams increased significantly after the removal of Embrey Dam. Observed eel abundances after dam removal exceeded predictions derived from autoregressive models parameterized with data prior to dam removal. Mann–Kendall analyses also revealed consistent increases in eel abundances from 2004 to 2010 but inconsistent temporal trends before dam removal. Increasing eel numbers could not be attributed to changes in local physical habitat (i.e., mean stream depth or substrate size) or regional population dynamics (i.e., abundances in Maryland streams or Virginia estuaries). Dam removal was associated with decreasing minimum eel lengths in headwater streams, suggesting that the dam previously impeded migration of many small-bodied individuals (<300 mm TL). We hypothesize that restoring connectivity to headwater streams could increase eel population growth rates by increasing female eel numbers and fecundity. This study demonstrated that dams may influence eel abundances in headwater streams up to 150 river kilometers distant, and that dam removal may provide benefits for eel management and conservation at the landscape scale.

  11. Influence of instream habitat and water quality on aggressive behavior in crayfish of channelized headwater streams

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Many agricultural drainage ditches that border farm fields of the Midwestern United States are degraded headwater streams that possess communities of crayfish. We hypothesized that crayfish communities at sites with low instream habitat diversity and poor water quality would show greater evidence of...

  12. Comparison of organic matter composition in agricultural versus forest affected headwaters with special emphasis on organic nitrogen.

    PubMed

    Heinz, Marlen; Graeber, Daniel; Zak, Dominik; Zwirnmann, Elke; Gelbrecht, Joerg; Pusch, Martin T

    2015-02-17

    Agricultural management practices promote organic matter (OM) turnover and thus alter both the processing of dissolved organic matter (DOM) in soils and presumably also the export of DOM to headwater streams, which intimately connect the terrestrial with the aquatic environment. Size-exclusion chromatography, in combination with absorbance and emission matrix fluorometry, was applied to assess how agricultural land use alters the amount and composition of DOM, as well as dissolved organic nitrogen (DON) forms in headwater streams, including temporal variations, in a temperate region of NE Germany. By comparing six agriculturally and six forest-impacted headwater streams, we demonstrated that agriculture promotes increased DOC and DON concentrations, entailing an even more pronounced effect on DON. The major part of DOC and DON in agricultural and forest reference streams is exported in the form of humic-like material with high molecular weight, which indicates terrestrial, i.e., allochthonous sources. As an obvious difference in agricultural streams, the contribution of DOC and particularly DON occurring in the form of nonhumic high-molecular-weight, presumably proteinous material is clearly elevated. Altogether, DOM in agricultural headwaters is mainly complex-soil-derived and aromatic material with a low C:N ratio, which is more microbial processed than its counterpart from forest reference catchments. Our results emphasize the importance of agricultural land use on DOM loss from soils and identify agricultural soils as important DOC and particularly DON sources to headwater streams. PMID:25594834

  13. The Role of Headwater Streams in Downstream Water Quality.

    PubMed

    Alexander, Richard B; Boyer, Elizabeth W; Smith, Richard A; Schwarz, Gregory E; Moore, Richard B

    2007-02-01

    Knowledge of headwater influences on the water-quality and flow conditions of downstream waters is essential to water-resource management at all governmental levels; this includes recent court decisions on the jurisdiction of the Federal Clean Water Act (CWA) over upland areas that contribute to larger downstream water bodies. We review current watershed research and use a water-quality model to investigate headwater influences on downstream receiving waters. Our evaluations demonstrate the intrinsic connections of headwaters to landscape processes and downstream waters through their influence on the supply, transport, and fate of water and solutes in watersheds. Hydrological processes in headwater catchments control the recharge of subsurface water stores, flow paths, and residence times of water throughout landscapes. The dynamic coupling of hydrological and biogeochemical processes in upland streams further controls the chemical form, timing, and longitudinal distances of solute transport to downstream waters. We apply the spatially explicit, mass-balance watershed model SPARROW to consider transport and transformations of water and nutrients throughout stream networks in the northeastern United States. We simulate fluxes of nitrogen, a primary nutrient that is a water-quality concern for acidification of streams and lakes and eutrophication of coastal waters, and refine the model structure to include literature observations of nitrogen removal in streams and lakes. We quantify nitrogen transport from headwaters to downstream navigable waters, where headwaters are defined within the model as first-order, perennial streams that include flow and nitrogen contributions from smaller, intermittent and ephemeral streams. We find that first-order headwaters contribute approximately 70% of the mean-annual water volume and 65% of the nitrogen flux in second-order streams. Their contributions to mean water volume and nitrogen flux decline only marginally to about 55% and

  14. The Role of Headwater Streams in Downstream Water Quality1

    PubMed Central

    Alexander, Richard B; Boyer, Elizabeth W; Smith, Richard A; Schwarz, Gregory E; Moore, Richard B

    2007-01-01

    Knowledge of headwater influences on the water-quality and flow conditions of downstream waters is essential to water-resource management at all governmental levels; this includes recent court decisions on the jurisdiction of the Federal Clean Water Act (CWA) over upland areas that contribute to larger downstream water bodies. We review current watershed research and use a water-quality model to investigate headwater influences on downstream receiving waters. Our evaluations demonstrate the intrinsic connections of headwaters to landscape processes and downstream waters through their influence on the supply, transport, and fate of water and solutes in watersheds. Hydrological processes in headwater catchments control the recharge of subsurface water stores, flow paths, and residence times of water throughout landscapes. The dynamic coupling of hydrological and biogeochemical processes in upland streams further controls the chemical form, timing, and longitudinal distances of solute transport to downstream waters. We apply the spatially explicit, mass-balance watershed model SPARROW to consider transport and transformations of water and nutrients throughout stream networks in the northeastern United States. We simulate fluxes of nitrogen, a primary nutrient that is a water-quality concern for acidification of streams and lakes and eutrophication of coastal waters, and refine the model structure to include literature observations of nitrogen removal in streams and lakes. We quantify nitrogen transport from headwaters to downstream navigable waters, where headwaters are defined within the model as first-order, perennial streams that include flow and nitrogen contributions from smaller, intermittent and ephemeral streams. We find that first-order headwaters contribute approximately 70% of the mean-annual water volume and 65% of the nitrogen flux in second-order streams. Their contributions to mean water volume and nitrogen flux decline only marginally to about 55% and

  15. The role of headwater streams in downstream water quality

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Alexander, R.B.; Boyer, E.W.; Smith, R.A.; Schwarz, G.E.; Moore, R.B.

    2007-01-01

    Knowledge of headwater influences on the water-quality and flow conditions of downstream waters is essential to water-resource management at all governmental levels; this includes recent court decisions on the jurisdiction of the Federal Clean Water Act (CWA) over upland areas that contribute to larger downstream water bodies. We review current watershed research and use a water-quality model to investigate headwater influences on downstream receiving waters. Our evaluations demonstrate the intrinsic connections of headwaters to landscape processes and downstream waters through their influence on the supply, transport, and fate of water and solutes in watersheds. Hydrological processes in headwater catchments control the recharge of subsurface water stores, flow paths, and residence times of water throughout landscapes. The dynamic coupling of hydrological and biogeochemical processes in upland streams further controls the chemical form, timing, and longitudinal distances of solute transport to downstream waters. We apply the spatially explicit, mass-balance watershed model SPARROW to consider transport and transformations of water and nutrients throughout stream networks in the northeastern United States. We simulate fluxes of nitrogen, a primary nutrient that is a water-quality concern for acidification of streams and lakes and eutrophication of coastal waters, and refine the model structure to include literature observations of nitrogen removal in streams and lakes. We quantify nitrogen transport from headwaters to downstream navigable waters, where headwaters are defined within the model as first-order, perennial streams that include flow and nitrogen contributions from smaller, intermittent and ephemeral streams. We find that first-order headwaters contribute approximately 70% of the mean-annual water volume and 65% of the nitrogen flux in second-order streams. Their contributions to mean water volume and nitrogen flux decline only marginally to about 55% and

  16. Hydrology and Geomorphology of Tallgrass Prairie Intermittent Headwater Streams

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Daniels, M. D.; Grudzinski, B.

    2011-12-01

    The arid to semi-arid Great Plains region of the United States covers more than 1 million km2, yet virtually nothing is known about the geomorphology of its intermittent headwater streams. These streams and the perennial rivers they feed support a unique and increasingly endangered assemblage of endemic fish species. While human impacts in the region are not at first glace significant, the reality is that the Great Plains are an intensively managed landscape, with pervasive cattle grazing, channelization, and groundwater over-pumping affecting these systems. These stresses will only increase with potential climate and related land use changes. Few natural remnants of native grassland remain today, limiting opportunities to study the natural dynamics of these systems in contrast to the anthropogenically modified systems. This paper presents a review of the existing geomorphological and hydrological knowledge of Great Plains headwater streams and presents the initial analysis of an 18 year intermittent headwater stream record from the tallgrass Konza Prairie LTER, Kansas. Results suggest that fire frequency and grazing and the resultant riparian vegetation composition strongly influence stream flow dynamics as well as stream geomorphology.

  17. Linking brownification to carbon cycling in headwater streams

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fasching, C.; Behounek, B.; Singer, G. A.; Battin, T. J.

    2013-12-01

    Brownification of inland waters is becoming a global phenomenon with major implications for aquatic ecology and drinking water supply. The unprecedented export of humic substances from the terrestrial environment causes this notable change in colour of stream and lake waters. Given the net heterotrophy of most inland waters, altered carbon fluxes may impact microbial metabolism and ultimately carbon dioxide emissions from these inland waters. Yet the implications for carbon cycling remain elusive. Here, we investigate the coupling of microbial metabolism, organic carbon characteristics and streamwater CO2 concntration along a brownification gradient in 20 headwater streams draining catchments covered with coniferous forest and peatland in the Bohemian Massive, Austria. We break down brownification into its components of concentration and quality, and relate each to carbon cycling in headwater streams. Brownification did not only increase streamwater dissolved organic matter (DOM) concentration but also induced changes in DOM quality. Humic-like and aromatic compounds of terrigenous origin -- conferring the brown colour to the water -- were metabolised by microbial heterotrophs in the streamwater yet at the cost of low carbon use efficiency (CUE). Potential CO2 evasion from headwaters was controlled by the quantity of bioavailable carbon as well as by the coupling of carbon qulity and microbial metabolism. This implies brownification to contribute to CO2 evasion from streams as a large fraction of terrigenous organic carbon is respired by microbial heterotrophs along the flow path. Our results illuminate the impact of brownification on carbon cycling which may gain relevance as global change progresses.

  18. Research to inform policy on headwater streams: ongoing and future directions

    EPA Science Inventory

    Headwater streams are the exterior links of stream networks and represent a substantial proportion of U.S. stream miles. Alteration and loss of headwater streams have occurred without an understanding of the potential consequences to larger downstream waterbodies. Recent court ca...

  19. Turbidity Dynamics in an Urbanized Headwater Stream

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wynn, T. M.; Utley, B. C.; Davis, K.; Simpson, J. A.

    2008-12-01

    Excess suspended sediment in streams degrades aquatic ecosystems, reduces reservoir capacity, increases drinking water treatment costs, and serves as a carrier for pollutants such as phosphorus, bacterial, heavy metals, and pesticides. Due to the high temporal variability of suspended sediment transport, continuous instream turbidity measurements are used as a surrogate for suspended sediment concentration. This variability is particularly pronounced in small urban streams (drainage areas < 100 sq. km). To evaluate turbidity dynamics within the Stroubles Creek watershed (14 sq. km), two Eureka Manta multi-parameter sondes with McVan wiped turbidity sensors were installed at two cross sections upstream and downstream of a 450-m reach experiencing active bank retreat. Turbidity was recorded every 10 min. from March 2006 to May 2007. The continuous turbidity records were evaluated for hysteresis and indications of contributions of bank retreat to the stream sediment load. While the transport of suspended sediment from upstream sources through the study reach is observed, channel erosion appears to be a significant source of sediment to the stream.

  20. Comprehensive multiyear carbon budget of a temperate headwater stream

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Argerich, Alba; Haggerty, Roy; Johnson, Sherri L.; Wondzell, Steven M.; Dosch, Nicholas; Corson-Rikert, Hayley; Ashkenas, Linda R.; Pennington, Robert; Thomas, Christoph K.

    2016-05-01

    Headwater streams comprise nearly 90% of the total length of perennial channels in global catchments. They mineralize organic carbon entering from terrestrial systems, evade terrestrial carbon dioxide (CO2), and generate and remove carbon through in-stream primary production and respiration. Despite their importance, headwater streams are often neglected in global carbon budgets primarily because of a lack of available data. We measured these processes, in detail, over a 10 year period in a stream draining a 96 ha forested watershed in western Oregon, USA. This stream, which represents only 0.4% of the watershed area, exported 159 kg C ha-1 yr-1, similar to the global exports for large rivers. Stream export was dominated by downstream transport of dissolved inorganic carbon (63 kg C ha-1 yr-1) and by evasion of CO2 to the atmosphere (42 kg C ha-1 yr-1), leaving the remainder of 51 kg C ha-1 yr-1 for downstream transport of organic carbon (17 kg C ha-1 yr-1 and 34 kg C ha-1 yr-1 in dissolved and particulate form, respectively).

  1. IMPACTS OF LAND USE ON HYDROLOGIC FLOW PERMANENCE IN HEADWATER STREAMS

    EPA Science Inventory

    Extensive urbanization in the watershed can alter the stream hydrology by increasing peak runoff frequency and reducing base flows, causing subsequent impairment of stream community structure. In addition, development effectively eliminates some headwater streams, being piped an...

  2. Are Salamanders Useful Indicators of Hydrologic Permanence in Headwater Streams?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Johnson, B.; Fritz, K.

    2005-05-01

    Regulatory agencies need appropriate indicators of stream permanence to aid in jurisdictional determinations for headwater streams. We evaluated salamanders as permanence indicators because they are often abundant in fishless headwaters. Salamander and habitat data were collected in spring and summer 2003 from 59 sites located longitudinally along 17 forested streams in KY, IN, and OH. Larval Eurycea bislineata/cirrigera dominated all forests, and their abundances were highly correlated with drainage areas and channel dimensions. Appalachian streams were more diverse and had intermittent sites with more Desmognathus and Gyrinophilus spp. Of 22 sites where larvae were collected in spring, 9 sites subsequently dried in summer, suggesting salamanders either emigrated or died. We therefore only used taxa with multi-year larval stages as indicators of perennial water. Salamander larvae >1 yr old were collected from each locality in drainage areas <0.17 km2. However, these older larvae were often found in isolated pools that serve as refugia during dry periods. Findings suggest salamanders with multi-year larval periods can indicate perennial waters and that their use is more effective in Appalachia where abundance and diversity are high. Although this work was reviewed by EPA and approved for publication, it may not necessarily reflect official Agency policy.

  3. Headwater Streams in Porous Landscapes - What's the contributing area?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jackson, C. R.; Bitew, M. M.; Du, E.; Griffiths, N.; Hopp, L.; Klaus, J.; McDonnell, J.; Vache, K. B.

    2015-12-01

    Building on a long legacy of hydrogeological investigations at the Savannah River Site in the Sandhills of the Upper Coastal Plain in South Carolina, we began in 2005 a headwater-scale investigation of hillslope flow pathways, streamflow sources, and water quality responses to intensive woody biomass production. The landscape is characterized by blackwater streams flowing slowly through wide flat stream valleys, deep unconsolidated layers of sands and clays, a regional clay layer beneath Fourmile Creek that defines the lower boundary of the surficial aquifer, rolling topography with steeper slopes on the valley margins and gentle slopes elsewhere, and a sandy clay loam argillic layer within 0.2 to 1.5m from the surface. Most water leaves headwater basins by groundwater flow, appearing as streamflow far downstream. Only at scales larger than 50 km2 does average streamflow match expectations from water balances. This raises the question, what constitutes the contributing area for headwater streams in porous landscapes? Perching and interflow generation over the argillic horizon is common, but leakage through clay is rapid relative to interflow travel times, so interflow serves to shift the point of percolation downslope from the point of infiltration. Only interflow from the valley-adjacent slopes can contribute to stormflow responses. Our interflow interception trenches and maximum rise piezometer networks reveal high heterogeneity in subsurface flow paths at multiple spatial scales. Streamwater has isotopic and chemical characteristics similar to deep groundwater, but we cannot easily determine the source area for groundwater reaching the first order streams. Our observations suggest that one's view of hillslope and catchment flow processes depends on the scale, number, and frequency of observations of state variables and outputs. In some cases, less frequent or less numerous observations of fewer tracers would have yielded different inferences. The data also

  4. Predicting alpine headwater stream intermittency: a case study in the northern Rocky Mountains

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Sando, Thomas R.; Blasch, Kyle W.

    2015-01-01

    This investigation used climatic, geological, and environmental data coupled with observational stream intermittency data to predict alpine headwater stream intermittency. Prediction was made using a random forest classification model. Results showed that the most important variables in the prediction model were snowpack persistence, represented by average snow extent from March through July, mean annual mean monthly minimum temperature, and surface geology types. For stream catchments with intermittent headwater streams, snowpack, on average, persisted until early June, whereas for stream catchments with perennial headwater streams, snowpack, on average, persisted until early July. Additionally, on average, stream catchments with intermittent headwater streams were about 0.7 °C warmer than stream catchments with perennial headwater streams. Finally, headwater stream catchments primarily underlain by coarse, permeable sediment are significantly more likely to have intermittent headwater streams than those primarily underlain by impermeable bedrock. Comparison of the predicted streamflow classification with observed stream status indicated a four percent classification error for first-order streams and a 21 percent classification error for all stream orders in the study area.

  5. Ecoregion and land-use influence invertebrate and detritus transport from headwater streams

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Binckley, Christopher A.; Wipfli, Mark S.; Medhurst, R. Bruce; Polivka, Karl; Hessburg, Paul F.; Salter, R. Brion; Kill, Joshua Y.

    2010-01-01

    4. Understanding the quantity and variation of headwater subsidies across climate and disturbance gradients is needed to appreciate the significance of ecological linkages between headwaters and associated downstream habitats. This will enable the accurate assessment of resource management impacts on stream ecosystems. Predicting the consequences of natural and anthropogenic disturbances on headwater stream transport rates will require knowledge of how both local and regional factors influence these potential subsidies. Our results suggest that resources transported from headwater streams reflect both the meso-scale land-use surrounding these areas and the constraints imposed by the ecoregion in which they are embedded.

  6. Forested headwaters mitigate pesticide effects on macroinvertebrate communities in streams: Mechanisms and quantification.

    PubMed

    Orlinskiy, Polina; Münze, Ronald; Beketov, Mikhail; Gunold, Roman; Paschke, Albrecht; Knillmann, Saskia; Liess, Matthias

    2015-08-15

    Pesticides impact invertebrate communities in freshwater ecosystems, leading to the loss of biodiversity and ecosystem functions. One approach to reduce such effects is to maintain uncontaminated stream reaches that can foster recovery of the impacted populations. We assessed the potential of uncontaminated forested headwaters to mitigate pesticide impact on the downstream macroinvertebrate communities in 37 streams, using the SPEARpesticides index. Pesticide contamination was measured with runoff-triggered techniques and Chemcatcher® passive samplers. The data originated from 3 field studies conducted between 1998 and 2011. The proportion of vulnerable species decreased significantly after pesticide exposure even at low toxicity levels (-4stream section (0.2-18 km), whereas other characteristics of the forest or abiotic water parameters did not have an effect within the measured gradients. The presence of forested headwaters was not associated with reduced pesticide exposure 3 km downstream and did not reduce the loss of vulnerable taxa after exposure. Nevertheless, forested headwaters were associated with the absence of long-term pesticide effects on the macroinvertebrate community composition. We conclude that although pesticides can cause the loss of vulnerable aquatic invertebrates even at low toxicity levels, forested headwaters enhance the recovery of vulnerable species in agricultural landscapes.

  7. Forested headwaters mitigate pesticide effects on macroinvertebrate communities in streams: Mechanisms and quantification.

    PubMed

    Orlinskiy, Polina; Münze, Ronald; Beketov, Mikhail; Gunold, Roman; Paschke, Albrecht; Knillmann, Saskia; Liess, Matthias

    2015-08-15

    Pesticides impact invertebrate communities in freshwater ecosystems, leading to the loss of biodiversity and ecosystem functions. One approach to reduce such effects is to maintain uncontaminated stream reaches that can foster recovery of the impacted populations. We assessed the potential of uncontaminated forested headwaters to mitigate pesticide impact on the downstream macroinvertebrate communities in 37 streams, using the SPEARpesticides index. Pesticide contamination was measured with runoff-triggered techniques and Chemcatcher® passive samplers. The data originated from 3 field studies conducted between 1998 and 2011. The proportion of vulnerable species decreased significantly after pesticide exposure even at low toxicity levels (-4stream section (0.2-18 km), whereas other characteristics of the forest or abiotic water parameters did not have an effect within the measured gradients. The presence of forested headwaters was not associated with reduced pesticide exposure 3 km downstream and did not reduce the loss of vulnerable taxa after exposure. Nevertheless, forested headwaters were associated with the absence of long-term pesticide effects on the macroinvertebrate community composition. We conclude that although pesticides can cause the loss of vulnerable aquatic invertebrates even at low toxicity levels, forested headwaters enhance the recovery of vulnerable species in agricultural landscapes. PMID:25889550

  8. DEVELOPMENT OF BIOLOGICAL INDICATORS, METHODS AND ASSESSMENT TECHNIQUES FOR USE IN HEADWATER INTERMITTENT STREAMS

    EPA Science Inventory

    Despite representing the most abundant and widespread of our nation's surface waters, regions, states and tribes have received little guidance specific to headwater intermittent streams from the U.S. EPA. Headwater streams lie at the terrestrial-aquatic interface both spatially,...

  9. Seasonal nitrate uptake and denitrification potential in small headwater streams in the Willamette Valley, Oregon

    EPA Science Inventory

    Background/Question/Methods Headwater streams can serve as important sources and sinks for nitrogen (N) for downstream receiving waters. Prior research on N removal in small streams has largely focused on growing season conditions. Here we examine the influence of headwater...

  10. Macroinvertebrate and organic matter export from headwater tributaries of a Central Appalachian stream

    EPA Science Inventory

    Headwater streams export organisms and other materials to their receiving streams and macroinvertebrate drift can shape colonization dynamics in downstream reaches while providing food for downstream consumers. Spring-time macroinvertebrate drift and organic matter export was me...

  11. Characterization and classification of invertebrates as indicators of flow permanence in headwater streams

    EPA Science Inventory

    Headwater streams represent a large proportion of river networks and many have temporary flow. Litigation has questioned whether these streams are jurisdictional under the Clean Water Act. Our goal was to identify indicators of flow permanence by comparing invertebrate assemblage...

  12. Larval salamanders and channel geomorphology are indicators of hydrologic permanence in forested headwater streams

    EPA Science Inventory

    Regulatory agencies need rapid indicators of hydrologic permanence for jurisdictional determinations of headwater streams. Our study objective was to assess the utility of larval salamander presence and assemblage structure and habitat variables for determining stream permanence ...

  13. Urbanization Affects the Extent and Hydrologic Permanence of Headwater Streams in a Midwestern US Metropolitan Area

    EPA Science Inventory

    Headwater streams dominate natural landscapes and provide essential functions for downstream waters. However, because of minimal legal protection, they often are piped or buried to accommodate urban growth. Urbanization also alters stream base flows. The combined impact of these ...

  14. POTENTIAL USE OF ALGAE AS INDICATORS OF HYDROLOGIC PERMANENCE IN HEADWATER STREAMS: INITIAL DATA EXPLORATION

    EPA Science Inventory

    Periphyton from headwater intermittent streams was sampled in order to evaluate the potential use of algal assemblages as indicators of flow permanence. Streams from four forests near Cincinnati, Ohio were classified according to hydrologic permanence as ephemeral, intermittent ...

  15. Coupling nutrient uptake and energy flow in headwater streams

    SciTech Connect

    Mulholland, Patrick J; Fellows, Christine; Valett, H. Maurice; Dahm, Cliff; Thomas, Steve

    2006-08-01

    Nutrient cycling and energy flow in ecosystems are tightly linked through the metabolic processes of organisms. Greater uptake of inorganic nutrients is expected to be associated with higher rates of metabolism [gross primary production (GPP) and respiration (R)], due to assimilatory demand of both autotrophs and heterotrophs. However, relationships between uptake and metabolism should vary with the relative contribution of autochthonous and allochthonous sources of organic matter. To investigate the relationship between metabolism and nutrient uptake, we used whole-stream and benthic chamber methods to measure rates of nitrate-nitrogen (NO{sub 3}-N) uptake and metabolism in four headwater streams chosen to span a range of light availability and therefore differing rates of GPP and contributions of autochthonous carbon. We coupled whole-stream metabolism with measures of NO{sub 3}-N uptake conducted repeatedly over the same stream reach during both day and night, as well as incubating benthic sediments under both light and dark conditions. NO{sub 3}-N uptake was generally greater in daylight compared to dark conditions, and although day-night differences in whole-stream uptake were not significant, light-dark differences in benthic chambers were significant at three of the four sites. Estimates of N demand indicated that assimilation by photoautotrophs could account for the majority of NO{sub 3}-N uptake at the two sites with relatively open canopies. Contrary to expectations, photoautotrophs contributed substantially to NO{sub 3}-N uptake even at the two closed-canopy sites, which had low values of GPP/R and relied heavily on allochthonous carbon to fuel R.

  16. Riparian and in-stream controls on nutrient concentrations along a headwater forested stream

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bernal, S.; Lupon, A.; Ribot, M.; Sabater, F.; Martí, E.

    2014-07-01

    Headwater streams have a strong capacity to transform and retain nutrients, and thus, a longitudinal decrease in stream nutrient concentrations would be expected from in-stream nutrient removal alone. Yet, a number of other factors within the catchment, including biogeochemical processing within the riparian zone and export to streams, can contribute to stream nutrient concentration, which may overcome the effect of in-stream biogeochemical processing. To explore this idea, we analyzed the longitudinal patterns of stream and riparian groundwater concentrations for chloride (Cl-), nitrate (NO3-), ammonium (NH4+), and phosphate (PO43-) along a 3.7 km reach at an annual scale. The reach showed a gradual increase in stream and riparian width, riparian tree basal area, and abundance of riparian N2-fixing tree species. Concentrations of Cl- indicated a~strong hydrological connection at the riparian-stream edge. However, stream and riparian groundwater nutrient concentrations showed a moderate to null correlation, suggesting high biogeochemical processing at the riparian-stream edge and within the stream. A mass balance approach along the reach indicated that, on average, in-stream net nutrient uptake prevailed over release for NH4+ and PO43-, but not for NO3-. On an annual basis, in-stream processes contributed to change stream input fluxes by 11%, 26%, and 29% for NO3-, NH4+, and PO43-, respectively. Yet, longitudinal trends in concentration were not consistent with the prevailing in-stream biogeochem ical processes. During the riparian dormant period, stream concentration decreased along the reach for NO3-, but increased for NH4+ and PO43-. During the riparian vegetative period, NO3- and PO43- increased along the reach while NH4+ showed no clear pattern. These longitudinal trends were partially related to riparian forest features and groundwater inputs, especially for NO3- and PO43-. Our study suggests that even though in-stream biogeochemical

  17. Biological integrity in mid-atlantic coastal plains headwater streams.

    PubMed

    Megan, Mehaffey H; Nash, Maliha S; Neale, Anne C; Pitchford, Ann M

    2007-01-01

    The objective of this study was to assess the applicability of using landscape variables in conjunction with water quality and benthic data to efficiently estimate stream condition of select headwater streams in the Mid-Atlantic Coastal Plains. Eighty-two streams with riffle sites were selected from eight-two independent watersheds across the region for sampling and analyses. Clustering of the watersheds by landscape resulted in three distinct groups (forest, crop, and urban) which coincided with watersheds dominant land cover or use. We used non-parametric analyses to test differences in benthos and water chemistry between groups, and used regression analyses to evaluate responses of benthic communities to water chemistry within each of the landscape groups. We found that typical water chemistry measures associated with urban runoff such as specific conductance and dissolved chloride were significantly higher in the urban group. In the crop group, we found variables commonly associated with farming such as nutrients and pesticides significantly greater than in the other two groups. Regression analyses demonstrated that the numbers of tolerant and facultative macroinvertebrates increased significantly in forested watersheds with small shifts in pollutants, while in human use dominated watersheds the intolerant macroinvertebrates were more sensitive to shifts in chemicals present at lower concentrations. The results from this study suggest that landscape based clustering can be used to link upstream landscape characteristics, water chemistry and biotic integrity in order to assess stream condition and likely cause of degradation without the use of reference sites. Notice: Although this work was reviewed by EPA and approved for publication, it may not necessarily reflect official Agency policy.

  18. Effect of land use on mayfly assemblages structure in Neotropical headwater streams.

    PubMed

    Siegloch, Ana Emilia; Suriano, Marcia; Spies, Marcia; Fonseca-Gessner, Alaíde

    2014-12-01

    The aim of this study was to test the effect of agricultural and forestry land use on the structure of mayfly assemblages in low-order streams. Twenty-nine headwater streams were investigated in the state of São Paulo. We analyzed 15 streams in pristine areas (mixed tropical rainforest, semideciduous forest and dense tropical rainforest), and 14 streams covered with sugarcane, eucalyptus and pasture. Mayfly richness obtained by rarefaction curves was higher in pristine areas (21 genera), especially in mixed and semideciduous forest when compared to land use (9 genera), where values were particularly low in sugarcane plantation (3 genera). The non-metric multidimensional scaling (NMDS) ordination showed clear difference in mayfly assemblages between land uses and pristine areas, supported by analysis of similarity (R=0.67, p=0.001). In partial redundancy analysis (pRDA), the environmental descriptors that best explained differences in assemblage structure were Riparian, Channel and Environmental Inventory (RCE) index score, percentage of fine sediment stream substrate, water pH and land elevation. Our results show that agricultural and forestry land use has a strong negative effect on the structure of mayfly assemblages. These results also support the use of mayflies as environmental indicators, as some genera were sensitive to changes in land use, while others responded to naturally occurring changes in the study area. PMID:25590712

  19. Effect of land use on mayfly assemblages structure in Neotropical headwater streams.

    PubMed

    Siegloch, Ana Emilia; Suriano, Marcia; Spies, Marcia; Fonseca-Gessner, Alaíde

    2014-10-14

    The aim of this study was to test the effect of agricultural and forestry land use on the structure of mayfly assemblages in low-order streams. Twenty-nine headwater streams were investigated in the state of São Paulo. We analyzed 15 streams in pristine areas (mixed tropical rainforest, semideciduous forest and dense tropical rainforest), and 14 streams covered with sugarcane, eucalyptus and pasture. Mayfly richness obtained by rarefaction curves was higher in pristine areas (21 genera), especially in mixed and semideciduous forest when compared to land use (9 genera), where values were particularly low in sugarcane plantation (3 genera). The non-metric multidimensional scaling (NMDS) ordination showed clear difference in mayfly assemblages between land uses and pristine areas, supported by analysis of similarity (R=0.67, p=0.001). In partial redundancy analysis (pRDA), the environmental descriptors that best explained differences in assemblage structure were Riparian, Channel and Environmental Inventory (RCE) index score, percentage of fine sediment stream substrate, water pH and land elevation. Our results show that agricultural and forestry land use has a strong negative effect on the structure of mayfly assemblages. These results also support the use of mayflies as environmental indicators, as some genera were sensitive to changes in land use, while others responded to naturally occurring changes in the study area. PMID:25317730

  20. Effect of land use on mayfly assemblages structure in Neotropical headwater streams.

    PubMed

    Siegloch, Ana Emilia; Suriano, Marcia; Spies, Marcia; Fonseca-Gessner, Alaíde

    2014-12-01

    The aim of this study was to test the effect of agricultural and forestry land use on the structure of mayfly assemblages in low-order streams. Twenty-nine headwater streams were investigated in the state of São Paulo. We analyzed 15 streams in pristine areas (mixed tropical rainforest, semideciduous forest and dense tropical rainforest), and 14 streams covered with sugarcane, eucalyptus and pasture. Mayfly richness obtained by rarefaction curves was higher in pristine areas (21 genera), especially in mixed and semideciduous forest when compared to land use (9 genera), where values were particularly low in sugarcane plantation (3 genera). The non-metric multidimensional scaling (NMDS) ordination showed clear difference in mayfly assemblages between land uses and pristine areas, supported by analysis of similarity (R=0.67, p=0.001). In partial redundancy analysis (pRDA), the environmental descriptors that best explained differences in assemblage structure were Riparian, Channel and Environmental Inventory (RCE) index score, percentage of fine sediment stream substrate, water pH and land elevation. Our results show that agricultural and forestry land use has a strong negative effect on the structure of mayfly assemblages. These results also support the use of mayflies as environmental indicators, as some genera were sensitive to changes in land use, while others responded to naturally occurring changes in the study area.

  1. What's a stream without water? Disproportionality in headwater regions impacting water quality.

    PubMed

    Armstrong, Andrea; Stedman, Richard C; Bishop, Joseph A; Sullivan, Patrick J

    2012-11-01

    Headwater streams are critical components of the stream network, yet landowner perceptions, attitudes, and property management behaviors surrounding these intermittent and ephemeral streams are not well understood. Our research uses the concept of watershed disproportionality, where coupled social-biophysical conditions bear a disproportionate responsibility for harmful water quality outcomes, to analyze the potential influence of riparian landowner perceptions and attitudes on water quality in headwater regions. We combine social science survey data, aerial imagery, and an analysis of spatial point processes to assess the relationship between riparian landowner perceptions and attitudes in relation to stream flow regularity. Stream flow regularity directly and positively shapes landowners' water quality concerns, and also positively influences landowners' attitudes of stream importance-a key determinant of water quality concern as identified in a path analysis. Similarly, riparian landowners who do not notice or perceive a stream on their property are likely located in headwater regions. Our findings indicate that landowners of headwater streams, which are critical areas for watershed-scale water quality, are less likely to manage for water quality than landowners with perennial streams in an obvious, natural channel. We discuss the relationships between streamflow and how landowners develop understandings of their stream, and relate this to the broader water quality implications of headwater stream mismanagement.

  2. Use of spatially explicit physicochemical data to measure downstream impacts of headwater stream disturbance

    EPA Science Inventory

    Regulatory agencies need methods to quantify the influence of headwater streams on downstream water quality as a result of litigation surrounding jurisdictional criteria and the influence of mountaintop removal coal mining activities. We collected comprehensive, spatially-referen...

  3. Importance of environmental factors on the richness and distribution of benthic macroinvertebrates in tropical headwater streams

    EPA Science Inventory

    It is essential to understand the interactions between local environmental factors (e.g., physical habitat and water quality) and aquatic assemblages to conserve biodiversity in tropical and subtropical headwater streams. Therefore, we evaluated the relative importance of multipl...

  4. Can bryophytes be used to characterize hydrologic permanence in forested headwater streams?

    EPA Science Inventory

    Recent court cases have questioned whether all headwater streams, particularly those that are not perennial, fall within the protective boundaries of the Clean Water Act. Rapid field-based indicators of hydrologic permanence are critically needed for jurisdictional determination...

  5. Influence of forest management on headwater stream amphibians at multiple spatial scales

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Stoddard, Margo; Hayes, John P.; Erickson, Janet L.

    2004-01-01

    Background Amphibians are important components of headwater streams in forest ecosystems of the Pacific Northwest (PNW). They comprise the highest vertebrate biomass and density in these systems and are integral to trophic dynamics both as prey and as predators. The most commonly encountered amphibians in PNW headwater streams include the Pacific giant salamander (Dicamptodon tenebrosus), the tailed frog (Ascaphus truei), the southern torrent salamander (Rhyacotriton variegatus), and the Columbia torrent salamander (R. kezeri).

  6. How agricultural landscape features control the transfer of nutrient and eutrophication risk in headwater catchments?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dupas, Rémi; Delmas, Magalie; Dorioz, Jean-Marcel; Garnier, Josette; Moatar, Florentina; Gascuel-Odoux, Chantal

    2014-05-01

    The degradation of surface water quality due to nitrogen and phosphorus pollution is a major concern for drinking water quality and ecosystems health. Numerous studies have demonstrated that headwater catchments are large contributors of nutrient loads to downstream waters bodies. In terms of scientific understanding of the processes controlling nutrient transfers, headwater catchments are relevant spatial units to study the role of landscape features because of the relatively low contribution of point sources and in-stream processes compared to larger river networks. This paper presents an analysis of the variability in space and time of observed N and P loads for a dataset of 160 headwater catchments at a national level (France). A multivariate statistical analysis was performed to relate observed N and P loads to spatial attributes describing agricultural landscapes and the physical characteristics of the catchments: climate, topography, soils, etc. We identified factors controlling N and P loads and N:P:Si ratios in freshwaters; and specifically spatially described factors, by considering river corridors and interaction between soils and land use attributes. The same catchment dataset is used to calibrate the Nutting model, i.e. a statistical model developed to estimate nutrient emission to surface water, using readily available data in France (Dupas et al., 2013). Nutting is a statistical model linking N/P sources and catchment land and river attributes to estimate mean interannual nitrate-N, total-N, dissolved-P and total-P loads. It allows to extrapolate nutrient loads in unmonitored catchments at a national level and to estimate the risk of eutrophication in freshwaters considering Redfield's (1963) N:P:Si ratios. Results show that N is in excess over silica in 93% of French headwater bodies, and that phosphorus is in excess over silica in 26%-65% of French headwater catchments. This means that between 26% and 63% of French headwaters are at risk of

  7. The burial of headwater streams in drainage pipes reduces in-stream nitrate retention: results from two US metropolitan areas

    EPA Science Inventory

    Nitrogen (N) retention in stream networks is an important ecosystem service that may be affected by the widespread burial of headwater streams in urban watersheds. Stream burial occurs when segments of a channel are encased in drainage pipe and buried beneath the land surface to...

  8. Burial affects the biogeochemistry of headwater streams in a midwestern US metropolitan area - slides

    EPA Science Inventory

    Nitrogen (N) retention in stream networks is an important ecosystem service that may be affected by the widespread burial of headwater streams in urban basins. Urban stream burial has only recently been recognized by ecologists as a regional environmental impact and little resea...

  9. Burial affects the biogeochemistry of headwater streams in a midwestern US metropolitan area

    EPA Science Inventory

    Nitrogen (N) retention in stream networks is an important ecosystem service that may be affected by the widespread burial of headwater streams in urban basins. Urban stream burial has only recently been recognized by ecologists and little research has addressed the extent to whi...

  10. Aquatic insect assemblages associated with subalpine stream segment types in relict glaciated headwaters

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Kubo, Joshua S.; Torgersen, Christian E.; Bolton, Susan M.; Weekes, Anne A.; Gara, Robert I.

    2013-01-01

    1. Aquatic habitats and biotic assemblages in subalpine headwaters are sensitive to climate and human impacts. Understanding biotic responses to such perturbations and the contribution of high-elevation headwaters to riverine biodiversity requires the assessment of assemblage composition among habitat types. We compared aquatic insect assemblages among headwater stream segment types in relict glaciated subalpine basins in Mt. Rainier National Park, Washington, USA. 2. Aquatic insects were collected during summer and autumn in three headwater basins. In each basin, three different stream segment types were sampled: colluvial groundwater sources, alluvial lake inlets, and cascade-bedrock lake outlets. Ward's hierarchical cluster analysis revealed high β diversity in aquatic insect assemblages, and non-metric multidimensional scaling indicated that spatial and temporal patterns in assemblage composition differed among headwater stream segment types. Aquatic insect assemblages showed more fidelity to stream segment types than to individual basins, and the principal environmental variables associated with assemblage structure were temperature and substrate. 3. Indicator species analyses identified specific aquatic insects associated with each stream segment type. Several rare and potentially endemic aquatic insect taxa were present, including the recently described species, Lednia borealis (Baumann and Kondratieff). 4. Our results indicate that aquatic insect assemblages in relict glaciated subalpine headwaters were strongly differentiated among stream segment types. These results illustrate the contribution of headwaters to riverine biodiversity and emphasise the importance of these habitats for monitoring biotic responses to climate change. Monitoring biotic assemblages in high-elevation headwaters is needed to prevent the potential loss of unique and sensitive biota.

  11. Landscape influences on headwater streams on Fort Stewart, Georgia, USA

    SciTech Connect

    Jager, Yetta; Bevelhimer, Mark S; al., et.

    2011-01-01

    Military landscapes represent a mixture of undisturbed natural ecosystems, developed areas, and lands that support different types and intensities of military training. Research to understand water-quality influences of military landscapes usually involves intensive sampling in a few watersheds. In this study, we developed a survey design of accessible headwater watersheds intended to improve our ability to distinguish land water relationships in general, and training influences, in particular, on Fort Stewart, GA. We sampled and analyzed water from watershed outlets. We successfully developed correlative models for total suspended solids (TSS), total nitrogen (TN), organic carbon (OC), and organic nitrogen (ON), which dominated in this blackwater ecosystem. TSS tended to be greater in samples after rainfall and during the growing season, and models that included %Wetland suggested a build-and-flush relationship. We also detected a positive association between TSS and tank-training, which suggests a need to intercept sediment-laden runoff from training areas. Models for OC showed a negative association with %Grassland. TN and ON both showed negative associations with %Grassland, %Wetland, and %Forest. Unexpected positive associations were observed between OC and equipmenttraining activity and between ON and %Bare ground ? Roads. Future studies that combine our survey-based approach with more intensive monitoring of the timing and intensity of training would be needed to better understand the mechanisms for these empirical relationships involving military training. Looking beyond local effects on Fort Stewart streams, we explore questions about how exports of OC and nitrogen from coastal military installations ultimately influence estuaries downstream.

  12. Temporal and spatial variation of factors controlling metabolism and primary productivity in headwater streams

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Johnson, S. L.; Argerich, A.; Ashkenas, L.

    2013-12-01

    Headwater streams account for 60-80 percent of stream-channel length in river networks, yet the variability among these streams is often simplified or neglected. Better understanding of the drivers and ways to characterize this variability are crucial as we evaluate the contributions of headwaters to downstream ecosystems. Metrics of ecosystem processes, such as whole stream metabolism, incorporate numerous factors across trophic levels and are considered fundamental descriptors of ecosystem function. Because metabolism integrates the activity of all organisms carrying out photosynthesis and aerobic respiration, it has been proposed as useful in evaluating contributions from multiple headwaters to downstream sites as well as measuring how stream communities respond to environmental changes. Here we explore the spatial and temporal variation in ecosystem metabolism and primary productivity across multiple forested headwater streams and their cumulative downstream sites. We also quantify the environmental factors that most influence these processes, including stream chemistry, temperature, chlorophyll a, benthic and algal biomass, fine sediment, forest cover and shading in 14 headwater streams and four downstream sites. This study occurred as part of the pre-treatment research in the Trask River Watershed Study, which is a multi-disciplinary, multi-year research project designed to evaluate the impacts of current forest management practices on headwater and downstream aquatic ecosystems in NW Oregon. Over the four years, we consistently found the headwater and downstream reaches to be highly heterotrophic with P:R ratios less than 0.05. However nutrient concentrations were not good predictors of metabolism rates or the biomass and activity of primary producers. Even though all sites were within a 3000 ha catchment and had similar amounts of forest cover and riparian shading, we observed high spatial variability in concentrations of stream nutrients (C, N, P) and

  13. Riparian and in-stream controls on nutrient concentrations and fluxes in a headwater forested stream

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bernal, S.; Lupon, A.; Ribot, M.; Sabater, F.; Martí, E.

    2015-03-01

    Headwater streams are recipients of water sources draining through terrestrial ecosystems. At the same time, stream biota can transform and retain nutrients dissolved in stream water. Yet studies considering simultaneously these two sources of variation in stream nutrient chemistry are rare. To fill this gap of knowledge, we analyzed stream water and riparian groundwater concentrations and fluxes as well as in-stream net uptake rates for nitrate (NO3-), ammonium (NH4+), and soluble reactive phosphorus (SRP) along a 3.7 km reach on an annual basis. Chloride concentrations (used as conservative tracer) indicated a strong hydrological connection at the riparian-stream interface. However, stream and riparian groundwater nutrient concentrations showed a moderate to null correlation, suggesting high in-stream biogeochemical processing. In-stream net nutrient uptake (Fsw) was highly variable across contiguous segments and over time, but its temporal variation was not related to the vegetative period of the riparian forest. For NH4+, the occurrence of Fsw > 0 μg N m-1 s-1 (gross uptake > release) was high along the reach, while for NO3-, the occurrence of Fsw < 0 μg N m-1 s-1 (gross uptake < release) increased along the reach. Within segments and dates, Fsw, whether negative or positive, accounted for a median of 6, 18, and 20% of the inputs of NO3-, NH4+, and SRP, respectively. Whole-reach mass balance calculations indicated that in-stream net uptake reduced stream NH4+ flux up to 90%, while the stream acted mostly as a source of NO3- and SRP. During the dormant period, concentrations decreased along the reach for NO3-, but increased for NH4+ and SRP. During the vegetative period, NH4+ decreased, SRP increased, and NO3- showed a U-shaped pattern along the reach. These longitudinal trends resulted from the combination of hydrological mixing with terrestrial inputs and in-stream nutrient processing. Therefore, the assessment of these two sources of variation in stream

  14. Are bryophytes useful indicators of hydrologic permanence in forested headwater streams?

    EPA Science Inventory

    Court cases have recently questioned whether all headwater streams, particularly non-perennial streams, should be protected in the U.S. under the Clean Water Act. Rapid field-based indicators of hydrologic permanence are needed for jurisdictional determinations. The study objecti...

  15. Significance of headwater streams and perennial springs in ecological monitoring in Shenandoah National Park

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Snyder, Craig D.; Webb, James R.; Young, John A.; Johnson, Zane B.

    2013-01-01

    Shenandoah National Park has been monitoring water chemistry and benthic macroinvertebrates in stream ecosystems since 1979. These monitoring efforts were designed to assess the status and trends in stream condition associated with atmospheric deposition (acid rain) and changes in forest health due to gypsy moth infestations. The primary objective of the present research was to determine whether the current long-term macroinvertebrate and water-quality monitoring program in Shenandoah National Park was failing to capture important information on the status and trends in stream condition by not sufficiently representing smaller, headwater streams. The current benthic-macroinvertebrate and water-chemistry sampling designs do not include routine collection of data from streams with contributing watershed areas smaller than 100 hectares, even though these small streams represent the overwhelming proportion of total stream length in the park. In this study, we sampled headwater sites, including headwater stream reaches (contributing watershed area approximately 100 hectares (ha) and perennial springs, in the park for aquatic macroinvertebrates and water chemistry and compared the results with current and historical data collected at long-term ecological monitoring (LTEM) sites on larger streams routinely sampled as part of ongoing monitoring efforts. The larger purpose of the study was to inform ongoing efforts by park managers to evaluate the effectiveness and efficiency of the current aquatic monitoring program in light of other potential stressors (for example, climate change) and limited resources. Our results revealed several important findings that could influence management decisions regarding long-term monitoring of park streams. First, we found that biological indicators of stream condition at headwater sites and perennial springs generally were more indicative of lower habitat quality and were more spatially variable than those observed at sites on routinely

  16. Predicting fine-scale distributions of peripheral aquatic species in headwater streams

    SciTech Connect

    DeRolph, Christopher R.; Nelson, Stacy A. C.; Kwak, Thomas J.; Hain, Ernie F.

    2014-12-09

    Headwater species and peripheral populations that occupy habitat at the edge of a species range may hold an increased conservation value to managers due to their potential to maximize intraspecies diversity and species' adaptive capabilities in the context of rapid environmental change. The southern Appalachian Mountains are the southern extent of the geographic range of native Salvelinus fontinalis and naturalized Oncorhynchus mykiss and Salmo trutta in eastern North America. In this paper, we predicted distributions of these peripheral, headwater wild trout populations at a fine scale to serve as a planning and management tool for resource managers to maximize resistance and resilience of these populations in the face of anthropogenic stressors. We developed correlative logistic regression models to predict occurrence of brook trout, rainbow trout, and brown trout for every interconfluence stream reach in the study area. A stream network was generated to capture a more consistent representation of headwater streams. Each of the final models had four significant metrics in common: stream order, fragmentation, precipitation, and land cover. Strahler stream order was found to be the most influential variable in two of the three final models and the second most influential variable in the other model. Greater than 70% presence accuracy was achieved for all three models. The underrepresentation of headwater streams in commonly used hydrography datasets is an important consideration that warrants close examination when forecasting headwater species distributions and range estimates. Finally and additionally, it appears that a relative watershed position metric (e.g., stream order) is an important surrogate variable (even when elevation is included) for biotic interactions across the landscape in areas where headwater species distributions are influenced by topographical gradients.

  17. Predicting fine-scale distributions of peripheral aquatic species in headwater streams.

    PubMed

    DeRolph, Christopher R; Nelson, Stacy A C; Kwak, Thomas J; Hain, Ernie F

    2015-01-01

    Headwater species and peripheral populations that occupy habitat at the edge of a species range may hold an increased conservation value to managers due to their potential to maximize intraspecies diversity and species' adaptive capabilities in the context of rapid environmental change. The southern Appalachian Mountains are the southern extent of the geographic range of native Salvelinus fontinalis and naturalized Oncorhynchus mykiss and Salmo trutta in eastern North America. We predicted distributions of these peripheral, headwater wild trout populations at a fine scale to serve as a planning and management tool for resource managers to maximize resistance and resilience of these populations in the face of anthropogenic stressors. We developed correlative logistic regression models to predict occurrence of brook trout, rainbow trout, and brown trout for every interconfluence stream reach in the study area. A stream network was generated to capture a more consistent representation of headwater streams. Each of the final models had four significant metrics in common: stream order, fragmentation, precipitation, and land cover. Strahler stream order was found to be the most influential variable in two of the three final models and the second most influential variable in the other model. Greater than 70% presence accuracy was achieved for all three models. The underrepresentation of headwater streams in commonly used hydrography datasets is an important consideration that warrants close examination when forecasting headwater species distributions and range estimates. Additionally, it appears that a relative watershed position metric (e.g., stream order) is an important surrogate variable (even when elevation is included) for biotic interactions across the landscape in areas where headwater species distributions are influenced by topographical gradients. PMID:25628872

  18. Predicting fine-scale distributions of peripheral aquatic species in headwater streams

    PubMed Central

    DeRolph, Christopher R; Nelson, Stacy A C; Kwak, Thomas J; Hain, Ernie F

    2015-01-01

    Headwater species and peripheral populations that occupy habitat at the edge of a species range may hold an increased conservation value to managers due to their potential to maximize intraspecies diversity and species' adaptive capabilities in the context of rapid environmental change. The southern Appalachian Mountains are the southern extent of the geographic range of native Salvelinus fontinalis and naturalized Oncorhynchus mykiss and Salmo trutta in eastern North America. We predicted distributions of these peripheral, headwater wild trout populations at a fine scale to serve as a planning and management tool for resource managers to maximize resistance and resilience of these populations in the face of anthropogenic stressors. We developed correlative logistic regression models to predict occurrence of brook trout, rainbow trout, and brown trout for every interconfluence stream reach in the study area. A stream network was generated to capture a more consistent representation of headwater streams. Each of the final models had four significant metrics in common: stream order, fragmentation, precipitation, and land cover. Strahler stream order was found to be the most influential variable in two of the three final models and the second most influential variable in the other model. Greater than 70% presence accuracy was achieved for all three models. The underrepresentation of headwater streams in commonly used hydrography datasets is an important consideration that warrants close examination when forecasting headwater species distributions and range estimates. Additionally, it appears that a relative watershed position metric (e.g., stream order) is an important surrogate variable (even when elevation is included) for biotic interactions across the landscape in areas where headwater species distributions are influenced by topographical gradients. PMID:25628872

  19. Predicting fine-scale distributions of peripheral aquatic species in headwater streams

    DOE PAGES

    DeRolph, Christopher R.; Nelson, Stacy A. C.; Kwak, Thomas J.; Hain, Ernie F.

    2014-12-09

    Headwater species and peripheral populations that occupy habitat at the edge of a species range may hold an increased conservation value to managers due to their potential to maximize intraspecies diversity and species' adaptive capabilities in the context of rapid environmental change. The southern Appalachian Mountains are the southern extent of the geographic range of native Salvelinus fontinalis and naturalized Oncorhynchus mykiss and Salmo trutta in eastern North America. In this paper, we predicted distributions of these peripheral, headwater wild trout populations at a fine scale to serve as a planning and management tool for resource managers to maximize resistancemore » and resilience of these populations in the face of anthropogenic stressors. We developed correlative logistic regression models to predict occurrence of brook trout, rainbow trout, and brown trout for every interconfluence stream reach in the study area. A stream network was generated to capture a more consistent representation of headwater streams. Each of the final models had four significant metrics in common: stream order, fragmentation, precipitation, and land cover. Strahler stream order was found to be the most influential variable in two of the three final models and the second most influential variable in the other model. Greater than 70% presence accuracy was achieved for all three models. The underrepresentation of headwater streams in commonly used hydrography datasets is an important consideration that warrants close examination when forecasting headwater species distributions and range estimates. Finally and additionally, it appears that a relative watershed position metric (e.g., stream order) is an important surrogate variable (even when elevation is included) for biotic interactions across the landscape in areas where headwater species distributions are influenced by topographical gradients.« less

  20. Predicting fine-scale distributions of peripheral aquatic species in headwater streams

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    DeRolph, Christopher R.; Nelson, S.; Kwak, Thomas J.; Hain, Ernie F.

    2015-01-01

    Headwater species and peripheral populations that occupy habitat at the edge of a species range may hold an increased conservation value to managers due to their potential to maximize intraspecies diversity and species' adaptive capabilities in the context of rapid environmental change. The southern Appalachian Mountains are the southern extent of the geographic range of native Salvelinus fontinalis and naturalized Oncorhynchus mykiss and Salmo trutta in eastern North America. We predicted distributions of these peripheral, headwater wild trout populations at a fine scale to serve as a planning and management tool for resource managers to maximize resistance and resilience of these populations in the face of anthropogenic stressors. We developed correlative logistic regression models to predict occurrence of brook trout, rainbow trout, and brown trout for every interconfluence stream reach in the study area. A stream network was generated to capture a more consistent representation of headwater streams. Each of the final models had four significant metrics in common: stream order, fragmentation, precipitation, and land cover. Strahler stream order was found to be the most influential variable in two of the three final models and the second most influential variable in the other model. Greater than 70% presence accuracy was achieved for all three models. The underrepresentation of headwater streams in commonly used hydrography datasets is an important consideration that warrants close examination when forecasting headwater species distributions and range estimates. Additionally, it appears that a relative watershed position metric (e.g., stream order) is an important surrogate variable (even when elevation is included) for biotic interactions across the landscape in areas where headwater species distributions are influenced by topographical gradients.

  1. Estimating contributions of nitrate and herbicides from groundwater to headwater streams, northern Atlantic Coastal Plain, USA

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Ator, Scott; Denver, Judith M.

    2012-01-01

    Groundwater transport often complicates understanding of surface-water contamination. We estimated the regional flux of nitrate and selected herbicides from groundwater to nontidal headwater streams of the Atlantic Coastal Plain (New Jersey through North Carolina) based on late-winter or spring base-flow samples from 174 streams. Sampled streams were selected randomly, and flux estimates are based on resulting population estimates rather than on empirical models, which have been used previously for similar estimates. Base-flow flux in the estimated 8,834 headwater streams of the study area are an estimated 21,200 kg/day of nitrate (as N) and 5.83, 0.565, and 20.7 kg/day of alachlor, atrazine, and metolachlor (and selected degradates), respectively. Base-flow flux of alachlor and metolachlor is <3% of the total base-flow flux of those compounds plus degradates. Base-flow flux of nitrate and herbicides as a percentage of applications is typically highest in well-drained areas and lowest in areas with abundant poor drainage and anoxic conditions. In Coastal Plain watersheds of Albemarle and Pamlico Sounds, <2% of applied nitrogen reaches headwater streams as base flow. On the Delmarva Peninsula part of the Chesapeake Bay watershed, however, more than 10% of such applications are transported through groundwater to streams, and base-flow nitrate flux represents 70% of total nitrogen flux in headwater streams.

  2. Comparing the extent and permanence of headwater streams from two field surveys to values from hydrographic databases and maps

    EPA Science Inventory

    ABSTRACT: Recent US Supreme Court cases have questioned the jurisdictional scope of the Clean Water Act. Headwater streams are central to this issue because many headwater streams do not have year-round flow, and also because little is known about their contributions to navigable...

  3. The Estimated Likelihood of Nutrients and Pesticides in Nontidal Headwater Streams of the Maryland Coastal Plain During Base Flow

    EPA Science Inventory

    Water quality in nontidal headwater (first-order) streams of the Coastal Plain during base flow in the late winter and spring is related to land use, hydrogeology, and other natural or human influences in contributing watersheds. A random survey of 174 headwater streams of the Mi...

  4. Map-based prediction of organic carbon in headwater streams improved by downstream observations from the river outlet

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Temnerud, J.; von Brömssen, C.; Fölster, J.; Buffam, I.; Andersson, J.-O.; Nyberg, L.; Bishop, K.

    2016-01-01

    In spite of the great abundance and ecological importance of headwater streams, managers are usually limited by a lack of information about water chemistry in these headwaters. In this study we test whether river outlet chemistry can be used as an additional source of information to improve the prediction of the chemistry of upstream headwaters (size < 2 km2), relative to models based on map information alone. We use the concentration of total organic carbon (TOC), an important stream ecosystem parameter, as the target for our study. Between 2000 and 2008, we carried out 17 synoptic surveys in 9 mesoscale catchments (size 32-235 km2). Over 900 water samples were collected in total, primarily from headwater streams but also including each catchment's river outlet during every survey. First we used partial least square regression (PLS) to model the distribution (median, interquartile range (IQR)) of headwater stream TOC for a given catchment, based on a large number of candidate variables including sub-catchment characteristics from GIS, and measured river chemistry at the catchment outlet. The best candidate variables from the PLS models were then used in hierarchical linear mixed models (MM) to model TOC in individual headwater streams. Three predictor variables were consistently selected for the MM calibration sets: (1) proportion of forested wetlands in the sub-catchment (positively correlated with headwater stream TOC), (2) proportion of lake surface cover in the sub-catchment (negatively correlated with headwater stream TOC), and (3) river outlet TOC (positively correlated with headwater stream TOC). Including river outlet TOC improved predictions, with 5-15 % lower prediction errors than when using map information alone. Thus, data on water chemistry measured at river outlets offer information which can complement GIS-based modelling of headwater stream chemistry.

  5. Large carbon dioxide fluxes from headwater boreal and sub-boreal streams.

    PubMed

    Venkiteswaran, Jason J; Schiff, Sherry L; Wallin, Marcus B

    2014-01-01

    Half of the world's forest is in boreal and sub-boreal ecozones, containing large carbon stores and fluxes. Carbon lost from headwater streams in these forests is underestimated. We apply a simple stable carbon isotope idea for quantifying the CO2 loss from these small streams; it is based only on in-stream samples and integrates over a significant distance upstream. We demonstrate that conventional methods of determining CO2 loss from streams necessarily underestimate the CO2 loss with results from two catchments. Dissolved carbon export from headwater catchments is similar to CO2 loss from stream surfaces. Most of the CO2 originating in high CO2 groundwaters has been lost before typical in-stream sampling occurs. In the Harp Lake catchment in Canada, headwater streams account for 10% of catchment net CO2 uptake. In the Krycklan catchment in Sweden, this more than doubles the CO2 loss from the catchment. Thus, even when corrected for aquatic CO2 loss measured by conventional methods, boreal and sub-boreal forest carbon budgets currently overestimate carbon sequestration on the landscape.

  6. Large Carbon Dioxide Fluxes from Headwater Boreal and Sub-Boreal Streams

    PubMed Central

    Venkiteswaran, Jason J.; Schiff, Sherry L.; Wallin, Marcus B.

    2014-01-01

    Half of the world's forest is in boreal and sub-boreal ecozones, containing large carbon stores and fluxes. Carbon lost from headwater streams in these forests is underestimated. We apply a simple stable carbon isotope idea for quantifying the CO2 loss from these small streams; it is based only on in-stream samples and integrates over a significant distance upstream. We demonstrate that conventional methods of determining CO2 loss from streams necessarily underestimate the CO2 loss with results from two catchments. Dissolved carbon export from headwater catchments is similar to CO2 loss from stream surfaces. Most of the CO2 originating in high CO2 groundwaters has been lost before typical in-stream sampling occurs. In the Harp Lake catchment in Canada, headwater streams account for 10% of catchment net CO2 uptake. In the Krycklan catchment in Sweden, this more than doubles the CO2 loss from the catchment. Thus, even when corrected for aquatic CO2 loss measured by conventional methods, boreal and sub-boreal forest carbon budgets currently overestimate carbon sequestration on the landscape. PMID:25058488

  7. High frequency variability of environmental drivers determining benthic community dynamics in headwater streams.

    PubMed

    Snell, M A; Barker, P A; Surridge, B W J; Large, A R G; Jonczyk, J; Benskin, C McW H; Reaney, S; Perks, M T; Owen, G J; Cleasby, W; Deasy, C; Burke, S; Haygarth, P M

    2014-07-01

    Headwater streams are an important feature of the landscape, with their diversity in structure and associated ecological function providing a potential natural buffer against downstream nutrient export. Phytobenthic communities, dominated in many headwaters by diatoms, must respond to physical and chemical parameters that can vary in magnitude within hours, whereas the ecological regeneration times are much longer. How diatom communities develop in the fluctuating, dynamic environments characteristic of headwaters is poorly understood. Deployment of near-continuous monitoring technology in sub-catchments of the River Eden, NW England, provides the opportunity for measurement of temporal variability in stream discharge and nutrient resource supply to benthic communities, as represented by monthly diatom samples collected over two years. Our data suggest that the diatom communities and the derived Trophic Diatom Index, best reflect stream discharge conditions over the preceding 18-21 days and Total Phosphorus concentrations over a wider antecedent window of 7-21 days. This is one of the first quantitative assessments of long-term diatom community development in response to continuously-measured stream nutrient concentration and discharge fluctuations. The data reveal the sensitivity of these headwater communities to mean conditions prior to sampling, with flow as the dominant variable. With sufficient understanding of the role of antecedent conditions, these methods can be used to inform interpretation of monitoring data, including those collected under the European Water Framework Directive and related mitigation efforts.

  8. FIELD OPERATIONS MANUAL FOR ASSESSING THE HYDROLOGIC PERMANENCE AND ECOLOGICAL CONDITION OF HEADWATER STREAMS

    EPA Science Inventory

    The purpose of this manual is to document procedures that were developed and used by the Ecological Exposure Research Division, NERL, ORD, for the assessment of the physical and biological characteristics of headwater streams; and to provide a catalog of procedures to other group...

  9. Investigation of Biogeochemical Functional Proxies in Headwater Streams Across a Range of Channel and Catchment Alterations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Berkowitz, Jacob F.; Summers, Elizabeth A.; Noble, Chris V.; White, John R.; DeLaune, Ronald D.

    2014-03-01

    Historically, headwater streams received limited protection and were subjected to extensive alteration from logging, farming, mining, and development activities. Despite these alterations, headwater streams provide essential ecological functions. This study examines proxy measures of biogeochemical function across a range of catchment alterations by tracking nutrient cycling (i.e., inputs, processing, and stream loading) with leaf litter fall, leaf litter decomposition, and water quality parameters. Nutrient input and processing remained highest in second growth forests (the least altered areas within the region), while recently altered locations transported higher loads of nutrients, sediments, and conductivity. Biogeochemical functional proxies of C and N input and processing significantly, positively correlated with rapid assessment results (Pearson coefficient = 0.67-0.81; P = 0.002-0.016). Additionally, stream loading equations demonstrate that N and P transport, sediment, and specific conductivity negatively correlated with rapid assessment scores (Pearson coefficient = 0.56-0.81; P = 0.002-0.048). The observed increase in stream loading with lower rapid assessment scores indicates that catchment alterations impact stream chemistry and that rapid assessments provide useful proxy measures of function in headwater ecosystems. Significant differences in nutrient processing, stream loading, water quality, and rapid assessment results were also observed between recently altered (e.g., mined) headwater streams and older forested catchments (Mann-Whitney U = 24; P = 0.01-0.024). Findings demonstrate that biogeochemical function is reduced in altered catchments, and rapid assessment scores respond to a combination of alteration type and recovery time. An analysis examining time and economic requirements of proxy measurements highlights the benefits of rapid assessment methods in evaluating biogeochemical functions.

  10. Hydrogeomorphic connectivity on roads crossing in rural headwaters and its effect on stream dynamics.

    PubMed

    Thomaz, Edivaldo L; Peretto, Gustavo T

    2016-04-15

    Unpaved roads are ubiquitous features that have been transforming the landscape through human history. Unpaved roads affect the water and sediment pathways through a catchment and impacts the aquatic ecosystem. In this study, we describe the effect of unpaved road on the hydrogeomorphic connectivity at the rural headwater scale. Measurement was based on the stream crossing approach, i.e., road superimposing the drainage system. We installed a Parshall flume coupled with single-stage suspended sediment sampler at each stream crossing. In addition, we displayed our monitoring scheme with an upscaling perspective from second-order to third-order stream. We concluded that the road-stream coupling dramatically changed the stream dynamic. The increase of discharge caused by roads at the headwater was 50% larger compared to unaffected streams. Additionally, suspended sediment concentration enhancement at stream crossings ranged from to 413% at second-order streams to 145% at third-order streams. The landform characteristics associated with the road network produced an important hydrogeomorphic disruption in the landscape. As a result, the sediment filter function of the riparian zone was reduced dramatically. Therefore, we recommend that projects for aquatic system restoration or conservation in rural landscape consider the role of the road network on stream dynamics.

  11. Hydrogeomorphic connectivity on roads crossing in rural headwaters and its effect on stream dynamics.

    PubMed

    Thomaz, Edivaldo L; Peretto, Gustavo T

    2016-04-15

    Unpaved roads are ubiquitous features that have been transforming the landscape through human history. Unpaved roads affect the water and sediment pathways through a catchment and impacts the aquatic ecosystem. In this study, we describe the effect of unpaved road on the hydrogeomorphic connectivity at the rural headwater scale. Measurement was based on the stream crossing approach, i.e., road superimposing the drainage system. We installed a Parshall flume coupled with single-stage suspended sediment sampler at each stream crossing. In addition, we displayed our monitoring scheme with an upscaling perspective from second-order to third-order stream. We concluded that the road-stream coupling dramatically changed the stream dynamic. The increase of discharge caused by roads at the headwater was 50% larger compared to unaffected streams. Additionally, suspended sediment concentration enhancement at stream crossings ranged from to 413% at second-order streams to 145% at third-order streams. The landform characteristics associated with the road network produced an important hydrogeomorphic disruption in the landscape. As a result, the sediment filter function of the riparian zone was reduced dramatically. Therefore, we recommend that projects for aquatic system restoration or conservation in rural landscape consider the role of the road network on stream dynamics. PMID:26849320

  12. Headwater Stream Management Dichotomies: Local Amphibian Habitat vs. Downstream Fish Habitat

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jackson, C. R.

    2002-12-01

    Small headwater streams in mountainous areas of the Pacific Northwest often do not harbor fish populations because of low water depth and high gradients. Rather, these streams provide habitat for dense assemblages of stream-dwelling amphibians. A variety of management goals have been suggested for such streams such as encouraging large woody debris recruitment to assist in sediment trapping and valley floor formation, encouraging large woody debris recruitment to provide downstream wood when debris flows occur, providing continuous linear stream buffers within forest harvest areas to provide shade and bank stability, etc. A basic problem with analying the geomorphic or biotic benefits of any of these strategies is the lack of explicit management goals for such streams. Should managers strive to optimize downstream fish habitat, local amphibian habitat, or both? Through observational data and theoretical considerations, it will be shown that these biotic goals will lead to very different geomorphic management recommendations. For instance, woody debris greater than 60 cm diameter may assist in valley floor development, but it is likely to create subsurface channel flow of unknown value to amphibians. Trapping and retention of fine sediments within headwater streams may improve downstream spawning gravels, but degrades stream-dwelling amphibian habitat. In response to the need for descriptive information on habitat and channel morphology specific to small, non-fish-bearing streams in the Pacific Northwest, morphologies and wood frequencies in forty-two first- and second-order forested streams less than four meters wide were surveyed. Frequencies and size distributions of woody debris were compared between small streams and larger fish-bearing streams as well as between second-growth and virgin timber streams. Statistical models were developed to explore dominant factors affecting channel morphology and habitat. Findings suggest geomorphological relationships

  13. Allochthonous Matter Input in Five Headwater Streams in Southwestern Colombia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chara, J.; Baird, D.; Telfer, T.

    2005-05-01

    In order to determine the interactions between riparian vegetation and the stream environment in relation to the provision and seasonality of allochthonous energy, a study was done measuring the amount of litter inputs in five streams at mid altitude in southwestern Colombia during one year. Direct and lateral litter traps were placed in a 100m reach of each stream. Total amount of litter fall ranged from 1406 to 2812 g-m-2 year-1. Leaves were the most important component of the litter representing between 56 to 72% of direct and between 68 to 81% of lateral inputs. Seasonality of litter fall was minimal and only in one stream direct input was negatively correlated with rainfall (r=-0.62; p=0.033). According to these results, low-order streams in middle altitude in Colombia receive one of the highest amounts of litter fall reported so far. This supply is constant throughout the year providing a continuous source of food and substrate for the stream environment. As in temperate streams litterfall in the Andean zone is an important link between streams and the riparian environment. The higher amount recorded and the constant supply demonstrate that deforestation of riparian forests may be more negative for the streams in tropical areas.

  14. Map-based prediction of organic carbon in headwaters streams improved by downstream observations from the river outlet

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Temnerud, J.; von Brömssen, C.; Fölster, J.; Buffam, I.; Andersson, J.-O.; Nyberg, L.; Bishop, K.

    2015-06-01

    In spite of the great abundance and ecological importance of headwater streams, managers are usually limited by a lack of information about water chemistry in these headwaters. In this study we test whether river outlet chemistry can be used as an additional source of information to improve the prediction of the chemistry of upstream headwaters (size < 2 km2), relative to models based on map information alone. Between 2000 and 2008, we conducted 17 synoptic surveys of streams within 9 mesoscale catchments (size 32-235 km2). Over 900 water samples were collected from catchments ranging in size from 0.03 to 235 km2. First we used partial least square regression (PLS) to model headwater stream total organic carbon (TOC) median and interquartile values for a given catchment, based on a large number of candidate variables including catchment characteristics from GIS, and measured chemistry at the catchment outlet. The best candidate variables from the PLS models were then used in hierarchical linear mixed models (MM) to model TOC in individual headwater streams. Three predictor variables were consistently selected for the MM calibration sets: (1) proportion of forested wetlands in the sub-catchment (positively correlated with headwater stream TOC), (2) proportion of lake surface cover in the sub-catchment (negatively correlated with headwater stream TOC), and (3) whole-catchment river outlet TOC (positively correlated with headwater stream TOC). Including river outlet TOC as a predictor in the models gave 5-15% lower prediction errors than using map information alone. Thus, data on water chemistry measured at river outlets offers information which can complement GIS-based modelling of headwater stream chemistry.

  15. Headwater streams and forest management: does ecoregional context influence logging effects on benthic communities?

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Medhurst, R. Bruce; Wipfli, Mark S.; Binckley, Chris; Polivka, Karl; Hessburg, Paul F.; Salter, R. Brion

    2010-01-01

    Effects of forest management on stream communities have been widely documented, but the role that climate plays in the disturbance outcomes is not understood. In order to determine whether the effect of disturbance from forest management on headwater stream communities varies by climate, we evaluated benthic macroinvertebrate communities in 24 headwater streams that differed in forest management (logged-roaded vs. unlogged-unroaded, hereafter logged and unlogged) within two ecological sub-regions (wet versus dry) within the eastern Cascade Range, Washington, USA. In both ecoregions, total macroinvertebrate density was highest at logged sites (P = 0.001) with gathering-collectors and shredders dominating. Total taxonomic richness and diversity did not differ between ecoregions or forest management types. Shredder densities were positively correlated with total deciduous and Sitka alder (Alnus sinuata) riparian cover. Further, differences in shredder density between logged and unlogged sites were greater in the wet ecoregion (logging × ecoregion interaction; P = 0.006) suggesting that differences in post-logging forest succession between ecoregions were responsible for differences in shredder abundance. Headwater stream benthic community structure was influenced by logging and regional differences in climate. Future development of ecoregional classification models at the subbasin scale, and use of functional metrics in addition to structural metrics, may allow for more accurate assessments of anthropogenic disturbances in mountainous regions where mosaics of localized differences in climate are common.

  16. Seasonal variability of microbial use of dissolved organic matter in Coastal Plain headwater streams

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hosen, J. D.; Febria, C. M.; Palmer, M.

    2013-12-01

    At the interface between land and water, headwater streams are conduits for a globally relevant amount of dissolved organic matter (DOM). Headwater systems act as more than pipes, but rather as sites where substantial DOM processing by heterotrophic microbial communities are known to occur. The amount of DOM processed by microorganisms has been shown to be related to the composition of the organic matter source. Other factors are also important to varying degrees, including the availability of inorganic nutrients such as nitrogen and phosphorus, and the activity and composition of the microbial community itself. Despite a widespread appreciation of microbial DOM cycling in headwaters, empirical studies that address the interaction of these factors at the watershed scale are needed to help fully understand and predict DOM processing across large environmental gradients, especially in the face of climate change. To address this need, we studied several properties of DOM and microbial communities in Coastal Plain headwater streams of Maryland, USA. Baseflow stream water samples were collected from 8 sites on a quarterly basis from November 2011 through Feburary 2013. Streamwater was filtered to 0.2 μm and a downstream common inoculum was added to each replicate. DOM bioavailability was determined by measuring non-purgeable organic carbon concentration before and after a 28 day incubation at 20 degrees Celsius. Other measurements collected on unamended stream water included DOM fluorescence spectroscopy, nitrogen species, ortho-phosphate, and extracellular enzyme activity (EEA). The most important factors related to DOM bioavailability changed across seasons. DOM bioavailability was positively related to fluorescence index values, indicating greater bioavailability of autochthonous material. Bioavailability also increased with increasing nitrogen concentrations, indicating that nitrogen was a limiting resource for heterotrophic microbes in the streams studied. DOM

  17. Space-time Variability of Baseflow in Headwater Streams of the Southern Appalachians

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Singh, N.; Emanuel, R. E.; McGlynn, B. L.

    2014-12-01

    How hillslope shape and structure affect the spatial and temporal variability of streamflow is a key question in catchment hydrology. In particular, the role of hillslope structure and arrangement in mediating the longitudinal variability of streamflow in first-order headwater catchments remains poorly understood. Here we assess the spatio-temporal variability of streamflow under baseflow conditions in forested headwater catchments characterized by different topography and vegetation. We studied the relationship between hillslope structure and baseflow along a series of first-order streams using a combination of in-stream water isotope sampling, stream gauging, and geospatial analysis. We studied two pairs of small (< 15 ha) forested catchments at the Coweeta Hydrologic Laboratory (CHL), a long-term ecological research (LTER) site in the southern Appalachian Mountains. The catchments comprise different combinations of aspect (north and south) and vegetation type (deciduous and evergreen), and they contain hillslopes covering a range of sizes. We sampled water along first-order streams, from shallow hillslope wells, and from rainfall collectors distributed across CHL. These monthly samples, collected from June 2011 through June 2013, were analyzed for stable isotopes of water (18O and 2H) using laser spectrometry. During the same period, we quantified longitudinal changes in stream discharge at different baseflow states for each catchment and developed discharge versus contributing area relationships along streams within each continuously gauged catchment. We found relationships between stream water isotopic composition, landscape variables, and hillslope discharge, which was estimated as the difference in streamflow between consecutive measurement locations. Results showed that landscape heterogeneity exerts a strong control over longitudinal variability of baseflow by modulating the timing and volume of lateral flow along the stream gradient. However, the strength

  18. BIODIVERSITY MANAGEMENT APPROACHES FOR STREAM-RIPARIAN AREAS: PERSPECTIVES FOR PACIFIC NORTHWEST HEADWATER FORESTS, MICROCLIMATES, AND AMPHIBIANS

    EPA Science Inventory

    Stream-riparian areas represent a nexus of biodiversity, with disproportionate numbers of species tied to and interacting within this key habitat. New research in Pacific Northwest headwater forests, especially the characterization of microclimates and amphibian distributions, is...

  19. Reach-scale geomorphic differences between headwater streams draining mountaintop mined and unmined catchments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jaeger, Kristin L.

    2015-05-01

    Mountaintop surface mining (MTM) is a controversial coal extraction method commonly practiced in the central and southern Appalachian Mountains, USA, that drastically reengineers previously steep, forested landscapes and alters sediment and water delivery processes to and along headwater channels draining mined areas. Although sediment delivery and hydrologic response from MTM operations remain highly variable and poorly resolved, the inherent close coupling between hillslopes and headwater channels is expected to result in geomorphic differences in stream channels draining MTM landscapes relative to unmined landscapes. Dedicated geomorphic studies are severely lacking in comparison to extensive research on water quality impacts of MTM. This study reports moderate geomorphic differences between headwater (catchment area <~ 6 km2) stream channels draining MTM and unmined catchments in tributaries of the Mud River in southern West Virginia. Univariate and multivariate analyses indicate that MTM streams are characterized by deeper maximum channel depths, smaller width-to-depth ratios, increased bedrock exposure along the streambed, and increased frequency of very fine silt and sand deposition relative to channels draining unmined catchments. Geomorphic differences are most pronounced for streams draining the smallest catchment areas (< 3.5 km2). Collectively, geomorphic differences provide evidence for relatively rapid channel adjustment of accelerated bedrock incision attributed to potential increased hydraulic driving forces and altered sediment regimes in MTM channels, notably sustained delivery of very fine sediment and potentially reduced coarse sediment delivery. More rapid delivery and transfer of water in addition to excess delivery of very fine sediments to and through headwater channels will have consequences to flooding and water quality in the short term and landscape evolution processes over longer time scales. Given the extent of MTM operations in this

  20. Effect of riparian vegetation on diatom assemblages in headwater streams under different land uses.

    PubMed

    Hlúbiková, Daša; Novais, Maria Helena; Dohet, Alain; Hoffmann, Lucien; Ector, Luc

    2014-03-15

    Differences in the structure of diatom assemblages in headwaters with contrasting shading conditions and different land use in the buffer zone and upper catchment were studied in order to evaluate the influence of the lack of riparian vegetation on the biofilm. The objective was to ascertain whether a riparian buffer can mitigate the negative influence of human induced disturbance and pollution on diatom assemblages in headwaters. Four streams were selected in order to maximize the differences in the land cover and minimize other environmental gradients. Multivariate statistics, different comparative and permutation tests and correlations were applied to compare the diatom assemblages, the Specific Polluosensitivity Index (IPS) and the diatom ecological guilds (low profile, high profile and motile) among the sites studied and to evaluate their responses to disturbances. The analysis showed that low profile diatoms typically dominated in forested headwaters with limited resources, whilst assemblages at impacted sites showed a wider range of growth forms. In unimpacted streams, the diatom assemblages were influenced by temperature, pH, conductivity and calcium, as usually reported for oligotrophic streams with high natural disturbance due to fast current and shading. In both shaded and unshaded impacted streams, the importance of nutrients and land use disturbance, especially urbanization, prevailed. This trend was also reflected by the IPS index that showed consistently lower values at impacted sites, correlating most significantly with nutrients. The diatom species composition as well as diatom guilds at impacted sites were similar, regardless of the presence or absence of riparian vegetation, and were significantly influenced by seasonal changes. Our results indicate that diatoms react sensitively to alterations of the water environment in headwaters, induced by anthropogenic activities, and these impacts are not buffered by an intact riparian zone. Diatoms

  1. A hydrologic connectivity index for jurisdictional analysis of headwater streams in a montane watershed.

    PubMed

    Caruso, Brian S

    2015-10-01

    A hydrologic connectivity index (HCI) was developed to aid the US Clean Water Act Section 404 jurisdictional evaluation of headwater streams in montane watersheds, using the Cement Creek Watershed in the San Juan Mountains, Colorado as a case study. Jurisdictional determinations are required for many intermittent and ephemeral streams, where significant nexus with downstream traditional navigable waters (TNWs) must be evaluated. Three biophysical metrics (a streamflow metric, distance from the stream to the TNW, and slope between the stream and the TNW) for 239 streams in the watershed were used to develop three indices. These were then combined to develop the HCI, which is a compound, additive index. There was a large range of HCI values for ephemeral streams, which all require a significant nexus evaluation to determine jurisdiction. Statistical analysis of HCI values across stream duration and order classes showed that mean values differed significantly among classes. The flow index component constituted the greatest proportion of the HCI for perennial streams, was sensitive to the flow metrics used, and was greatest for high flows. Although ephemeral streams are only connected to the TNW less than 3 months of the year, the cumulative average annual flow contribution of ephemeral first-order streams can be 5% of the total to the TNW, and their flow contribution is larger during high flows. Some ephemeral streams with high HCI values are farthest from the TNW but contribute the greatest flow out of all ephemeral reaches, and may have significant nexus with the river. The study shows that the HCI can be useful for initial evaluation of connectivity, significant nexus, and jurisdiction of headwaters at the watershed scale. PMID:26391489

  2. A hydrologic connectivity index for jurisdictional analysis of headwater streams in a montane watershed.

    PubMed

    Caruso, Brian S

    2015-10-01

    A hydrologic connectivity index (HCI) was developed to aid the US Clean Water Act Section 404 jurisdictional evaluation of headwater streams in montane watersheds, using the Cement Creek Watershed in the San Juan Mountains, Colorado as a case study. Jurisdictional determinations are required for many intermittent and ephemeral streams, where significant nexus with downstream traditional navigable waters (TNWs) must be evaluated. Three biophysical metrics (a streamflow metric, distance from the stream to the TNW, and slope between the stream and the TNW) for 239 streams in the watershed were used to develop three indices. These were then combined to develop the HCI, which is a compound, additive index. There was a large range of HCI values for ephemeral streams, which all require a significant nexus evaluation to determine jurisdiction. Statistical analysis of HCI values across stream duration and order classes showed that mean values differed significantly among classes. The flow index component constituted the greatest proportion of the HCI for perennial streams, was sensitive to the flow metrics used, and was greatest for high flows. Although ephemeral streams are only connected to the TNW less than 3 months of the year, the cumulative average annual flow contribution of ephemeral first-order streams can be 5% of the total to the TNW, and their flow contribution is larger during high flows. Some ephemeral streams with high HCI values are farthest from the TNW but contribute the greatest flow out of all ephemeral reaches, and may have significant nexus with the river. The study shows that the HCI can be useful for initial evaluation of connectivity, significant nexus, and jurisdiction of headwaters at the watershed scale.

  3. Nitrate sinks and sources as controls of spatio-temporal water quality dynamics in an agricultural headwater catchment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schuetz, Tobias; Gascuel-Odoux, Chantal; Durand, Patrick; Weiler, Markus

    2016-02-01

    Several controls are known to affect water quality of stream networks during flow recession periods, such as solute leaching processes, surface water-groundwater interactions as well as biogeochemical in-stream turnover processes. Throughout the stream network, combinations of specific water and solute export rates and local in-stream conditions overlay the biogeochemical signals from upstream sections. Therefore, upstream sections can be considered functional units which could be distinguished and ordered regarding their relative contribution to nutrient dynamics at the catchment outlet. Based on snapshot sampling of flow and nitrate concentrations along the stream in an agricultural headwater during the summer flow recession period, we determined spatial and temporal patterns of water quality for the whole stream. A data-driven, in-stream-mixing-and-removal model was developed and applied for analysing the spatio-temporal in-stream retention processes and their effect on the spatio-temporal fluxes of nitrate from subcatchments. Thereby, we have been able to distinguish quantitatively between nitrate sinks, sources per stream reaches, and subcatchments, and thus we could disentangle the overlay of nitrate sink and source signals. For nitrate sources, we determined their permanent and temporal impact on stream water quality and for nitrate sinks, we found increasing nitrate removal efficiencies from upstream to downstream. Our results highlight the importance of distinct nitrate source locations within the watershed for in-stream concentrations and in-stream removal processes, respectively. Thus, our findings contribute to the development of a more dynamic perception of water quality in streams and rivers concerning ecological and sustainable water resource management.

  4. Do the coarsest bed fractions and stream power record contemporary trends in steep headwater channels?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Galia, Tomáš; Škarpich, Václav

    2016-11-01

    Three stream channels that were devoid of evidence of past debris flows and one headwater channel that contained debris flow deposits in the flysch western Carpathians, Czech Republic were selected to test relationships between in-channel processes, bed sediments, and unit stream power calculated for bankfull and Q20 flows. Contemporary depositional or erosional trends in the examined headwaters were linked with bed sediments that were represented by the coarsest cobble and boulder fraction with a mean calculated from the five largest particles. The downstream trends of the unit stream power were derived for a bankfull discharge and a well-documented 20-year flood event. In addition, the flow competences during the discharges were calculated using indirect bedload transport measurements. Downstream fining of the cobble and boulder fraction was observed in all of the studied headwaters, and unique downstream variations of the unit stream power were calculated for the longitudinal profiles. The single-thread streams that were devoid of evidence of debris flow events exhibited direct relations between the coarsest sediment size and the unit stream power, especially as calculated for the 20-year flood event and for erosional/depositional trends of the channel. The downstream coarsening of the bed material that was accompanied by an increase in the unit stream power was usually observed in the case of deeply incised (> 0.5 m above the assumed bankfull depth) channel reaches. The calculated competence of the 20-year flow was up to twofold higher than that required to entrain the largest bed particle diameters in those channel reaches, and even the bankfull flow was potentially capable of transporting the coarsest bed particles in certain of the reaches. On the other hand, some depositional channel reaches evidently led to the disconnectivity of transport of the coarsest bed material even in the case of the 20-year flood event. The longitudinal profile of the channel that

  5. An evaluation of the effects of acid rain on low conductivity headwater streams in Pennsylvania

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Ritter, John R.; Brown, Ann E.

    1981-01-01

    Analyses of water collected at 32 sites on headwater streams in Pennsylvania during low-flow conditions in 1970-80 were compared to pre-1971 data to evaluate whether acid rain had changed the chemistry of the streams in the previous decade. Most pH, alkalinity, and sulfate values of the samples collected in 1970-80 fell within the ranges of values for samples collected before 1971. The limited data indicate, however, that pH may have increased and alkalinity and sulfate may have decreased with time.

  6. Evaluation of the effects of acid rain on low conductivity headwater streams in Pennsylvania

    SciTech Connect

    Ritter, J.R.; Brown, A.E.

    1981-09-01

    Analyses of water collected at 32 sites on headwater streams in Pennsylvania during low-flow conditions in 1979-1980 were compared to pre-1971 data to evaluate whether acid rain had changed the chemistry of the streams in the previous decade. Most pH alkalinity, and sulfate values of the samples collected in 1979-1980 fell within the ranges of values for samples collected before 1971. The limited data indicate, however, that pH may have increased and alkalinity and sulfate may have decreased with time. 7 references, 10 figures, 5 tables.

  7. Groundtruthing and potential for predicting acid deposition impacts in headwater streams using bedrock geology, GIS, angling, and stream chemistry.

    PubMed

    Kirby, C S; McInerney, B; Turner, M D

    2008-04-15

    Atmospheric acid deposition is of environmental concern worldwide, and the determination of impacts in remote areas can be problematic. Rainwater in central Pennsylvania, USA, has a mean pH of approximately 4.4. Bedrock varies dramatically in its ability to neutralize acidity. A GIS database simplified reconnaissance of non-carbonate bedrock streams in the Valley and Ridge Province and identified potentially chronically impacted headwater streams, which were sampled for chemistry and brook trout. Stream sites (n=26) that originate in and flow through the Tuscarora had a median pH of 5.0 that was significantly different from other formations. Shawangunk streams (n=6) and non-Tuscarora streams (n=20) had a median pH of 6.0 and 6.3, respectively. Mean alkalinity for non-Tuscarora streams (2.6 mg/L CaCO(3)) was higher than the mean for Tuscarora streams (0.5 mg/L). Lower pH and alkalinity suggest that the buffering capability of the Tuscarora is inferior to that of adjacent sandstones. Dissolved aluminum concentrations were much higher for Tuscarora streams (0.2 mg/L; approximately the lethal limit for brook trout) than for non-Tuscarora streams (0.03 mg/L) or Shawangunk streams (0.02 mg/L). Hook-and-line methods determined the presence/absence of brook trout in 47 stream reaches with suitable habitat. Brook trout were observed in 21 of 22 non-Tuscarora streams, all 6 Shawangunk streams, and only 9 of 28 Tuscarora stream sites. Carefully-designed hook-and-line sampling can determine the presence or absence of brook trout and help confirm biological impacts of acid deposition. 15% of 334 km of Tuscarora stream lengths are listed as "impaired" due to atmospheric deposition by the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection. 65% of the 101 km of Tuscarora stream lengths examined in this study were impaired.

  8. Dissolved Organic Matter in Headwater Streams: Compositional Variability across Climatic Regions of North America

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jaffé, R.; Yamashita, Y.; Maie, N.; Cooper, W. T.; Dittmar, T.; Dodds, W. K.; Jones, J. B.; Myoshi, T.; Ortiz-Zayas, J. R.; Podgorski, D. C.; Watanabe, A.

    2012-10-01

    Dissolved organic matter (DOM) represents the largest organic matter pool in freshwater systems, but much of it remains molecularly uncharacterized. Although freshwater systems cover only a small area of the earth's surface, inland waters are an important component of the global carbon cycle. The traditional idea that rivers are simply conduits for refractory carbon delivery to coastal areas is inconsistent with carbon flux estimates, and streams have been shown to serve as reactors for DOM cycling. The overall quality of DOM, and its associated reactivity, can be related to its chemical composition and molecular structure. However, the variability of DOM composition in freshwater ecosystems, particularly in headwater streams, is poorly characterized. Detailed molecular studies of DOM from small streams across climatic regions, which could provide critical information regarding carbon dynamics on a more global scale, have not been performed. To address these issues, this study applies a multi-method analytical approach in an attempt to assess molecular characteristics of DOM and ultrafiltered DOM (UDOM) in headwater streams from different climatic regions in North America. In general terms the chemical and molecular characteristics of UDOM from six different biomes were determined in unsurpassed detail to feature some clear general similarities but also specific differences. While the degree of similarity is remarkable, and suggests similar source strengths, such as soil-derived organic matter and/or similar diagenetic degradation processes for DOM from vastly different environments, each sample was clearly unique in its overall composition, featuring some distinct molecular patterns for at least one or more of the analytical determinations. Molecular and compositional differences of DOM from headwater streams should result from variations in DOM sources and localized environmental conditions, and consequently feature different photo- and bio-reactivity and

  9. Real exposure: field measurement of chemical plumes in headwater streams.

    PubMed

    Edwards, David D; Moore, Paul A

    2014-10-01

    In fluvial systems, organismic exposure to nonpoint source pollutants will fluctuate in frequency (exposure events), intensity (concentration), and duration. The reliance on lethal concentrations and static exposure in many laboratory studies does not adequately represent nor address exposure to in situ chemical plumes of fluvial habitats. To adequately address field exposure in a laboratory setting, one needs an understanding of the physics of chemical transmission within moving fluids. Because of the chaotic nature of turbulence, chemical plumes introduced to fluvial systems have a spatial and temporal microstructure with fluxes in chemical concentration. Consequently, time-averaged static exposure models are not ecologically relevant for the major reason of in situ distribution. The purpose of this study was to quantify in situ chemical distribution and dispersion within two physically different streams. Dopamine was introduced as a chemical tracer mimicking groundwater runoff. Chemical fluxes and stream hydrodynamics were simultaneously measured using a microelectrode and an acoustic Doppler velocimeter, respectively, at three heights of three downstream locations at each research site. Fine-scale measurements of the dopamine plume microstructure showed that organisms could be exposed to chemical fluctuations where concentrations are significantly greater than the overall time-averaged concentration. These measurements demonstrate that rather than relying on static exposure, standards for pollution must consider the concept of exposure being interdependently linked to flow of the fluid medium. The relationship between fluid dynamics, pollution exposure, and organism physiology are complex and must be evaluated in ways to mimic natural systems.

  10. Interaction of esker groundwater with headwater lakes and streams

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ala-aho, Pertti; Rossi, Pekka M.; Kløve, Bjørn

    2013-09-01

    Groundwater-surface water interactions were studied in a Finnish esker aquifer system where some lakes suffer from periodic water level decline and others from eutrophication. Natural tracers (Ca2+, SiO2 and PO43-) were used on the aquifer scale and seepage meter measurements and water level recordings on the single lake scale to better understand the complex interactions between groundwater, lakes and streams in the area. The natural tracers showed that lakes located in lower landscape positions and connected with streams were richer in tracer concentrations and that their water chemistry resembled that of the groundwater. On the other hand, closed basin lakes located at higher altitudes were nutrient-poor seepage lakes with some groundwater through flow. The data suggests that the subsurface acts as a phosphate source for the surface water bodies and the nutrient rich groundwater inseepage dictates the trophic status of the lakes in the area. The seepage meter measurements verified a strong interaction between groundwater and surface water and revealed spatial distribution of lake seepage and a temporal co-variation in lake seepage rates. A statistical analysis of seepage meter and water level observation time series were useful to show groundwater flow regimes controlling lake seepage. Using the natural tracer analysis and seepage meter measurements, we developed a novel conceptual model for the study site where the differences in lake trophic state and water table behavior were explained by assigning lakes to local and regional groundwater flow regimes. The obtained results provide new knowledge on using natural tracers in complex glacial aquifer systems and can be used in integrated groundwater-surface water management.

  11. Long-Term Trends in DOC Concentrations and Fluxes in a Southern Appalachian Headwater Stream

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Singh, N.; Bernhardt, E. S.; Reyes, W. M.; Bhattacharya, R.; Meyer, J. L.; Knoepp, J. D.; Emanuel, R. E.

    2014-12-01

    Dramatic increases in dissolved organic carbon (DOC) of stream water have been reported for aquatic ecosystems of the Northern Hemisphere and have been attributed variously to global warming, recovery from acid rain, or to altered hydrologic connections between watersheds and receiving streams. Here, we analyzed one of the longest continuous records of stream water DOC available in the Southeastern US. The record comes from a forested headwater stream at Coweeta Hydrologic Laboratory in the Southern Appalachians (NC, USA). In contrast to the increasing DOC trends reported for northern temperate watersheds, we observed steep declines in both the volume-weighted concentrations of stream DOC (43% decline) and DOC fluxes (55% decline) between 1988 and 2005. Annual mean runoff declined by 38%, which we attributed mainly to a 47% decline in baseflow during the study period. Increased soil [SO42-] and ionic strength of soil water indicate that soils within the watershed are becoming more acidic through time. Together, these results suggest that the dramatic decline in DOC concentrations can be attributed to: 1) a decline in runoff, which affected the mobilization of DOC from uplands to the stream, and 2) gradual soil acidification, which probably restricted the formation of DOC within the watershed. Declining DOC in headwater streams has implications not only for carbon and other nutrient cycles but also for the health of aquatic habitats throughout this region. More broadly, these results emphasize that long-term trends in DOC may differ for streams across the Northern Hemisphere. Long-term datasets have the potential to reveal the range of these trends and the underlying processes that drive them.

  12. Spatial and temporal patterns of stream burial and its effect on habitat connectivity across headwater stream communities of the Potomac River Basin, USA

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Weitzell, R.; Guinn, S. M.; Elmore, A. J.

    2012-12-01

    The process of directing streams into culverts, pipes, or concrete-lined ditches during urbanization, known as stream burial, alters the primary physical, chemical, and biological processes of streams. Knowledge of the cumulative impacts of reduced structure and ecological function within buried stream networks is crucial for informing management of stream ecosystems, in light of continued growth in urban areas, and the uncertain response of freshwater ecosystems to the stresses of global climate change. To address this need, we utilized recently improved stream maps for the Potomac River Basin (PRB) to describe the extent and severity of stream burial across the basin. Observations of stream burial made from high resolution aerial photographs (>1% of total basin area) and a decision tree using spatial statistics from impervious cover data were used to predict stream burial at 4 time-steps (1975, 1990, 2001, 2006). Of the roughly 95,500 kilometers (km) of stream in the PRB, approximately 4551 km (4.76%) were buried by urban development as of 2001. Analysis of county-level burial trends shows differential patterns in the timing and rates of headwater stream burial, which may be due to local development policies, topographical constraints, and/or time since development. Consistently higher rates of stream burial were observed for small streams, decreasing with stream order. Headwater streams (1st-2nd order) are disproportionately affected, with burial rates continuing to increase over time in relation to larger stream orders. Beyond simple habitat loss, headwater burial decreases connectivity among headwater populations and habitats, with potential to affect a wide range of important ecological processes. To quantify changes to regional headwater connectivity we applied a connectivity model based on electrical circuit theory. Circuit-theoretical models function by treating the landscape as a resistance surface, representing hypothesized relationships between

  13. Instream wood recruitment, channel complexity, and their relationship to stream ecology in forested headwater streams under alternative stable states

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Livers, B.; Wohl, E.

    2015-12-01

    Human alteration to forests has had lasting effects on stream channels worldwide. Such land use changes affect how wood enters and is stored in streams as individual pieces and as logjams. Changes in wood recruitment affect the complexity and benefits wood can provide to the stream environment, such as zones of flow separation that store fine sediment and organic matter, increased nutrient processing, and greater habitat potential, which can enhance biota and cascade through stream-riparian ecosystems. Previous research in our study area shows that modern headwater streams flowing through old-growth, unmanaged forests have more wood than streams in young, managed forests, but does not explicitly evaluate how wood affects channel complexity or local ecology. 'Managed' refers to forests previously or currently exposed to human alteration. Alteration has long since ceased in some areas, but reduced wood loads in managed streams persist. Our primary objective was to quantify stream complexity metrics, with instream wood as a mediator, on streams across a gradient of management and disturbance histories in order to examine legacy effects of human alteration to forests. Data collected in the Southern Rocky Mountains include 24 2nd to 3rd order subalpine streams categorized into: old-growth unmanaged; younger, naturally disturbed unmanaged; and younger managed. We assessed instream wood loads and logjams and evaluated how they relate to channel complexity using a number of metrics, such as standard deviation of bed and banks, volume of pools, ratios of stream to valley lengths and stream to valley area, and diversity of substrate, gradient, and morphology. Preliminary results show that channel complexity is directly related to instream wood loads and is greatest in streams in old-growth. Related research in the field area indicates that streams with greater wood loads also have increased nutrient processing and greater abundance and diversity of aquatic insect predators.

  14. Influence of eastern hemlock (Tsuga canadensis) forests on aquatic invertebrate assemblages in headwater streams

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Snyder, C.D.; Young, J.A.; Lemarie, D.P.; Smith, D.R.

    2002-01-01

    We conducted a comparative study in the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area to determine the potential long-term impacts of hemlock forest decline on stream benthic macroinvertebrate assemblages. Hemlock forests throughout eastern North America have been declining because of the hemlock woolly adelgid, an exotic insect pest. We found aquatic invertebrate community structure to be strongly correlated with forest composition. Streams draining hemlock forests supported significantly more total taxa than streams draining mixed hardwood forests, and over 8% of the taxa were strongly associated with hemlock. In addition, invertebrate taxa were more evenly distributed (i.e., higher Simpson's evenness values) in hemlock-drained streams. In contrast, the number of rare species and total densities were significantly lower in streams draining hemlock, suggesting that diversity differences observed between forest types were not related to stochastic factors associated with sampling and that streams draining mixed hardwood forests may be more productive. Analysis of stream habitat data indicated that streams draining hemlock forests had more stable thermal and hydrologic regimes. Our findings suggest that hemlock decline may result in long-term changes in headwater ecosystems leading to reductions in both within-stream (i.e., alpha) and park-wide (i.e., gamma) benthic community diversity.

  15. The role of red alder in riparian forest structure along headwater streams in southeastern Alaska

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Orlikowska, E.H.; Deal, R.L.; Hennon, P.E.; Wipfli, M.S.

    2004-01-01

    We assessed the influence of red alder on tree species composition, stand density, tree size distribution, tree mortality, and potential for producing large conifers, in 38-42 yr old riparian forests along 13 headwater streams in the Maybeso and Harris watersheds on Prince of Wales Island, Alaska. Red alder ranged from 0 to 53% of the total live basal area of the stands. Tree density, basal area of live and dead trees, and mean diameter of live conifers were not significantly related to the percent of alder as a proportion of total stand live basal area within these riparian forests. The mean diameter of the 100 largest conifers per hectare (the largest trees) was similar among different sites and appeared unrelated to the amount of alder in the stands. The mean diameter of dead conifers increased slightly with increasing proportion of red alder. Most dead trees were small and died standing. Red alder was much more concentrated immediately along stream margins (within 0-1 m distance from the stream bank vs. > 1 m). The presence of red alder did not inhibit the production of large-diameter conifers, and both alder and conifers provided small woody debris for fishless headwater streams in southeastern Alaska. Red alder is an important structural component of young-growth riparian stands.

  16. Hydrologically Driven Dynamics of Dissolved Organic Carbon Concentration and Composition in a Headwater Stream Ecosystem

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kaplan, L. A.; McLaughlin, C.; Hogan, K. R.; Newbold, J. D.

    2011-12-01

    A 34-year record of dissolved organic carbon (DOC) concentrations and compositions was used to assess the role of hydrologic variability in the carbon cycle of a headwater stream. The DOC concentration record is characterized by sharply increasing values during storms and annual minima associated with soil freezing in winter (Fig. 1). Baseflow discharge accounts for approximately 67% of the total runoff in this 3rd-order stream in the Pennsylvania Piedmont but storm flows transport approximately 75% of the DOC flux. The annual DOC flux varies as much as 3-fold and this variability is driven by unusual events such as major storms and prolonged droughts. During storms DOC quality changes as water moves to the stream through organic matter-rich upper soil horizons, by passing terrestrial controls on DOC content. The pool of biodegradable DOC (BDOC) as a percentage of total DOC increases from 33% to 73% with the most labile BDOC class increasing 4-fold while the semi-labile BDOC pool increases 2-fold. Storms also alter the structure and productivity of benthic bacterial communities that metabolize DOC in streams, though the impacts are tempered by stability of streambed substrata. For example, a February storm reduced the biomass and productivity of bacteria attached to sediments by 48% and 90%, respectively, while reducing the biomass of bacteria attached to rocks by 21% but increasing bacterial productivity by 22%. Molecular fingerprints of community compositions revealed a stable "climax community" whose alteration is influenced by the magnitude of the storm flows and eventually returns to its original composition. Actual measurements of carbon cycling based on whole-stream releases and sampling the stream bed microbial community are not feasible during storms, but we argue that for headwater streams it is the post-disturbance condition rather than any processing which occurs during storm flows that shapes the magnitude and dynamics of carbon cycling.

  17. Microbial responses to changes in flow status in temporary headwater streams: a cross-system comparison.

    PubMed

    Febria, Catherine M; Hosen, Jacob D; Crump, Byron C; Palmer, Margaret A; Williams, D Dudley

    2015-01-01

    Microbial communities are responsible for the bulk of biogeochemical processing in temporary headwater streams, yet there is still relatively little known about how community structure and function respond to periodic drying. Moreover, the ability to sample temporary habitats can be a logistical challenge due to the limited capability to measure and predict the timing, intensity and frequency of wet-dry events. Unsurprisingly, published datasets on microbial community structure and function are limited in scope and temporal resolution and vary widely in the molecular methods applied. We compared environmental and microbial community datasets for permanent and temporary tributaries of two different North American headwater stream systems: Speed River (Ontario, Canada) and Parkers Creek (Maryland, USA). We explored whether taxonomic diversity and community composition were altered as a result of flow permanence and compared community composition amongst streams using different 16S microbial community methods (i.e., T-RFLP and Illumina MiSeq). Contrary to our hypotheses, and irrespective of method, community composition did not respond strongly to drying. In both systems, community composition was related to site rather than drying condition. Additional network analysis on the Parkers Creek dataset indicated a shift in the central microbial relationships between temporary and permanent streams. In the permanent stream at Parkers Creek, associations of methanotrophic taxa were most dominant, whereas associations with taxa from the order Nitrospirales were more dominant in the temporary stream, particularly during dry conditions. We compared these results with existing published studies from around the world and found a wide range in community responses to drying. We conclude by proposing three hypotheses that may address contradictory results and, when tested across systems, may expand understanding of the responses of microbial communities in temporary streams to

  18. Microbial responses to changes in flow status in temporary headwater streams: a cross-system comparison

    PubMed Central

    Febria, Catherine M.; Hosen, Jacob D.; Crump, Byron C.; Palmer, Margaret A.; Williams, D. Dudley

    2015-01-01

    Microbial communities are responsible for the bulk of biogeochemical processing in temporary headwater streams, yet there is still relatively little known about how community structure and function respond to periodic drying. Moreover, the ability to sample temporary habitats can be a logistical challenge due to the limited capability to measure and predict the timing, intensity and frequency of wet-dry events. Unsurprisingly, published datasets on microbial community structure and function are limited in scope and temporal resolution and vary widely in the molecular methods applied. We compared environmental and microbial community datasets for permanent and temporary tributaries of two different North American headwater stream systems: Speed River (Ontario, Canada) and Parkers Creek (Maryland, USA). We explored whether taxonomic diversity and community composition were altered as a result of flow permanence and compared community composition amongst streams using different 16S microbial community methods (i.e., T-RFLP and Illumina MiSeq). Contrary to our hypotheses, and irrespective of method, community composition did not respond strongly to drying. In both systems, community composition was related to site rather than drying condition. Additional network analysis on the Parkers Creek dataset indicated a shift in the central microbial relationships between temporary and permanent streams. In the permanent stream at Parkers Creek, associations of methanotrophic taxa were most dominant, whereas associations with taxa from the order Nitrospirales were more dominant in the temporary stream, particularly during dry conditions. We compared these results with existing published studies from around the world and found a wide range in community responses to drying. We conclude by proposing three hypotheses that may address contradictory results and, when tested across systems, may expand understanding of the responses of microbial communities in temporary streams to

  19. Impacts of fish farm pollution on ecosystem structure and function of tropical headwater streams.

    PubMed

    Rosa, Rodrigo dos Santos; Aguiar, Anna Carolina Fornero; Boëchat, Iola Gonçalves; Gücker, Björn

    2013-03-01

    We investigated the impacts of effluent discharge from small flow-through fish farms on stream water characteristics, the benthic invertebrate community, whole-system nitrate uptake, and ecosystem metabolism of three tropical headwater streams in southeastern Brazil. Effluents were moderately, i.e. up to 20-fold enriched in particulate organic matter (POM) and inorganic nutrients in comparison to stream water at reference sites. Due to high dilution with stream water, effluent discharge resulted in up to 2.0-fold increases in stream water POM and up to 1.8-fold increases in inorganic nutrients only. Moderate impacts on the benthic invertebrate community were detected at one stream only. There was no consistent pattern of effluent impact on whole-stream nitrate uptake. Ecosystem metabolism, however, was clearly affected by effluent discharge. Stream reaches impacted by effluents exhibited significantly increased community respiration and primary productivity, stressing the importance of ecologically sound best management practices for small fish farms in the tropics.

  20. Impacts of fish farm pollution on ecosystem structure and function of tropical headwater streams.

    PubMed

    Rosa, Rodrigo dos Santos; Aguiar, Anna Carolina Fornero; Boëchat, Iola Gonçalves; Gücker, Björn

    2013-03-01

    We investigated the impacts of effluent discharge from small flow-through fish farms on stream water characteristics, the benthic invertebrate community, whole-system nitrate uptake, and ecosystem metabolism of three tropical headwater streams in southeastern Brazil. Effluents were moderately, i.e. up to 20-fold enriched in particulate organic matter (POM) and inorganic nutrients in comparison to stream water at reference sites. Due to high dilution with stream water, effluent discharge resulted in up to 2.0-fold increases in stream water POM and up to 1.8-fold increases in inorganic nutrients only. Moderate impacts on the benthic invertebrate community were detected at one stream only. There was no consistent pattern of effluent impact on whole-stream nitrate uptake. Ecosystem metabolism, however, was clearly affected by effluent discharge. Stream reaches impacted by effluents exhibited significantly increased community respiration and primary productivity, stressing the importance of ecologically sound best management practices for small fish farms in the tropics. PMID:23274449

  1. Distribution of Amphipods (Gammarus nipponensis Ueno) Among Mountain Headwater Streams with Different Legacies of Debris Flow Occurrence

    EPA Science Inventory

    To understand the impacts of debris flows on the distribution of an amphipod with limited dispersal ability in the context of stream networks, we surveyed the presence of Gammarus nipponensis in 87 headwater streams with different legacies of debris flow occurrence within an 8.5-...

  2. Ontogenetic and diel variation in stream habitat use by brook trout (Salvelinus fontinalis) in a headwater stream

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Johnson, J.H.; Ross, R.M.; Dropkin, D.S.; Redell, L.A.

    2011-01-01

    Although considerable information exists on habitat use by stream salmonids, only a small portion has quantitatively examined diurnal and nocturnal habitat variation. We examined diel variation in habitat use by age-0 and age-1+ brook trout (Salvelinus fontinalis) during summer and autumn in a headwater stream in northern Pennsylvania. Habitat variables measured included cover, depth, substrate, and velocity. The most pronounced diel variation occurred in the use of cover during both seasons. Both age-0 brook trout and age-1+ trout were associated with less cover at night. Age-0 brook trout occupied swifter water during the day than at night during both seasons, but the difference was not significant. Increased cover, depth, and substrate size governed the habitat of age-1+ brook trout. Our findings support the need for a better understanding of diel differences in habitat use of stream salmonids when considering habitat enhancement and protection.

  3. Shallow groundwater denitrification in riparian zones of a headwater agricultural landscape.

    PubMed

    Anderson, Todd R; Groffman, Peter M; Kaushal, Sujay S; Walter, M Todd

    2014-03-01

    Riparian zones adjacent to cropped lands are effective at reducing nitrate (NO) loads to receiving water bodies primarily through plant assimilation and denitrification. Denitrification represents a permanent removal pathway and a greenhouse gas source, converting NO to inert N gas or nitrous oxide (NO), and has been the subject of many studies in agricultural landscapes. Despite the prevailing notion that riparian zones can be areas of enhanced denitrification, there is a lack of in situ denitrification measurements from these areas that buffer streams and rivers from NO originating in upland cropped soils, especially over time scales that capture seasonal dynamics. We measured in situ groundwater denitrification rates in two riparian zones of an intensive dairy farm located in the headwaters of the Susquehanna River. Denitrification rates determined monthly over a 1-yr period with the N-NO push-pull method ranged from 0 to 4177 μg N kg soil d (mean, 830 ± 193 μg N kg soil d). Denitrification showed a distinct seasonal pattern, with highest rates observed in the spring and summer, concomitant with warmer temperatures and decreasing dissolved oxygen. We estimate an annual N loss of 470 ± 116 kg yr ha of riparian zone via denitrification in the shallow saturated zone, with the potential for >20% of this amount occurring as NO. Total denitrification from shallow groundwater in the riparian zone was equivalent to 32% of manure N spread on the adjacent upland field, confirming the importance of riparian zones in agricultural landscapes at controlling N loads entering downstream waters. PMID:25602674

  4. Riparian forest buffers mitigate the effects of deforestation on fish assemblages in tropical headwater streams.

    PubMed

    Lorion, Christopher M; Kennedy, Brian P

    2009-03-01

    Riparian forest buffers may play a critical role in moderating the impacts of deforestation on tropical stream ecosystems, but very few studies have examined the ecological effects of riparian buffers in the tropics. To test the hypothesis that riparian forest buffers can reduce the impacts of deforestation on tropical stream biota, we sampled fish assemblages in lowland headwater streams in southeastern Costa Rica representing three different treatments: (1) forested reference stream reaches, (2) stream reaches adjacent to pasture with a riparian forest buffer averaging at least 15 m in width on each bank, and (3) stream reaches adjacent to pasture without a riparian forest buffer. Land cover upstream from the study reaches was dominated by forest at all of the sites, allowing us to isolate the reach-scale effects of the three study treatments. Fish density was significantly higher in pasture reaches than in forest and forest buffer reaches, mostly due to an increase in herbivore-detritivores, but fish biomass did not differ among reach types. Fish species richness was also higher in pasture reaches than in forested reference reaches, while forest buffer reaches were intermediate. Overall, the taxonomic and trophic structure of fish assemblages in forest and forest buffer reaches was very similar, while assemblages in pasture reaches were quite distinct. These patterns were persistent across three sampling periods during our 15-month study. Differences in stream ecosystem conditions between pasture reaches and forested sites, including higher stream temperatures, reduced fruit and seed inputs, and a trend toward increased periphyton abundance, appeared to favor fish species normally found in larger streams and facilitate a native invasion process. Forest buffer reaches, in contrast, had stream temperatures and allochthonous inputs more similar to forested streams. Our results illustrate the importance of riparian areas to stream ecosystem integrity in the tropics

  5. Long term legacy of forest harvesting disturbance on sediment-phosphorus dynamics and stream ecology in mountainous headwater streams

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hawthorn, K.; Silins, U.; Stone, M.

    2012-12-01

    While the impact of sediment loading to streams after forest harvesting has been extensively studied, the role of sediment associated nutrient transport and its effects on stream ecology has received comparatively less research attention. However, sediment associated phosphorus (P) and its impact on stream productivity may represent a key impact of disturbance in oligotrophic mountain streams. A retrospective case-study approach was used to explore runoff, sediment, phosphorus, and algal productivity in two headwater catchments in southern Alberta where one watershed has undergone extensive historic forest harvesting (>50% of catchment area harvested over previous 60 years), while the other (reference watershed) was undisturbed. A process-based approach was used to explore sediment-P storage/exchange between the streambed and water column as an important mechanism driving potential long-term changes in stream productivity of headwater streams after forest harvesting. Large differences in algal productivity between impacted and reference watersheds were evident in 2011, however, no differences in discharge, suspended sediment, or soluble P regime were observed. However, suspended sediments in the disturbed system were 21% more enriched in total P and 39% more enriched in bioavailable forms of P. Moreover, analysis of bed sediments from these catchments showed that the P (both total and bioavailable forms) stored in bed sediments from the disturbed catchment was double that of P observed in bed sediments from the undisturbed catchment. These differences, in turn, were associated with a greater proportion (160% more) of fine sediments evident in the beds of the disturbed watershed. Subsequent research on the exchange of P across the bed/water interface may help to explore if these sediment associated nutrient storage and transport dynamics are an important feature of long-term effects of disturbance in oligotrophic systems

  6. Quantifying spatial scaling patterns and their local and regional correlates in headwater streams: Implications for resilience

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Gothe, Emma; Sandin, Leonard; Allen, Craig R.; Angeler, David G.

    2014-01-01

    The distribution of functional traits within and across spatiotemporal scales has been used to quantify and infer the relative resilience across ecosystems. We use explicit spatial modeling to evaluate within- and cross-scale redundancy in headwater streams, an ecosystem type with a hierarchical and dendritic network structure. We assessed the cross-scale distribution of functional feeding groups of benthic invertebrates in Swedish headwater streams during two seasons. We evaluated functional metrics, i.e., Shannon diversity, richness, and evenness, and the degree of redundancy within and across modeled spatial scales for individual feeding groups. We also estimated the correlates of environmental versus spatial factors of both functional composition and the taxonomic composition of functional groups for each spatial scale identified. Measures of functional diversity and within-scale redundancy of functions were similar during both seasons, but both within- and cross-scale redundancy were low. This apparent low redundancy was partly attributable to a few dominant taxa explaining the spatial models. However, rare taxa with stochastic spatial distributions might provide additional information and should therefore be considered explicitly for complementing future resilience assessments. Otherwise, resilience may be underestimated. Finally, both environmental and spatial factors correlated with the scale-specific functional and taxonomic composition. This finding suggests that resilience in stream networks emerges as a function of not only local conditions but also regional factors such as habitat connectivity and invertebrate dispersal.

  7. Feeding and reproductive patterns of Astyanax intermedius in a headwater stream of Atlantic Rainforest.

    PubMed

    Souza, Ursulla P; Ferreira, Fabio C; Carmo, Michele A F; Braga, Francisco M S

    2015-01-01

    In this paper, we determined diet composition, reproductive periodicity and fecundity of Astyanax intermedius in a headwater stream of a State Park of an Atlantic rainforest. We also evaluated the influence of rainfall, water temperature and fish size on niche width and niche overlap. Sampling was conducted monthly throughout one year in the Ribeirão Grande stream, southeastern Brazil. Diet consisted of 31 food items with equal contribution of allochthonous and autochthonous items. Females were larger than males, and the mean sizes at first maturation were 4.44 cm and 3.92 cm, respectively. Based on 212 pairs of mature ovaries, the number of oocytes per female ranged from 538 to 6,727 (mean = 2,688.7). Niche width and niche overlap were not related to rainfall nor water temperature and only niche width increased with fish size, suggesting that as fish grow, more items are included in diet. Our results suggested that A. intermedius fit as a typical opportunistic strategist which may explain the prevalence of this species in several isolated headwater basins of vegetated Atlantic forested streams where food resources are abundant and distributed throughout the year. PMID:26628029

  8. Feeding and reproductive patterns of Astyanax intermedius in a headwater stream of Atlantic Rainforest.

    PubMed

    Souza, Ursulla P; Ferreira, Fabio C; Carmo, Michele A F; Braga, Francisco M S

    2015-01-01

    In this paper, we determined diet composition, reproductive periodicity and fecundity of Astyanax intermedius in a headwater stream of a State Park of an Atlantic rainforest. We also evaluated the influence of rainfall, water temperature and fish size on niche width and niche overlap. Sampling was conducted monthly throughout one year in the Ribeirão Grande stream, southeastern Brazil. Diet consisted of 31 food items with equal contribution of allochthonous and autochthonous items. Females were larger than males, and the mean sizes at first maturation were 4.44 cm and 3.92 cm, respectively. Based on 212 pairs of mature ovaries, the number of oocytes per female ranged from 538 to 6,727 (mean = 2,688.7). Niche width and niche overlap were not related to rainfall nor water temperature and only niche width increased with fish size, suggesting that as fish grow, more items are included in diet. Our results suggested that A. intermedius fit as a typical opportunistic strategist which may explain the prevalence of this species in several isolated headwater basins of vegetated Atlantic forested streams where food resources are abundant and distributed throughout the year.

  9. Predicting spatial distribution of postfire debris flows and potential consequences for native trout in headwater streams

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Sedell, Edwin R; Gresswell, Bob; McMahon, Thomas E.

    2015-01-01

    Habitat fragmentation and degradation and invasion of nonnative species have restricted the distribution of native trout. Many trout populations are limited to headwater streams where negative effects of predicted climate change, including reduced stream flow and increased risk of catastrophic fires, may further jeopardize their persistence. Headwater streams in steep terrain are especially susceptible to disturbance associated with postfire debris flows, which have led to local extirpation of trout populations in some systems. We conducted a reach-scale spatial analysis of debris-flow risk among 11 high-elevation watersheds of the Colorado Rocky Mountains occupied by isolated populations of Colorado River Cutthroat Trout (Oncorhynchus clarkii pleuriticus). Stream reaches at high risk of disturbance by postfire debris flow were identified with the aid of a qualitative model based on 4 primary initiating and transport factors (hillslope gradient, flow accumulation pathways, channel gradient, and valley confinement). This model was coupled with a spatially continuous survey of trout distributions in these stream networks to assess the predicted extent of trout population disturbances related to debris flows. In the study systems, debris-flow potential was highest in the lower and middle reaches of most watersheds. Colorado River Cutthroat Trout occurred in areas of high postfire debris-flow risk, but they were never restricted to those areas. Postfire debris flows could extirpate trout from local reaches in these watersheds, but trout populations occupy refugia that should allow recolonization of interconnected, downstream reaches. Specific results of our study may not be universally applicable, but our risk assessment approach can be applied to assess postfire debris-flow risk for stream reaches in other watersheds.

  10. Dissolved organic matter quality and bioavailability changes across an urbanization gradient in headwater streams.

    PubMed

    Hosen, Jacob D; McDonough, Owen T; Febria, Catherine M; Palmer, Margaret A

    2014-07-15

    Landscape urbanization broadly alters watersheds and stream ecosystems, yet the impact of nonpoint source urban inputs on the quantity, quality, and ultimate fate of dissolved organic matter (DOM) is poorly understood. We assessed DOM quality and microbial bioavailability in eight first-order Coastal Plain headwater streams along a gradient of urbanization (i.e., percent watershed impervious cover); none of the streams had point source discharges. DOM quality was measured using fluorescence excitation-emission matrices (EEMs) coupled with parallel factor analysis (PARAFAC). Bioavailability was assessed using biodegradable dissolved organic carbon (BDOC) incubations. Results showed that watershed impervious cover was significantly related to stream DOM composition: increasing impervious cover was associated with decreased amounts of natural humic-like DOM and enriched amounts of anthropogenic fulvic acid-like and protein-like DOM. Microbial bioavailability of DOM was greater in urbanized streams during spring and summer, and was related to decreasing proportions of humic-like DOM and increasing proportions of protein-like DOM. Increased bioavailability was associated with elevated extracellular enzyme activity of the initial microbial community supplied to samples during BDOC incubations. These findings indicate that changes in stream DOM quality due to watershed urbanization may impact stream ecosystem metabolism and ultimately the fate of organic carbon transported through fluvial systems.

  11. Stream Ammonium Uptake Across Scales in Headwater Catchments of a Tropical Rainforest, Luquillo Mountains, Puerto Rico

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brereton, R. L.; McDowell, W. H.; Wymore, A.

    2015-12-01

    Many tropical forest streams export high amounts of nitrogen relative to streams draining undisturbed watersheds of other biomes. With their low DOC concentrations and high rates of respiration, headwater streams in the Luquillo Mountains have been previously characterized as energy-limited, suggesting that NH4+ uptake is dominated not by N demand but by energy demand. In the Rio Icacos watershed, high concentrations of NH4+ (>1 mg N/L) are found in groundwater adjacent to the streams, making high inputs of NH4+ to the stream channel via groundwater seepage likely. Stream nutrient spiraling metrics can be used to quantify uptake and retention rates of specific nutrients, and can be measured by solute additions. Tracer Additions for Spiraling Curve Characterization (TASCC) is a recently developed method (Covino et al. 2010) for quantifying nutrient uptake with a single slug addition of nutrient and conservative tracer. Here we present NH4+ uptake metrics from TASCC additions in three Luquillo streams of different sizes, ranging from 2nd to 4th order: the Rio Icacos, a larger, 3rd order tributary and a smaller 2nd order tributary. Background NH4+ concentrations vary by up to an order of magnitude, with highest concentrations (27 μg N/L) found in the smaller tributary. Background DOC concentrations are uniformly low and show no difference between the three streams (500-600 μg C/L). The smaller tributary has the shortest uptake length (155 m) and highest uptake velocity (2.9 mm/min) of the three streams. Unexpectedly, the Rio Icacos has a higher uptake velocity (1.7 mm/min) than the larger tributary (1.0 mm/min), despite having an uptake length more than double (1400 m) that of the larger tributary (596 m). Overall, NH4+ uptake is substantial in all three streams and varies with background concentrations, not stream size.

  12. Instream Wood Loads and Channel Complexity in Headwater Streams Under Alternative Stable States

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Livers, B.; Wohl, E.

    2014-12-01

    Channel morphology and irregularities in stream boundaries can create zones of flow separation, where lower velocities trap fine sediment and organic matter and increase opportunities for nutrient processing and biological uptake. This effect is most pronounced with channel-spanning structures such as logjams. Humans have changed the spatial and temporal characteristics of wood distribution in streams, with lasting effects on instream wood recruitment, wood loads, logjam distribution, and hydraulic roughness. Previous studies in the Colorado Front Range show that contemporary headwater streams flowing through old-growth, unmanaged forests have more wood than streams flowing through younger-growth, managed forests, but do not evaluate the effects of wood on channel complexity. 'Managed' versus 'unmanaged' refers to whether forests were or are currently exposed to human alteration. Although some alteration has long since ceased, reduced wood loads in managed streams persist. Our primary objective was to quantify differences in logjams, wood volumes, stream complexity, and organic carbon storage on streams with different management and disturbance histories in order to examine legacy effects across a gradient of stream management. Data were collected during the summers of 2013 and 2014 in the Southern Rocky Mountains. The 25 stream reaches studied are 2nd to 3rd order, subalpine streams that are categorized into: old-growth unmanaged forests; younger, naturally disturbed unmanaged forests; and younger managed forests. We assessed instream and floodplain wood loads and logjams and evaluated the role that large wood plays in local channel complexity, pool volume, and storage of organic carbon. Preliminary results show that greatest wood and carbon storage in sediments, as well as channel complexity, occurs in streams in old-growth, unmanaged forests and the least wood and carbon storage and channel complexity occurs in younger-growth, managed forests.

  13. Carbon Dynamics in the Hyporheic Zone of a Headwater Mountain Stream in the Cascade Mountains, Oregon

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wondzell, S. M.; Corson-rikert, H.; Haggerty, R.; Dosch, N.

    2015-12-01

    We investigated carbon dynamics in the hyporheic zone of a steep, forested, headwater catchment in the Cascade Mountains of western Oregon, USA. Water samples were collected monthly from the stream and a well network between July and December 2013 and again in March 2014. Samples collected from the well network showed that DOC concentrations decreased, and that DIC concentrations increased, with median travel time through the hyporheic zone on all sample dates. Further, the magnitude of the observed increase in DIC was approximately 10-times too large to be explained by metabolism of stream-source DOC. We examined two alternative explanations: 1) that different source waters - either groundwater rich in DIC or lateral inputs of soil water rich in labile DOC that was subsequently metabolized to DIC - mixed with stream water and thereby accounted for the high concentrations of DIC observed in the hyporheic zone, or 2) that changes in the concentrations of DOC and DIC were best explained by in-situ biogeochemical processing of buried particulate organic matter. End-member mixing analyses showed that neither groundwater nor lateral inputs of soil water influenced carbon chemistry within the hyporheic zone. The analyses could not rule out leaching from the overlying unsaturated riparian soils as a potential source of DOC, but the rate of input from this source would have to be much smaller than the rate at which DOC was metabolized in the hyporheic zone because concentrations of DOC in the hyporheic zone were always lower than in the stream. Overall, our results suggest that particulate organic carbon, perhaps augmented with DOC leached from the overlying soils, is the primary source of organic carbon to the hyporheic zone. Further, these measurements suggest that riparian zones supply, via hyporheic exchange, a disproportionately large fraction of carbon to headwater streams and may therefore play an outsized role in the global carbon cycle.

  14. Active Stream Length Dynamics in Headwater Catchments Spanning Physiographic Provinces in the Appalachian Highlands

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jensen, C.; McGuire, K. J.

    2015-12-01

    One of the most basic descriptions of streams is the presence of channelized flow. However, this seemingly simple query goes unanswered for the majority of headwater networks, as stream length expands and contracts with the wetness of catchments seasonally, interannually, and in response to storm events. Although streams are known to grow and shrink, a lack of information on longitudinal dynamics across different geographic regions precludes effective management. Understanding the temporal variation in temporary network length over a broad range of settings is critical for policy decisions that impact aquatic ecosystem health. This project characterizes changes in active stream length for forested headwater catchments spanning four physiographic provinces of the Appalachian Highlands: the New England at Hubbard Brook Experimental Forest, New Hampshire; Valley and Ridge at Poverty Creek and the North Fork of Big Stony Creek in Jefferson National Forest, Virginia; Blue Ridge at Coweeta Hydrologic Laboratory, North Carolina; and Appalachian Plateau at Fernow Experimental Forest, West Virginia. Multivariate statistical analysis confirms these provinces exhibit characteristic topographies reflecting differences in climate, geology, and environmental history and, thus, merit separate consideration. The active streams of three watersheds (<45 ha) in each study area were mapped six times to capture a variety of moderate flow conditions that can be expected most of the time (i.e., exceedance probabilities between 25 to 75%). The geomorphic channel and channel heads were additionally mapped to determine how active stream length variability relates to the development of the geomorphic network. We found that drainage density can vary up to four-fold with discharge. Stream contraction primarily proceeds by increasing disconnection and disintegration into pools, while the number of flow origins remains constant except at high and low extremes of discharge. This work demonstrates

  15. Sources of stream sulphate in headwater catchments in Otter Creek Wilderness, West Virginia, USA

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fitzhugh, Ross D.; Furman, Tanya; Korsak, Andrea K.

    2001-03-01

    Upland forested catchments in the Appalachian Plateau region receive among the greatest rates of atmospheric sulphur (S) deposition in the eastern USA, although coal mines and S-bearing minerals in bedrock may also contribute to stream acidity in this region. Watershed mass balance and stable S isotopic values (34S) of sulphate (SO42-) were used to assess the contributions to stream SO42- from atmospheric and lithogenic sources at Yellow Creek (YC), a headwater catchment on the Appalachian Plateau in West Virginia. Oxygen isotopic values (18O) of water were used to study catchment hydrology. Stream output of SO42- was c. 60% of atmospheric S deposition during a relatively dry year, whereas atmospheric S input was nearly balanced by stream output during a year with above normal amounts of precipitation. The temporal patterns and values of 34S were similar between bulk precipitation and stream water at two upper elevation sites. At the lowest elevation site, stream 34S values were similar to bulk precipitation values during the dormant season but were slightly lower than precipitation during the low-flow summer, probably as the result of a greater proportion of stream water being derived from deep hydrological flowpaths that have contacted S-bearing minerals with low 34Stream δstream SOstream acidity, at YC.

  16. Stable isotope analyses of web-spinning spider assemblages along a headwater stream in Puerto Rico

    PubMed Central

    Cuevas, Elvira; Ramírez, Alonso

    2015-01-01

    Web-spinning spiders that inhabit stream channels are considered specialists of aquatic ecosystems and are major consumers of emerging aquatic insects, while other spider taxa are more commonly found in riparian forests and as a result may consume more terrestrial insects. To determine if there was a difference in spider taxa abundance between riverine web-spinning spider assemblages within the stream channel and the assemblages 10 m into the riparian forest, we compared abundances for all web-spinning spiders along a headwater stream in El Yunque National Forest in northeast Puerto Rico. By using a nonmetric dimensional scaling (NMDS) abundance analysis we were able to see a clear separation of the two spider assemblages. The second objective of the study was to determine if aquatic insects contributed more to the diet of the spider assemblages closest to the stream channel and therefore stable isotope analyses of δ15N and δ13C for web-spinning spiders along with their possible prey were utilized. The results of the Bayesian mixing model (SIAR) however showed little difference in the diets of riverine (0 m), riparian (10 m) and upland (25 m) spiders. We found that aquatic insects made up ∼50% of the diet for web-spinning spiders collected at 0 m, 10 m, and 25 m from the stream. This study highlights the importance of aquatic insects as a food source for web-spinning spiders despite the taxonomic differences in assemblages at different distances from the stream. PMID:26500830

  17. Reconciling stream dissolved organic matter with snowmelt-driven subsurface flowpaths in a montane, headwater catchment.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Barnard, H. R.; Burns, M. A.; McKnight, D. M.; Gabor, R. S.; Brooks, P. D.

    2014-12-01

    Dissolved organic matter (DOM) transport is a key biogeochemical link across the terrestrial-aquatic interface in headwater catchments, and therefore is intimately linked with the hydrologic connectivity of the catchment to the stream. This study evaluated the mobility of specific chemical constituents of DOM during snowmelt in a montane, semi-arid catchment in the Boulder Creek CZO. Dissolved organic matter quality was monitored using fluorescence spectroscopy on a daily basis from water sampled from the soil (10 - 25 cm depth) via tension lysimeters and from the stream during snowmelt and was compared to approximately bi-monthly groundwater samples (~18 m depth). In the stream, a transition occurred from fluorescent DOM (FDOM) being dominated by protein-like material to FDOM being dominated by more humic-like material. The FDOM in the interstitial water of the soils and the groundwater did not change in character. Thus, the stream transition is indicative of an engagement of DOM originating from hillslope soils during snowmelt. Dissolved organic carbon (DOC) normalization of these fluorescent loadings suggest that the peak in DOC concentration seen in the stream is mainly controlled by the non-fluorescent fraction of DOM. These results indicate that shifts in hydrologic connectivity of different watershed units to the stream are a major control on DOM export from the watershed.

  18. Stable isotope analyses of web-spinning spider assemblages along a headwater stream in Puerto Rico.

    PubMed

    Kelly, Sean P; Cuevas, Elvira; Ramírez, Alonso

    2015-01-01

    Web-spinning spiders that inhabit stream channels are considered specialists of aquatic ecosystems and are major consumers of emerging aquatic insects, while other spider taxa are more commonly found in riparian forests and as a result may consume more terrestrial insects. To determine if there was a difference in spider taxa abundance between riverine web-spinning spider assemblages within the stream channel and the assemblages 10 m into the riparian forest, we compared abundances for all web-spinning spiders along a headwater stream in El Yunque National Forest in northeast Puerto Rico. By using a nonmetric dimensional scaling (NMDS) abundance analysis we were able to see a clear separation of the two spider assemblages. The second objective of the study was to determine if aquatic insects contributed more to the diet of the spider assemblages closest to the stream channel and therefore stable isotope analyses of δ (15)N and δ (13)C for web-spinning spiders along with their possible prey were utilized. The results of the Bayesian mixing model (SIAR) however showed little difference in the diets of riverine (0 m), riparian (10 m) and upland (25 m) spiders. We found that aquatic insects made up ∼50% of the diet for web-spinning spiders collected at 0 m, 10 m, and 25 m from the stream. This study highlights the importance of aquatic insects as a food source for web-spinning spiders despite the taxonomic differences in assemblages at different distances from the stream.

  19. Stable isotope analyses of web-spinning spider assemblages along a headwater stream in Puerto Rico.

    PubMed

    Kelly, Sean P; Cuevas, Elvira; Ramírez, Alonso

    2015-01-01

    Web-spinning spiders that inhabit stream channels are considered specialists of aquatic ecosystems and are major consumers of emerging aquatic insects, while other spider taxa are more commonly found in riparian forests and as a result may consume more terrestrial insects. To determine if there was a difference in spider taxa abundance between riverine web-spinning spider assemblages within the stream channel and the assemblages 10 m into the riparian forest, we compared abundances for all web-spinning spiders along a headwater stream in El Yunque National Forest in northeast Puerto Rico. By using a nonmetric dimensional scaling (NMDS) abundance analysis we were able to see a clear separation of the two spider assemblages. The second objective of the study was to determine if aquatic insects contributed more to the diet of the spider assemblages closest to the stream channel and therefore stable isotope analyses of δ (15)N and δ (13)C for web-spinning spiders along with their possible prey were utilized. The results of the Bayesian mixing model (SIAR) however showed little difference in the diets of riverine (0 m), riparian (10 m) and upland (25 m) spiders. We found that aquatic insects made up ∼50% of the diet for web-spinning spiders collected at 0 m, 10 m, and 25 m from the stream. This study highlights the importance of aquatic insects as a food source for web-spinning spiders despite the taxonomic differences in assemblages at different distances from the stream. PMID:26500830

  20. Groundtruthing and potential for predicting acid deposition impacts in headwater streams using bedrock geology, GIS, angling, and stream chemistry.

    PubMed

    Kirby, C S; McInerney, B; Turner, M D

    2008-04-15

    Atmospheric acid deposition is of environmental concern worldwide, and the determination of impacts in remote areas can be problematic. Rainwater in central Pennsylvania, USA, has a mean pH of approximately 4.4. Bedrock varies dramatically in its ability to neutralize acidity. A GIS database simplified reconnaissance of non-carbonate bedrock streams in the Valley and Ridge Province and identified potentially chronically impacted headwater streams, which were sampled for chemistry and brook trout. Stream sites (n=26) that originate in and flow through the Tuscarora had a median pH of 5.0 that was significantly different from other formations. Shawangunk streams (n=6) and non-Tuscarora streams (n=20) had a median pH of 6.0 and 6.3, respectively. Mean alkalinity for non-Tuscarora streams (2.6 mg/L CaCO(3)) was higher than the mean for Tuscarora streams (0.5 mg/L). Lower pH and alkalinity suggest that the buffering capability of the Tuscarora is inferior to that of adjacent sandstones. Dissolved aluminum concentrations were much higher for Tuscarora streams (0.2 mg/L; approximately the lethal limit for brook trout) than for non-Tuscarora streams (0.03 mg/L) or Shawangunk streams (0.02 mg/L). Hook-and-line methods determined the presence/absence of brook trout in 47 stream reaches with suitable habitat. Brook trout were observed in 21 of 22 non-Tuscarora streams, all 6 Shawangunk streams, and only 9 of 28 Tuscarora stream sites. Carefully-designed hook-and-line sampling can determine the presence or absence of brook trout and help confirm biological impacts of acid deposition. 15% of 334 km of Tuscarora stream lengths are listed as "impaired" due to atmospheric deposition by the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection. 65% of the 101 km of Tuscarora stream lengths examined in this study were impaired. PMID:18258282

  1. Dissolved Organic Carbon in Headwater Streams and Riparian Soil Organic Carbon along an Altitudinal Gradient in the Wuyi Mountains, China

    PubMed Central

    Huang, Wei; McDowell, William H.; Zou, Xiaoming; Ruan, Honghua; Wang, Jiashe; Li, Liguang

    2013-01-01

    Stream water dissolved organic carbon (DOC) correlates positively with soil organic carbon (SOC) in many biomes. Does this relationship hold in a small geographic region when variations of temperature, precipitation and vegetation are driven by a significant altitudinal gradient? We examined the spatial connectivity between concentrations of DOC in headwater stream and contents of riparian SOC and water-soluble soil organic carbon (WSOC), riparian soil C:N ratio, and temperature in four vegetation types along an altitudinal gradient in the Wuyi Mountains, China. Our analyses showed that annual mean concentrations of headwater stream DOC were lower in alpine meadow (AM) than in subtropical evergreen broadleaf forest (EBF), coniferous forest (CF), and subalpine dwarf forest (SDF). Headwater stream DOC concentrations were negatively correlated with riparian SOC as well as WSOC contents, and were unrelated to riparian soil C:N ratio. Our findings suggest that DOC concentrations in headwater streams are affected by different factors at regional and local scales. The dilution effect of higher precipitation and adsorption of soil DOC to higher soil clay plus silt content at higher elevation may play an important role in causing lower DOC concentrations in AM stream of the Wuyi Mountains. Our results suggest that upscaling and downscaling of the drivers of DOC export from forested watersheds when exploring the response of carbon flux to climatic change or other drivers must done with caution. PMID:24265737

  2. Dissolved organic carbon in headwater streams and riparian soil organic carbon along an altitudinal gradient in the Wuyi Mountains, China.

    PubMed

    Huang, Wei; McDowell, William H; Zou, Xiaoming; Ruan, Honghua; Wang, Jiashe; Li, Liguang

    2013-01-01

    Stream water dissolved organic carbon (DOC) correlates positively with soil organic carbon (SOC) in many biomes. Does this relationship hold in a small geographic region when variations of temperature, precipitation and vegetation are driven by a significant altitudinal gradient? We examined the spatial connectivity between concentrations of DOC in headwater stream and contents of riparian SOC and water-soluble soil organic carbon (WSOC), riparian soil C:N ratio, and temperature in four vegetation types along an altitudinal gradient in the Wuyi Mountains, China. Our analyses showed that annual mean concentrations of headwater stream DOC were lower in alpine meadow (AM) than in subtropical evergreen broadleaf forest (EBF), coniferous forest (CF), and subalpine dwarf forest (SDF). Headwater stream DOC concentrations were negatively correlated with riparian SOC as well as WSOC contents, and were unrelated to riparian soil C:N ratio. Our findings suggest that DOC concentrations in headwater streams are affected by different factors at regional and local scales. The dilution effect of higher precipitation and adsorption of soil DOC to higher soil clay plus silt content at higher elevation may play an important role in causing lower DOC concentrations in AM stream of the Wuyi Mountains. Our results suggest that upscaling and downscaling of the drivers of DOC export from forested watersheds when exploring the response of carbon flux to climatic change or other drivers must done with caution.

  3. Constraints upon the response of fish and crayfish to environmental flow releases in a regulated headwater stream network.

    PubMed

    Chester, Edwin T; Matthews, Ty G; Howson, Travis J; Johnston, Kerrylyn; Mackie, Jonathon K; Strachan, Scott R; Robson, Belinda J

    2014-01-01

    In dry climate zones, headwater streams are often regulated for water extraction causing intermittency in perennial streams and prolonged drying in intermittent streams. Regulation thereby reduces aquatic habitat downstream of weirs that also form barriers to migration by stream fauna. Environmental flow releases may restore streamflow in rivers, but are rarely applied to headwaters. We sampled fish and crayfish in four regulated headwater streams before and after the release of summer-autumn environmental flows, and in four nearby unregulated streams, to determine whether their abundances increased in response to flow releases. Historical data of fish and crayfish occurrence spanning a 30 year period was compared with contemporary data (electrofishing surveys, Victoria Range, Australia; summer 2008 to summer 2010) to assess the longer-term effects of regulation and drought. Although fish were recorded in regulated streams before 1996, they were not recorded in the present study upstream or downstream of weirs despite recent flow releases. Crayfish (Geocharax sp. nov. 1) remained in the regulated streams throughout the study, but did not become more abundant in response to flow releases. In contrast, native fish (Gadopsis marmoratus, Galaxias oliros, Galaxias maculatus) and crayfish remained present in unregulated streams, despite prolonged drought conditions during 2006-2010, and the assemblages of each of these streams remained essentially unchanged over the 30 year period. Flow release volumes may have been too small or have operated for an insufficient time to allow fish to recolonise regulated streams. Barriers to dispersal may also be preventing recolonisation. Indefinite continuation of annual flow releases, that prevent the unnatural cessation of flow caused by weirs, may eventually facilitate upstream movement of fish and crayfish in regulated channels; but other human-made dispersal barriers downstream need to be identified and ameliorated, to allow

  4. Recovery of sediment characteristics in moraine, headwater streams of Northern Minnesota after forest harvest

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Merten, Eric C.; Hemstad, Nathaniel A.; Kolka, Randall K.; Newman, Raymond M.; Verry, Elon S.; Vondracek, Bruce C.

    2010-01-01

    We investigated the recovery of sediment characteristics in four moraine, headwater streams in north-central Minnesota after forest harvest. We examined changes in fine sediment levels from 1997 (preharvest) to 2007 (10 years postharvest) at study plots with upland clear felling and riparian thinning, using canopy cover, proportion of unstable banks, surficial fine substrates, residual pool depth, and streambed depth of refusal as response variables. Basin-scale year effects were significant (p < 0.001) for all responses when evaluated by repeated-measures ANOVAs. Throughout the study area, unstable banks increased for several years postharvest, coinciding with an increase in windthrow and fine sediment. Increased unstable banks may have been caused by forest harvest equipment, increased windthrow and exposure of rootwads, or increased discharge and bank scour. Fine sediment in the channels did not recover by summer 2007, even though canopy cover and unstable banks had returned to 1997 levels. After several storm events in fall 2007, 10 years after the initial sediment input, fine sediment was flushed from the channels and returned to 1997 levels. Although our study design did not discern the source of the initial sediment inputs (e.g., forest harvest, road crossings, other natural causes), we have shown that moraine, headwater streams can require an extended period (up to 10 years) and enabling event (e.g., high storm flows) to recover from large inputs of fine sediment.

  5. Recovery of sediment characteristics in moraine, headwater streams of northern Minnesota after forest harvest

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Vondracek, Bruce C.; Merten, Eric C.; Hemstad, Nathaniel A.; Kolka, Randall K.; Newman, Raymond M.; Verry, Elon S.

    2010-01-01

    We investigated the recovery of sediment characteristics in four moraine, headwater streams in north-central Minnesota after forest harvest. We examined changes in fine sediment levels from 1997 (preharvest) to 2007 (10 years postharvest) at study plots with upland clear felling and riparian thinning, using canopy cover, proportion of unstable banks, surficial fine substrates, residual pool depth, and streambed depth of refusal as response variables. Basin-scale year effects were significant (p < 0.001) for all responses when evaluated by repeated-measures ANOVAs. Throughout the study area, unstable banks increased for several years postharvest, coinciding with an increase in windthrow and fine sediment. Increased unstable banks may have been caused by forest harvest equipment, increased windthrow and exposure of rootwads, or increased discharge and bank scour. Fine sediment in the channels did not recover by summer 2007, even though canopy cover and unstable banks had returned to 1997 levels. After several storm events in fall 2007, 10 years after the initial sediment input, fine sediment was flushed from the channels and returned to 1997 levels. Although our study design did not discern the source of the initial sediment inputs (e.g., forest harvest, road crossings, other natural causes), we have shown that moraine, headwater streams can require an extended period (up to 10 years) and enabling event (e.g., high storm flows) to recover from large inputs of fine sediment.

  6. Downstream Warming and Headwater Acidity May Diminish Coldwater Habitat in Southern Appalachian Mountain Streams.

    PubMed

    McDonnell, T C; Sloat, M R; Sullivan, T J; Dolloff, C A; Hessburg, P F; Povak, N A; Jackson, W A; Sams, C

    2015-01-01

    Stream-dwelling species in the U.S. southern Appalachian Mountains region are particularly vulnerable to climate change and acidification. The objectives of this study were to quantify the spatial extent of contemporary suitable habitat for acid- and thermally sensitive aquatic species and to forecast future habitat loss resulting from expected temperature increases on national forest lands in the southern Appalachian Mountain region. The goal of this study was to help watershed managers identify and assess stream reaches that are potentially vulnerable to warming, acidification, or both. To our knowledge, these results represent the first regional assessment of aquatic habitat suitability with respect to the combined effects of stream water temperature and acid-base status in the United States. Statistical models were developed to predict July mean daily maximum water temperatures and air-water temperature relations to determine potential changes in future stream water temperatures. The length of stream considered suitable habitat for acid- and thermally sensitive species, based on temperature and acid neutralizing capacity thresholds of 20°C and 50 μeq/L, was variable throughout the national forests considered. Stream length displaying temperature above 20°C was generally more than five times greater than the length predicted to have acid neutralizing capacity below 50 μeq/L. It was uncommon for these two stressors to occur within the same stream segment. Results suggested that species' distributional shifts to colder, higher elevation habitats under a warming climate can be constrained by acidification of headwater streams. The approach used in this study can be applied to evaluate climate change impacts to stream water resources in other regions. PMID:26247361

  7. Downstream Warming and Headwater Acidity May Diminish Coldwater Habitat in Southern Appalachian Mountain Streams.

    PubMed

    McDonnell, T C; Sloat, M R; Sullivan, T J; Dolloff, C A; Hessburg, P F; Povak, N A; Jackson, W A; Sams, C

    2015-01-01

    Stream-dwelling species in the U.S. southern Appalachian Mountains region are particularly vulnerable to climate change and acidification. The objectives of this study were to quantify the spatial extent of contemporary suitable habitat for acid- and thermally sensitive aquatic species and to forecast future habitat loss resulting from expected temperature increases on national forest lands in the southern Appalachian Mountain region. The goal of this study was to help watershed managers identify and assess stream reaches that are potentially vulnerable to warming, acidification, or both. To our knowledge, these results represent the first regional assessment of aquatic habitat suitability with respect to the combined effects of stream water temperature and acid-base status in the United States. Statistical models were developed to predict July mean daily maximum water temperatures and air-water temperature relations to determine potential changes in future stream water temperatures. The length of stream considered suitable habitat for acid- and thermally sensitive species, based on temperature and acid neutralizing capacity thresholds of 20°C and 50 μeq/L, was variable throughout the national forests considered. Stream length displaying temperature above 20°C was generally more than five times greater than the length predicted to have acid neutralizing capacity below 50 μeq/L. It was uncommon for these two stressors to occur within the same stream segment. Results suggested that species' distributional shifts to colder, higher elevation habitats under a warming climate can be constrained by acidification of headwater streams. The approach used in this study can be applied to evaluate climate change impacts to stream water resources in other regions.

  8. [Spatial and temporal patterns of stream fish assemblages in the Qiupu Headwaters National Wetland Park].

    PubMed

    Wang, Wen-Jian; Chu, Ling; Si, Chun; Zhu, Ren; Chen, Wen-Hao; Chen, Fang-Ming; Yan, Yun-Zhi

    2013-08-01

    Identifying and clarifying how stream fish assemblage patterns vary spatially and temporally are basic measures for the conservation and management of fish species. Based on data collected from 24 wadeable reaches within the Qiupu Headwaters National Wetland Park between May and October 2012, we examined the spatial and temporal patterns of the assemblage structures and diversities, collecting a total of 29 fish species belonging to four orders and ten families. The results of our survey showed influences of local habitat and tributary spatial position variables on fish assemblages. Fish diversity showed significant variations across stream-orders and seasons, which were higher in the second-order streams than in first-order streams and higher in October than in May. Habitat factors such as substrate coarseness and heterogeneity, water temperature and water depth, as well as tributary position factor-link, showed significant effects on fish diversity. Fish assemblages fitted the nested pattern that upstream assemblages presented as a nested subset of downstream assemblages. Fish assemblage structures did not vary significantly across seasons but did across stream-orders; fish assemblages between first- and second-order streams showed significant differences despite some overlap. These spatial differences mainly resulted from spatial variations of the relative abundance of Cobitis rarus, Ctenogobius sp., Zacco platypus, Phoxinus oxycephalus, Rhodeus ocellatus and Vanmanenia stenosoma, among which P. oxycephalus had higher abundance in first-order than in second-order streams but the other five species were more abundant in second-order streams. Fish assemblage structures were significantly related to substrate heterogeneity, water depth, stream order, link and C-link. PMID:23913894

  9. Downstream Warming and Headwater Acidity May Diminish Coldwater Habitat in Southern Appalachian Mountain Streams

    PubMed Central

    Jackson, W. A; Sams, C.

    2015-01-01

    Stream-dwelling species in the U.S. southern Appalachian Mountains region are particularly vulnerable to climate change and acidification. The objectives of this study were to quantify the spatial extent of contemporary suitable habitat for acid- and thermally sensitive aquatic species and to forecast future habitat loss resulting from expected temperature increases on national forest lands in the southern Appalachian Mountain region. The goal of this study was to help watershed managers identify and assess stream reaches that are potentially vulnerable to warming, acidification, or both. To our knowledge, these results represent the first regional assessment of aquatic habitat suitability with respect to the combined effects of stream water temperature and acid-base status in the United States. Statistical models were developed to predict July mean daily maximum water temperatures and air-water temperature relations to determine potential changes in future stream water temperatures. The length of stream considered suitable habitat for acid- and thermally sensitive species, based on temperature and acid neutralizing capacity thresholds of 20°C and 50 μeq/L, was variable throughout the national forests considered. Stream length displaying temperature above 20°C was generally more than five times greater than the length predicted to have acid neutralizing capacity below 50 μeq/L. It was uncommon for these two stressors to occur within the same stream segment. Results suggested that species’ distributional shifts to colder, higher elevation habitats under a warming climate can be constrained by acidification of headwater streams. The approach used in this study can be applied to evaluate climate change impacts to stream water resources in other regions. PMID:26247361

  10. Assessing mercury exposure and effects to American dippers in headwater streams near mining sites

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Henny, Charles J.; Kaiser, James L.; Packard, Heidi A.; Grove, Robert A.; Taft, Mike R.

    2005-01-01

    To evaluate mercury (Hg) exposure and possible adverse effects of Hg on American dipper (Cinclus mexicanus) reproduction, we collected eggs and nestling feathers and the larval/nymph form of three Orders of aquatic macroinvertebrates (Ephemeroptera, Plecoptera and Trichoptera = EPT) important in their diet from three major headwater tributaries of the upper Willamette River, Oregon in 2002. The Coast Fork Willamette River is contaminated with Hg due to historical cinnabar (HgS) mining at the Black Butte Mine; the Row River is affected by past gold-mining operations located within the Bohemia Mining District, where Hg was used in the amalgamation process to recover gold; and the Middle Fork Willamette River is the reference area with no known mining. Methyl mercury (MeHg) concentrations (geometric mean) in composite EPT larvae (111.9 ng/g dry weight [dw] or 19.8 ng/g wet weight [ww]), dipper eggs (38.5 ng/g ww) and nestling feathers (1158 ng/g ww) collected from the Coast Fork Willamette were significantly higher than MeHg concentrations in EPT and dipper samples from other streams. Total mercury (THg) concentrations in surface sediments along the same Hg-impacted streams were investigated by others in 1999 (Row River tributaries) and 2002 (Coast Fork). The reported sediment THg concentrations paralleled our biological findings. Dipper breeding territories at higher elevations had fewer second clutches; however, dipper reproductive success along all streams (including the lower elevation and most Hg-contaminated Coast Fork), was judged excellent compared to other studies reviewed. Furthermore, MeHg concentrations in EPT samples from this study were well below dietary concentrations in other aquatic bird species, such as loons and ducks, reported to cause Hg-related reproductive problems. Our data suggest that either dipper feathers or EPT composites used to project MeHg concentrations in dipper feathers (with biomagnification factor of 10a??20??) may be used, but

  11. Assessing mercury exposure and effects to American dippers in headwater streams near mining sites.

    PubMed

    Henny, Charles J; Kaiser, James L; Packard, Heidi A; Grove, Robert A; Taft, Michael R

    2005-10-01

    To evaluate mercury (Hg) exposure and possible adverse effects of Hg on American dipper (Cinclus mexicanus) reproduction, we collected eggs and nestling feathers and the larval/nymph form of three Orders of aquatic macroinvertebrates (Ephemeroptera, Plecoptera and Trichoptera = EPT) important in their diet from three major headwater tributaries of the upper Willamette River, Oregon in 2002. The Coast Fork Willamette River is contaminated with Hg due to historical cinnabar (HgS) mining at the Black Butte Mine; the Row River is affected by past gold-mining operations located within the Bohemia Mining District, where Hg was used in the amalgamation process to recover gold; and the Middle Fork Willamette River is the reference area with no known mining. Methyl mercury (MeHg) concentrations (geometric mean) in composite EPT larvae (111.9 ng/g dry weight [dw] or 19.8 ng/g wet weight [ww]), dipper eggs (38.5 ng/g ww) and nestling feathers (1158 ng/g ww) collected from the Coast Fork Willamette were significantly higher than MeHg concentrations in EPT and dipper samples from other streams. Total mercury (THg) concentrations in surface sediments along the same Hg-impacted streams were investigated by others in 1999 (Row River tributaries) and 2002 (Coast Fork). The reported sediment THg concentrations paralleled our biological findings. Dipper breeding territories at higher elevations had fewer second clutches; however, dipper reproductive success along all streams (including the lower elevation and most Hg-contaminated Coast Fork), was judged excellent compared to other studies reviewed. Furthermore, MeHg concentrations in EPT samples from this study were well below dietary concentrations in other aquatic bird species, such as loons and ducks, reported to cause Hg-related reproductive problems. Our data suggest that either dipper feathers or EPT composites used to project MeHg concentrations in dipper feathers (with biomagnification factor of 10-20x) may be used, but with

  12. Investigation of the Relative Effects of Insolation, Groundwater, and Spatial Variability in Temperature Dynamics of Two Headwater Streams

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Belica, L.; Caldwell, P. V.; Mitasova, H.; McCarter, J. B.; Smith, J.; Nelson, S. A. C.

    2015-12-01

    Forested headwater streams account for much of the aquatic species diversity and contribute valuable recreational fisheries in the mountains of the Southeastern United States. Stream temperature is key regulator of headwater ecosystems and thermal regime is such a critical factor that it limits where many species can survive, grow, and successfully reproduce. Forested headwater streams are dynamic systems located in complex terrain. The variability of heat exchange between a stream and its surroundings results in thermal variations along its course. Understanding the spatial variability of heat fluxes along headwater streams is important to understanding the thermal dynamics and their effects on the biota. Solar radiation and groundwater inflow are two primary components of the heat budget of headwater streams and are spatially variable over short distances. A comparative analysis of north-facing and south-facing watersheds the Coweeta Basin of the Southern Appalachian Mountains found that temperatures of north-facing streams were cooler than south-facing streams for most of the year, but were warmer in summer. A north-south watershed pair with similar discharge, drainage areas, elevation, slope, and landcover characteristics was selected for further study. Water temperature was monitored longitudinally from the stream origins to the outlets beginning in late 2014. Preliminary data suggested variation in solar radiation resulting from the spatial heterogeneity of evergreen and deciduous trees and seasonal changes in leaf density could explain temperature patterns. We used the Subcanopy Solar Radiation Model, which accounts for topographic and vegetative shading by using a light penetration index derived from LIDAR data, to produce spatially explicit estimates of solar radiation and elucidate spatial and temporal variations in solar radiation along the two streams. Groundwater influence on stream temperature dynamics was investigated using salt-dilution gaging

  13. Carbon dioxide transport across the hillslope-riparian-stream continuum in a boreal headwater catchment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Leith, F. I.; Dinsmore, K. J.; Wallin, M. B.; Billett, M. F.; Heal, K. V.; Laudon, H.; Öquist, M. G.; Bishop, K.

    2015-03-01

    Headwater streams export CO2 as lateral downstream export and vertical evasion from the stream surface. CO2 in boreal headwater streams generally originates from adjacent terrestrial areas, so determining the sources and rate of CO2 transport along the hillslope-riparian-stream continuum could improve estimates of CO2 export via the aquatic pathway, especially by quantifying evasion at higher temporal resolutions. Continuous measurements of dissolved CO2 concentrations and water table were made along the hillslope-riparian-stream continuum in the Västrabäcken sub-catchment of the Krycklan catchment, Sweden. Daily water and CO2 export from the hillslope and riparian zone were estimated over one hydrological year (October 2012-September 2013) using a flow-concentration model and compared with measured lateral downstream CO2 export. Total water export over the hydrological year from the hillslope was 230 mm yr-1 compared with 270 mm yr-1 from the riparian zone. This corresponds well (proportional to the relative upslope contributing area) to the annual catchment runoff of 265 mm yr-1. Total CO2 export from the riparian zone to the stream was 3.0 g CO2-C m-2 yr-1. A hotspot for riparian CO2 export was observed at 30-50 cm depth (accounting for 71 % of total riparian export). Seasonal variability was high with export peaks during the spring flood and autumn storm events. Downstream lateral CO2 export (determined from stream water dissolved CO2 concentrations and discharge) was 1.2 g CO2-C m-2 yr-1. Subtracting downstream lateral export from riparian export (3.0 g CO2-C m-2 yr-1) gives 1.8 g CO2-C m-2 yr-1 which can be attributed to evasion losses (accounting for 60 % of export via the aquatic pathway). The results highlight the importance of terrestrial CO2 export, especially from the riparian zone, for determining catchment aquatic CO2 losses and the importance of the CO2 evasion component to carbon export via the aquatic conduit.

  14. Carbon dioxide transport across the hillslope-riparian-stream continuum in a boreal headwater catchment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Leith, F. I.; Dinsmore, K. J.; Wallin, M. B.; Billett, M. F.; Heal, K. V.; Laudon, H.; Öquist, M. G.; Bishop, K.

    2014-11-01

    Headwater streams export CO2 as lateral downstream export and vertical evasion from the stream surface. CO2 in boreal headwater streams generally originates from adjacent terrestrial areas, so determining the sources and rate of CO2 transport along the hillslope-riparian-stream continuum could improve estimates of CO2 export via the aquatic pathway, especially by quantifying evasion at higher temporal resolutions. Continuous measurements of dissolved CO2 concentrations and water table were made along the hillslope-riparian-stream continuum in the Västrabäcken sub-catchment of the Krycklan Catchment, Sweden. Daily water and CO2 export from the hillslope and riparian zone were estimated over one hydrological year (October 2012-September 2013) using a flow-concentration model and compared with measured lateral downstream CO2 export. Total water export over the hydrological year from the hillslope was 230 mm yr-1 compared with 270 mm yr-1 from the riparian zone. This corresponds well (proportional to the relative upslope contributing area) to the annual catchment runoff of 265 mm yr-1. Total CO2 export from the riparian zone to the stream was 3.0 g CO2-C m-2 yr-1. A hotspot for riparian CO2 export was observed at 30-50 cm depth (accounting for 71% of total riparian export). Seasonal variability was high with export peaks during the spring flood and autumn storm events. Downtream lateral CO2 export (determined from stream water dissolved CO2 concentrations and discharge) was 1.2 g CO2-C m-2 yr-1. Subtracting downstream lateral export from riparian export (3.0 g CO2-C m-2 yr-1) gives 1.8 g CO2-C m-2 yr-1 which can be attributed to evasion losses (accounting for 60% of export via the aquatic pathway). The results highlight the importance of terrestrial CO2 export, especially from the riparian zone, for determining catchment aquatic CO2 losses and the importance of the CO2 evasion component to carbon export via the aquatic conduit.

  15. Barrage fishponds: Reduction of pesticide concentration peaks and associated risk of adverse ecological effects in headwater streams.

    PubMed

    Gaillard, Juliette; Thomas, Marielle; Iuretig, Alain; Pallez, Christelle; Feidt, Cyril; Dauchy, Xavier; Banas, Damien

    2016-03-15

    Constructed wetlands have been suggested as pesticide risk mitigation measures. Yet, in many agricultural areas, ponds or shallow lakes are already present and may contribute to the control of non-point source contamination by pesticides. In order to test this hypothesis, we investigated the influence of extensively managed barrage fishponds (n = 3) on the dissolved concentrations of 100 pesticides in headwater streams over the course of a year. Among the 100 pesticides, 50 different substances were detected upstream and 48 downstream. Highest measured concentration upstream was 26.5 μg/L (2-methyl-4-chlorophenoxyacetic acid, MCPA) and 5.19 μg/L (isoproturon) downstream. Fishponds were found to reduce peak exposure levels as high pesticide concentrations (defined here as ≥ 1 μg/L) generally decreased by more than 90% between upstream and downstream sampling sites. The measured concentrations in the investigated streams were compared to laboratory toxicity data for standard test organisms (algae, invertebrates and fish) using the toxic unit approach. When considering the threshold levels set by the European Union within the first tier risk assessment procedure for pesticide registration (commission regulation (EU) N° 546/2011), regulatory threshold exceedances were observed for 22 pesticides upstream from fishponds and for 9 pesticides downstream. Therefore, the investigated barrage fishponds contributed to the reduction of pesticide peak concentrations and potential risk of adverse effects for downstream ecosystems.

  16. Barrage fishponds: Reduction of pesticide concentration peaks and associated risk of adverse ecological effects in headwater streams.

    PubMed

    Gaillard, Juliette; Thomas, Marielle; Iuretig, Alain; Pallez, Christelle; Feidt, Cyril; Dauchy, Xavier; Banas, Damien

    2016-03-15

    Constructed wetlands have been suggested as pesticide risk mitigation measures. Yet, in many agricultural areas, ponds or shallow lakes are already present and may contribute to the control of non-point source contamination by pesticides. In order to test this hypothesis, we investigated the influence of extensively managed barrage fishponds (n = 3) on the dissolved concentrations of 100 pesticides in headwater streams over the course of a year. Among the 100 pesticides, 50 different substances were detected upstream and 48 downstream. Highest measured concentration upstream was 26.5 μg/L (2-methyl-4-chlorophenoxyacetic acid, MCPA) and 5.19 μg/L (isoproturon) downstream. Fishponds were found to reduce peak exposure levels as high pesticide concentrations (defined here as ≥ 1 μg/L) generally decreased by more than 90% between upstream and downstream sampling sites. The measured concentrations in the investigated streams were compared to laboratory toxicity data for standard test organisms (algae, invertebrates and fish) using the toxic unit approach. When considering the threshold levels set by the European Union within the first tier risk assessment procedure for pesticide registration (commission regulation (EU) N° 546/2011), regulatory threshold exceedances were observed for 22 pesticides upstream from fishponds and for 9 pesticides downstream. Therefore, the investigated barrage fishponds contributed to the reduction of pesticide peak concentrations and potential risk of adverse effects for downstream ecosystems. PMID:26773430

  17. The size distribution of organic carbon in headwater streams in the Amazon basin.

    PubMed

    de Paula, Joana D'Arc; Luizão, Flávio Jesus; Piedade, Maria Teresa Fernandez

    2016-06-01

    Despite the strong representativeness of streams in the Amazon basin, their role in the accumulation of coarse particulate organic carbon (CPOC), fine particulate organic carbon (FPOC), and dissolved organic carbon (DOC) in transport, an important energy source in these environments, is poorly known. It is known that the arboreal vegetation in the Amazon basin is influenced by soil fertility and rainfall gradients, but would these gradients promote local differences in organic matter in headwater streams? To answer this question, 14 low-order streams were selected within these gradients along the Amazon basin, with extensions that varied between 4 and 8 km. The efficiency of the transformation of particulate into dissolved carbon fractions was assessed for each stream. The mean monthly benthic organic matter storage ranged between 1.58 and 9.40 t ha(-1) month(-1). In all locations, CPOC was the most abundant fraction in biomass, followed by FPOC and DOC. Rainfall and soil fertility influenced the distribution of the C fraction (p = 0.01), showing differentiated particulate organic carbon (POC) storage and DOC transportation along the basin. Furthermore, the results revealed that carbon quantification at the basin level could be underestimated, ultimately influencing the global carbon calculations for the region. This is especially due to the fact that the majority of studies consider only fine particulate organic matter and dissolved organic matter, which represent less than 50 % of the stored and transported carbon in streambeds.

  18. The size distribution of organic carbon in headwater streams in the Amazon basin.

    PubMed

    de Paula, Joana D'Arc; Luizão, Flávio Jesus; Piedade, Maria Teresa Fernandez

    2016-06-01

    Despite the strong representativeness of streams in the Amazon basin, their role in the accumulation of coarse particulate organic carbon (CPOC), fine particulate organic carbon (FPOC), and dissolved organic carbon (DOC) in transport, an important energy source in these environments, is poorly known. It is known that the arboreal vegetation in the Amazon basin is influenced by soil fertility and rainfall gradients, but would these gradients promote local differences in organic matter in headwater streams? To answer this question, 14 low-order streams were selected within these gradients along the Amazon basin, with extensions that varied between 4 and 8 km. The efficiency of the transformation of particulate into dissolved carbon fractions was assessed for each stream. The mean monthly benthic organic matter storage ranged between 1.58 and 9.40 t ha(-1) month(-1). In all locations, CPOC was the most abundant fraction in biomass, followed by FPOC and DOC. Rainfall and soil fertility influenced the distribution of the C fraction (p = 0.01), showing differentiated particulate organic carbon (POC) storage and DOC transportation along the basin. Furthermore, the results revealed that carbon quantification at the basin level could be underestimated, ultimately influencing the global carbon calculations for the region. This is especially due to the fact that the majority of studies consider only fine particulate organic matter and dissolved organic matter, which represent less than 50 % of the stored and transported carbon in streambeds. PMID:26762938

  19. Recovery of headwater stream flora following the 1989-1992 groundwater drought

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Holmes, Nigel T. H.

    1999-02-01

    Over a three year period in spring, summer and autumn from 1993 to 1995 118 sites on 24 headwater reaches of groundwater streams were investigated. Half were also surveyed at least once the previous year. Example rivers were chosen from catchments where there are no abstractions, where there are small or large historical ones, and where reductions or variations in abstractions were likely to occur during the study period.Key objectives of the study were to identify the effects of atypical low flows and bed drying on aquatic and wetland plants following an exceptionally long period of poor groundwater recharge between 1989-92. The extended drought, followed by two years of very good groundwater recharge, provided a unique opportunity to determine the rate, and extent, of recovery. Such knowledge is crucial for conservation bodies, water regulators and water utilities to help them make judgements on the degree of impacts groundwater abstractions have/could have on river flows, and separating these from natural causes.The macrophyte survey data have been used to develop a classification system for headwater streams fed by groundwater. Thirteen different community types were recognised, these giving a clear insight into the flora expected in groundwater streams based primarily on flow periodicity and channel form. Determining the behaviour of individual species helps in environmental assessment of proposed new abstractions, and allows accurate predictions on which ones might decline, be lost or invade. It is equally valuable for predicting the benefits of alleviation strategies based on target flows.Lesser water-parsnip, brook water-crowfoot, blunt-fruited water-starwort and whorl-grass were identified as the most characteristic species of perennial reaches of headwater chalk streams. Pond water-crowfoot only dominates in reaches where flow fails for short periods in late autumn. Marsh foxtail is a classic indicator of winter wet/summer dry flow channels.The River Ver

  20. Transport and attenuation of chloroacetanilides in an agricultural headwater catchment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lefrancq, Marie; Imfeld, Gwenaël; Millet, Maurice; Payraudeau, Sylvain

    2015-04-01

    Chloroacetanilides (e.g., S-metolachlor and acetochlor) are pre-emergent herbicides used on corn and sugar beet and are applied to bare soil, which is prone to runoff and erosion. Some of these herbicides are chiral and the commercial products can be isomerically enriched in the enantiomer-S compared to the enantiomer-R as an example S-metolachlor 80/20% S to R . Determination of the transport of these herbicides in the dissolved and particulate phases of runoff water and degradation in agricultural catchments is currently lacking. The objectives of this study were i) to quantify over an corn growing season the export of chloroacetanilides and their main degradation products (ethane sulfonic (ESA) and oxanilic acid (OXA) degradates of metolachlor (MESA and MOXA) and acetochlor (AcESA and AcOXA)) in an 47 ha agricultural head-catchment in the dissolved and particulate phases, and ii) to evaluate S-metolachlor biodegradation from its application on the field to its export from the catchment using enantiomer analysis. Runoff, erosion, hydrochemistry and chloroacetanilide transport were evaluated at both the plot and catchment scales. Our results showed that an important amount of the pesticide load is missed when only the dissolved concentration of the parent compound is analysed. The total export coefficients for S-metolachlor and acetochlor and their degradation products were 11.4 and 11.8%, respectively, which includes both the dissolved and particulate loads. The partitioning of S-metolachlor and acetochlor between the dissolved and particulate phases varied widely over time and was linked to the suspended solid concentrations. Detection of S-metolachlor degradation products in runoff water was more frequent compared to that of acetochlor degradation products. Enrichment up to 37% of R-metolachlor was observed during the corn growing season, supporting enantioselective degradation of S-metolachlor. Our field study indicates the potential of enantiomer analyses for

  1. Export of detritus and invertebrate from headwater streams: linking mountaintop removal and valley fill coal mining to downstream receiving waters

    EPA Science Inventory

    Mountaintop removal and valley fill (MTR/VF) coal mining has resulted in large scale alteration of the topography, reduced forest productivity, and burial of headwater streams in the U.S. Central Appalachians. Although MTR/VF coal mining has occurred for several decades and the ...

  2. Source Water Flow Pathways In Forested, Mountain, Headwater Streams: A Link Between Sediment Movement Patterns And Stream Water Chemistry.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Martin, S.; Conklin, M. H.; Liu, F.

    2015-12-01

    Three years of continuous and discrete sediment and water quality data, from four forested, mountain, headwater catchments in the Sierra Nevada, is used to identify water sources, determine the importance of sub-surface flow pathways, detect any changes in source waters due to seasonal variation or drought, and link flow pathways with observed patterns of in-channel sediment movement within the study watersheds. Patterns in stream chemistry and turbidity point to infiltration as the dominant flow pathway within these catchments. Data support a flow pathway conceptual model in which precipitation water infiltrates into the shallow or deeper subsurface, increasing the hydraulic head of the water table and pushing pre-event water into the stream ahead of event water. Study catchments contain perennial streams and are characterized by a Mediterranean climate with a distinct wet and dry season. Sites are located in the rain-snow transition zone with snow making up 40 to 60 percent of average annual precipitation. Barring human disturbances such as logging/grazing (compaction) or fire (hydrophobicity), catchment soils have high infiltration capacities. Springs and seeps maintain baseflow during the summer low-flow season, and shifting chemical signals within the streams indicate the increased importance of sub-surface water sources during drought years. End-member mixing analysis was conducted to identify possible water end members. Turbidity hysteresis patterns described by previous studies show in-channel sources are dominant for discharge events year round, and there is no difference in fine sediment delivery to streams with or without a soil protecting layer of snow on the land surface. The dominance of sub-surface water sources and evidence for infiltration flow fits with turbidity data, as little material is reaching the stream due to erosive overland flow. An understanding of flow pathways provides a foundation for sustainable land use management in forested

  3. Variability in isotopic composition of base flow in two headwater streams of the southern Appalachians

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Singh, Nitin K.; Emanuel, Ryan E.; McGlynn, Brian L.

    2016-06-01

    We investigated the influence of hillslope scale topographic characteristics and the relative position of hillslopes along streams (i.e., internal catchment structure) on the isotopic composition of base flow in first-order, forested headwater streams at Coweeta Hydrologic Laboratory. The study focused on two adjacent forested catchments with different topographic characteristics. We used stable isotopes (18O and 2H) of water together with stream gauging and geospatial analysis to evaluate relationships between internal catchment structure and the spatiotemporal variability of base flow δ18O. Base flow δ18O was variable in space and time along streams, and the temporal variability of base flow δ18O declined with increasing drainage area. Base flow became enriched in 18O moving along streams from channel heads to catchment outlets but the frequency of enrichment varied between catchments. The spatiotemporal variability in base flow δ18O was high adjacent to large hillslopes with short flow paths, and it was positively correlated with the relative arrangement of hillslopes within the catchment. These results point to influence of unique arrangement of hillslopes on the patterns of downstream enrichment. Spatial variability in base flow δ18O within the streams was relatively low during dry and wet conditions, but it was higher during the transition period between dry and wet conditions. These results suggest that the strength of topographic control on the isotopic composition of base flow can vary with catchment wetness. This study highlights that topographic control on base flow generation and isotopic composition is important even at fine spatial scales.

  4. Incision rates of headwater streams: Determination by paleomagnetic dating of clastic cave sediments in valley walls

    SciTech Connect

    Sasowsky, I.D.; White, W.B. . Dept. of Geosciences); Schmidt, V.A. . Dept. of Geology and Planetary Science)

    1992-01-01

    Incision rates of headwater streams which downcut through carbonate rocks can be inferred by correlating surface channels to associated subsurface drainage and the conduit fragments that remain as the channel deepens. Stream-deposited sediments from caves in the valley walls can be sampled for paleomagnetic polarity. Using these data, a local paleomagnetic column is constructed and matched with the global paleomagnetic record which then provides time markers for the sediments. The morphological characteristics of the caves are used to relate paleo-drainage in the karst to previous elevations of the surface channel. A test case was made in a headwater basin in the Western Cumberland Plateau Escarpment, the East Fork of the Obey River in northcentral Tennessee. The basin has a relief of 300m and an area of 523 km[sup 2]. Four extensive caves in the valley walls provided 118 paleomagnetic samples. Samples were step-demagnetized in an alternating field from 10 to 100 mT, and gave well-clustered normal and reversed field directions. NRM intensities were between 8 [times] 10[sup [minus]8] and 1 [times] 10[sup [minus]5] kA/m. Construction of a local paleomagnetic polarity column revealed that two normal and one reversed sedimentary sequences were present in the caves. The age of the uppermost (oldest) cave level was placed at 0.91 Ma, yielding an incision rate for the basin of 0.06 m/ka. This rate is consistent with rates of incision determined for other basins in the eastern US using different methods.

  5. Channel and Catchment Morphology, Spatial Intermittency, and Carbon Chemistry of a Headwater Stream

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    O'Donnell, B.; Wondzell, S. M.; Serchan, S. P.; Haggerty, R.; Ward, A. S.; Schmadel, N. M.

    2015-12-01

    We investigated carbon dynamics in a steep, forested, headwater stream in the Cascade Mountains of western Oregon, USA. Measurements from a continuously recording pCO2 probe located near the mouth of the catchment showed that the stream was always super saturated with CO2 with respect to atmospheric concentrations, ranging from 500 ppm in mid-winter to as much as 3,500 ppm in late summer. Continuous measurements of pCO2 from a hyporheic well suggested that the hyporheic zone was a likely source of the super-saturated stream water because the hyporheic concentrations of CO2 ranged from a mid-winter low of 4,000 ppm to a late summer high of 16,000 ppm. Here, we investigate the causes for the large seasonal changes in pCO2 in the stream water. We conducted longitudinal synoptic surveys of flow and carbon chemistry over the period of baseflow recession during summer 2015. The channel is narrow and steep with occasional bedrock segments. However, debris flow deposits in the lower portions of the studied reach create wider valley floors where hyporheic exchange can capture 100% of the streamflow when discharge is very low. At the beginning of the summer when discharge was relatively high, flow was spatially continuous, but by mid-summer, stream flow became spatially discontinuous. Upwelling hyporheic water in these locations appears to be super saturated with CO2. In early summer, the amount of upwelling hyporheic water was small relative to stream discharge so that hyporheic exchange had only a modest influence on stream pCO2. Later in the summer, when discharge was much smaller relative to hyporheic exchange, we observed much greater spatial variability in CO2, which averaged 2720 ppm downstream of dry segments longer than 5 m but only averaged 980 ppm in wet segments and below shorter dry segments. Over the intervening wet segments, CO2 appears to be evaded from the stream as concentrations decreased rapidly. Also, upslope accumulated area appears to control lateral

  6. Seasonal patterns in stream periphyton fatty acids and community benthic algal composition in six high quality headwater streams

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Honeyfield, Dale C.; Maloney, Kelly O.

    2015-01-01

    Fatty acids are integral components of periphyton and differ among algal taxa. We examined seasonal patterns in periphyton fatty acids in six minimally disturbed headwater streams in Pennsylvania’s Appalachian Mountains, USA. Environmental data and periphyton were collected across four seasons for fatty acid and algal taxa content. Non-metric multidimensional scaling ordination suggested significant seasonal differences in fatty acids; an ordination on algal composition revealed similar seasonal patterns, but with slightly weaker separation of summer and fall. Summer and fall fatty acid profiles were driven by temperature, overstory cover, and conductivity and winter profiles by measures of stream size. Ordination on algal composition suggested that summer and fall communities were driven by overstory and temperature, whereas winter communities were driven by velocity. The physiologically important fatty acid 18:3ω6 was highest in summer and fall. Winter samples had the highest 20:3ω3. Six saturated fatty acids differed among the seasons. Periphyton fatty acids profiles appeared to reflect benthic algal species composition. This suggests that periphyton fatty acid composition can be useful in characterizing basal food resources and stream water quality.

  7. Upland disturbance affects headwater stream nutrients and suspended sediments during baseflow and stormflow

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Houser, J.N.; Mulholland, P.J.; Maloney, K.O.

    2006-01-01

    Because catchment characteristics determine sediment and nutrient inputs to streams, upland disturbance can affect stream chemistry. Catchments at the Fort Benning Military Installation (near Columbus, Georgia) experience a range of upland disturbance intensities due to spatial variability in the intensity of military training. We used this disturbance gradient to investigate the effects of upland soil and vegetation disturbance on stream chemistry. During baseflow, mean total suspended sediment (TSS) concentration and mean inorganic suspended sediment (ISS) concentration increased with catchment disturbance intensity (TSS: R2 = 0.7, p = 0.005, range = 4.0-10.1 mg L-1; ISS: R2 = 0.71, p = 0.004, range = 2.04-7.3 mg L-1); dissolved organic carbon (DOC) concentration (R2 = 0.79, p = 0.001, range = 1.5-4.1 mg L-1) and soluble reactive phosphorus (SRP) concentration (R2 = 0.75, p = 0.008, range = 1.9-6.2 ??g L-1) decreased with increasing disturbance intensity; and ammonia (NH 4+), nitrate (NO3-), and dissolved inorganic nitrogen (DIN) concentrations were unrelated to disturbance intensity. The increase in TSS and ISS during storms was positively correlated with disturbance (R2 = 0.78 and 0.78, p = 0.01 and 0.01, respectively); mean maximum change in SRP during storms increased with disturbance (r = 0.7, p = 0.04); and mean maximum change in NO3- during storms was marginally correlated with disturbance (r = 0.58, p = 0.06). Soil characteristics were significant predictors of baseflow DOC, SRP, and Ca 2+, but were not correlated with suspended sediment fractions, any nitrogen species, or pH. Despite the largely intact riparian zones of these headwater streams, upland soil and vegetation disturbances had clear effects on stream chemistry during baseflow and stormflow conditions. ?? ASA, CSSA, SSSA.

  8. Determining surface water sources using spatial and temporal variation in stream chemistry in a headwater catchment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zimmer, M. A.; Bailey, S. W.; McGuire, K. J.; Bullen, T. D.

    2010-12-01

    Fine scale sampling of a first order headwater catchment at Hubbard Brook Experimental Forest, NH, USA showed similar spatial variation in stream chemistry to other studies of fifth order catchments in the area. We sampled on five dates representing varying flow conditions at 110 surface water locations in Watershed 3, the 41-ha hydrologic reference catchment at Hubbard Brook. Samples were collected at 50 meter intervals along the stream network and at discrete groundwater seeps, and were analyzed for concentrations of major and trace ions. In order to determine catchment characteristics controlling stream chemistry, we evaluated surface and subsurface catchment structure. Surface structure was analyzed with topographic indices describing land surface patterns, which were derived from terrain analysis of a LiDAR based 5 m DEM. Subsurface structure, such as soil horizon development and type of parent material, was investigated through soil profiles along transects of wells established in seven distinct soil types. Height and duration of water table were measured with capacitance water level recorders and samples were taken to characterize groundwater chemistry. Spatial patterns in chemistry and timing of water table response to rain events were used to infer subsurface flowpaths. Four potential sources and mechanisms controlling surface water characteristics were identified: discrete soil horizons, drainage from distinct soil types, riparian zone and near stream exchanges, and isolated seeps as distinct groundwater inputs. Sub-catchments west of the main stream had relatively high concentrations of silicon, calcium and sodium as well as more persistent stream flow and groundwater seeps, suggesting deep flowpaths through the soils. Sub-catchments east of the main stream had low pH and high concentrations of DOC and aluminum, as well as more ephemeral flow and a lack of seeps, suggesting shallow flowpaths through the soils. Upslope accumulated area, distance from the

  9. Factors regulating the use of dissolved organic matter by heterotrophic biofilm communities in boreal headwater streams

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Franke, D.; Ziegler, S. E.

    2011-12-01

    Biofilm communities in headwater streams are the primary drivers of carbon and nutrient cycling, and are critical to our understanding of ecosystem processes and environmental change in boreal watersheds. In situ experiments were conducted using stream water and colonized tiles to assess how biofilm heterotrophic activity, e.g. use of dissolved organic matter (DOM), may be regulated by carbon and nutrient availability at sites within headwater streams of forest, wetland, and nutrient-impacted catchments. Community level respiration and dissolved organic carbon (DOC) uptake were measured and indicate highest microbial activity within wetland-dominated and pond-influenced sites congruent with both the elevated DOC concentrations and greater proportion of carbohydrate carbon in DOM sources in these watersheds. Further, trends of decreasing respiration rates downstream in the forest and wetland catchments followed decreases in DOM carbohydrate and aromatic relative to aliphatic content. These findings suggest that wetland and pond derived sources may increase the bioavailability of DOM relative to DOM derived from landscapes with lower contributions of these sources. To investigate this further, we conducted an additional set of short-term in situ experiments using additions of pond and bog derived DOM concentrates added as substrates to biofilms collected from sites that have exhibited significantly different levels of biofilm activity. Heterotrophic biofilm activity response to these changes in DOM source and composition did not vary significantly relative to the incubations without DOM additions, whether added within or outside the source area. This suggests that DOM lability and the microbial community developed to use this DOM are likely responsible for greater respiration rates and DOC uptake at pond and wetland-influenced locations. Furthermore, nutrient addition treatments in these experiments indicate heterotrophic activity within these catchments was co

  10. Effects of themokarst on sediment deposition rates in two arctic headwater streams

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kampman, J.; Flinn, M. B.

    2010-12-01

    Recent research has revealed increased permafrost degradation and incidences of thermokarst features as products of a changing arctic climate. These features have important implications for aquatic ecosystems across the landscape, as increased frequencies of such features are expected to increase sediment load into affected streams. We examined two headwater streams impacted by thermokarst failures near Toolik Lake Field Station in Northern Alaska, USA. Samples were collected using 3” diameter PVC traps nested in the substrate which were then partitioned into four individual size classes (2mm, 1mm, >250um and <250um) and normalized for period of deployment. Each individual size fraction was collected within a reference and impacted reach at each site, dried for a 24hr period to quantify dry mass, then ashed in a muffle furnace to quantify ash-free dry mass. Rates of sedimentation were quantified as grams*m-2*d-1. Data collected in summer 2010 revealed a significant input of total sediment deposited in areas impacted by thermokarst failures relative to reference reaches which were unaffected. We observed a near doubling of total sedimentation rates in the impacted reaches compared to our reference reaches (p<0.01). There was a significant increase in the amount of organic matter delivered to the impacted sites (p<0.01). However, this increase contributes to only a small fraction (~10-15%) of the total composition of sediment delivered to impacted reaches. Inorganic deposits were insignificant within affected reaches, which we attribute to large variability within each trap, as a possible consequence of varying geomorphology between each study stream. The largest inputs of organic matter were deposited in the form of VFPOM (<250um), while inorganic deposits were variable across all class sizes. The results from our study indicate thermokarst failures have a significant impact on sedimentation rates in headwater streams. We predict this may have various ecological

  11. Terrestrial and in-stream influences on the spatial variability of nitrate in a forested headwater catchment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Scanlon, Todd M.; Ingram, Spencer M.; Riscassi, Ami L.

    2010-06-01

    A vast majority of monitoring programs designed to assess nutrient fluxes from headwater systems rely upon temporally intensive sampling at a single position within the stream network, essentially measuring the integrated response of the catchment. Missing from such an approach is spatial information related to how nutrient availability varies throughout the network, where freshwater biota live and where biogeochemical processes ultimately shape the downstream water chemistry. Here, we examine the spatial distribution of nitrate (NO3-) concentrations within the Paine Run catchment, a forested headwater catchment in Shenandoah National Park, Virginia. Nitrate concentrations throughout the stream network were measured as part of synoptic surveys conducted in 1992-1994, in the aftermath of region-wide gypsy moth defoliation that caused dramatic increases in stream water NO3- concentrations. A follow-up synoptic survey was conducted in 2007, when the stream water NO3- concentrations had returned to predefoliation levels. Common to each of the eight synoptic surveys were observations of multiple-fold declines in NO3- concentration along the main stem of the stream network from the headwaters to the catchment outlet. A portion of this decline was caused by dilution, as water input by tributaries at the lower elevations of the catchment tended to have lower NO3- concentrations. A stream network model was applied to determine the relative contributions of terrestrial versus in-stream processes to the spatial variability of the NO3- concentrations. Model results suggest that even though nitrate removal within the stream network can be substantial, terrestrial factors that determine the NO3- inputs to streams account for the vast majority of the spatial variability in stream water NO3- concentrations.

  12. Influence of thermal regime and land use on benthic invertebrate communities inhabiting headwater streams exposed to contrasted shading.

    PubMed

    Dohet, Alain; Hlúbiková, Daša; Wetzel, Carlos E; L'Hoste, Lionel; Iffly, Jean François; Hoffmann, Lucien; Ector, Luc

    2015-02-01

    Headwaters account for a high proportion of total freshwater stream-channel length in a drainage basin and are critical habitats for rare, endangered, and specialized species. In the context of climate warming, increasing water temperatures may be an ultimate threat to cold-adapted species even in temperate ecosystems. Climate change effects on streams may interact with other pressures such as pollution or habitat fragmentation, confounding their real impact on biological communities. Three headwater streams exposed to contrasted shading and land use conditions were sampled over a three-year period in spring and autumn (2010-2012). Five stations distributed along the longitudinal continuum were chosen in the upstream part of each stream. In addition to benthic invertebrate sampling, water temperature was recorded continuously using data loggers. Results showed that the riparian woodland associated with forested land use throughout the catchment clearly moderated winter temperature minima, summer temperature maxima and thermal variability compared to open river channels with narrow or absent riparian tree cover. Although, the variability in macroinvertebrate species distribution was mainly attributed to anthropogenic land use in the catchment, a significant part of the variability was explained by temperature descriptors such as the number of cumulative degree-days in summer and extremes in winter temperature. Trichoptera species preferring headwaters and cold water temperatures were found exclusively in the forested unimpacted stream. Conservation issues are discussed in relation to the predicted loss of the potential future distributions of these Trichoptera cold-adapted species.

  13. Influence of thermal regime and land use on benthic invertebrate communities inhabiting headwater streams exposed to contrasted shading.

    PubMed

    Dohet, Alain; Hlúbiková, Daša; Wetzel, Carlos E; L'Hoste, Lionel; Iffly, Jean François; Hoffmann, Lucien; Ector, Luc

    2015-02-01

    Headwaters account for a high proportion of total freshwater stream-channel length in a drainage basin and are critical habitats for rare, endangered, and specialized species. In the context of climate warming, increasing water temperatures may be an ultimate threat to cold-adapted species even in temperate ecosystems. Climate change effects on streams may interact with other pressures such as pollution or habitat fragmentation, confounding their real impact on biological communities. Three headwater streams exposed to contrasted shading and land use conditions were sampled over a three-year period in spring and autumn (2010-2012). Five stations distributed along the longitudinal continuum were chosen in the upstream part of each stream. In addition to benthic invertebrate sampling, water temperature was recorded continuously using data loggers. Results showed that the riparian woodland associated with forested land use throughout the catchment clearly moderated winter temperature minima, summer temperature maxima and thermal variability compared to open river channels with narrow or absent riparian tree cover. Although, the variability in macroinvertebrate species distribution was mainly attributed to anthropogenic land use in the catchment, a significant part of the variability was explained by temperature descriptors such as the number of cumulative degree-days in summer and extremes in winter temperature. Trichoptera species preferring headwaters and cold water temperatures were found exclusively in the forested unimpacted stream. Conservation issues are discussed in relation to the predicted loss of the potential future distributions of these Trichoptera cold-adapted species. PMID:25461112

  14. Impacts of Forest and Agricultural Land Use on Stream Dissolved Organic Carbon During Storms

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Oh, N. H.; Shin, Y.; Jeon, Y. J.; Lee, E. J.; Eom, J. S.; Kim, B.

    2015-12-01

    Although many studies have been conducted to evaluate the effects of land use on concentrations and compositions of dissolved organic carbon (DOC) in streams and rivers, the relationships are still not clear. To elucidate the impacts of forest and agricultural land use on stream DOC during storm events, we investigated concentrations, optical properties, δ13C, and Δ 14C of DOC in forest and agriculture dominated headwater streams in South Korea. Stream DOC concentrations were the highest in a forested subwatershed, and a significant positive correlation was observed between stream DOC concentrations and the proportion of forested area in watersheds, which was strengthened by increased rain intensity. Four PARAFAC components were extracted including terrestrial humic substances, terrestrial fulvic acids, microbial organic matter, and protein-like organic matter, all of which showed a positive correlation with stream DOC concentration although relative proportion of components were dependent on land use. While DOC in a forest stream was mostly composed of terrestrially derived and 14C-enriched, DOC in an agricultural stream included aged DOC up to ~1,000 years old. Although the impacts of hydrological changes due to irrigation, fertilizer use, and selected crop species were not examined, the results of this study suggest that agricultural land use can be a source of aged terrestrial DOC to streams during summer monsoon storms, potentially changing the balance of the regional carbon cycle.

  15. Large eddy simulation of turbulence and solute transport in a forested headwater stream

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Khosronejad, A.; Hansen, A. T.; Kozarek, J. L.; Guentzel, K.; Hondzo, M.; Guala, M.; Wilcock, P.; Finlay, J. C.; Sotiropoulos, F.

    2016-01-01

    The large eddy simulation (LES) module of the Virtual StreamLab (VSL3D) model is applied to simulate the flow and transport of a conservative tracer in a headwater stream in Minnesota, located in the south Twin Cities metropolitan area. The detailed geometry of the stream reach, which is ˜135 m long, ˜2.5 m wide, and ˜0.15 m deep, was surveyed and used as input to the computational model. The detailed geometry and location of large woody debris and bed roughness elements up to ˜0.1 m in size were also surveyed and incorporated in the numerical simulation using the Curvilinear Immersed Boundary approach employed in VSL3D. The resolution of the simulation, which employs up to a total of 25 million grid nodes to discretize the flow domain, is sufficiently fine to directly account for the effect of large woody debris and small cobbles (on the streambed) on the flow patterns and transport processes of conservative solutes. Two tracer injection conditions, a pulse and a plateau release, and two cross sections of measured velocity were used to validate the LES results. The computed results are shown to be in good agreement with the field measurements and tracer concentration time series. To our knowledge, the present study is the first attempt to simulate via high-resolution LES solute transport in a natural stream environment taking into account a range of roughness length scales spanning an order of magnitude: from small cobbles on the streambed (˜0.1 m in diameter) to large woody debris up to ˜3 m long.

  16. The Influence of Environmental, Biotic and Spatial Factors on Diatom Metacommunity Structure in Swedish Headwater Streams

    PubMed Central

    Göthe, Emma; Angeler, David G.; Gottschalk, Steffi; Löfgren, Stefan; Sandin, Leonard

    2013-01-01

    Stream assemblages are structured by a combination of local (environmental filtering and biotic interactions) and regional factors (e.g., dispersal related processes). The relative importance of environmental and spatial (i.e., regional) factors structuring stream assemblages has been frequently assessed in previous large-scale studies, but biotic predictors (potentially reflecting local biotic interactions) have rarely been included. Diatoms may be useful for studying the effect of trophic interactions on community structure since: (1) a majority of experimental studies shows significant grazing effects on diatom species composition, and (2) assemblages can be divided into guilds that have different susceptibility to grazing. We used a dataset from boreal headwater streams in south-central Sweden (covering a spatial extent of ∼14000 km2), which included information about diatom taxonomic composition, abundance of invertebrate grazers (biotic factor), environmental (physicochemical) and spatial factors (obtained through spatial eigenfunction analyses). We assessed the relative importance of environmental, biotic, and spatial factors structuring diatom assemblages, and performed separate analyses on different diatom guilds. Our results showed that the diatom assemblages were mainly structured by environmental factors. However, unique spatial and biological gradients, specific to different guilds and unrelated to each other, were also evident. We conclude that biological predictors, in combination with environmental and spatial variables, can reveal a more complete picture of the local vs. regional control of species assemblages in lotic environments. Biotic factors should therefore not be overlooked in applied research since they can capture additional local control and therefore increase accuracy and performance of predictive models. The inclusion of biotic predictors did, however, not significantly influence the unique fraction explained by spatial factors

  17. The influence of environmental, biotic and spatial factors on diatom metacommunity structure in Swedish headwater streams.

    PubMed

    Göthe, Emma; Angeler, David G; Gottschalk, Steffi; Löfgren, Stefan; Sandin, Leonard

    2013-01-01

    Stream assemblages are structured by a combination of local (environmental filtering and biotic interactions) and regional factors (e.g., dispersal related processes). The relative importance of environmental and spatial (i.e., regional) factors structuring stream assemblages has been frequently assessed in previous large-scale studies, but biotic predictors (potentially reflecting local biotic interactions) have rarely been included. Diatoms may be useful for studying the effect of trophic interactions on community structure since: (1) a majority of experimental studies shows significant grazing effects on diatom species composition, and (2) assemblages can be divided into guilds that have different susceptibility to grazing. We used a dataset from boreal headwater streams in south-central Sweden (covering a spatial extent of ∼14000 km(2)), which included information about diatom taxonomic composition, abundance of invertebrate grazers (biotic factor), environmental (physicochemical) and spatial factors (obtained through spatial eigenfunction analyses). We assessed the relative importance of environmental, biotic, and spatial factors structuring diatom assemblages, and performed separate analyses on different diatom guilds. Our results showed that the diatom assemblages were mainly structured by environmental factors. However, unique spatial and biological gradients, specific to different guilds and unrelated to each other, were also evident. We conclude that biological predictors, in combination with environmental and spatial variables, can reveal a more complete picture of the local vs. regional control of species assemblages in lotic environments. Biotic factors should therefore not be overlooked in applied research since they can capture additional local control and therefore increase accuracy and performance of predictive models. The inclusion of biotic predictors did, however, not significantly influence the unique fraction explained by spatial factors

  18. Distance, flow and PCR inhibition: eDNA dynamics in two headwater streams.

    PubMed

    Jane, Stephen F; Wilcox, Taylor M; McKelvey, Kevin S; Young, Michael K; Schwartz, Michael K; Lowe, Winsor H; Letcher, Benjamin H; Whiteley, Andrew R

    2015-01-01

    Environmental DNA (eDNA) detection has emerged as a powerful tool for monitoring aquatic organisms, but much remains unknown about the dynamics of aquatic eDNA over a range of environmental conditions. DNA concentrations in streams and rivers will depend not only on the equilibrium between DNA entering the water and DNA leaving the system through degradation, but also on downstream transport. To improve understanding of the dynamics of eDNA concentration in lotic systems, we introduced caged trout into two fishless headwater streams and took eDNA samples at evenly spaced downstream intervals. This was repeated 18 times from mid-summer through autumn, over flows ranging from approximately 1-96 L/s. We used quantitative PCR to relate DNA copy number to distance from source. We found that regardless of flow, there were detectable levels of DNA at 239.5 m. The main effect of flow on eDNA counts was in opposite directions in the two streams. At the lowest flows, eDNA counts were highest close to the source and quickly trailed off over distance. At the highest flows, DNA counts were relatively low both near and far from the source. Biomass was positively related to eDNA copy number in both streams. A combination of cell settling, turbulence and dilution effects is probably responsible for our observations. Additionally, during high leaf deposition periods, the presence of inhibitors resulted in no amplification for high copy number samples in the absence of an inhibition-releasing strategy, demonstrating the necessity to carefully consider inhibition in eDNA analysis.

  19. Fish Movement Ecology in High Gradient Headwater Streams: Its Relevance to Fish Passage Restoration through Stream Culvert Barriers

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Hoffman, Robert L.; Dunham, Jason B.

    2007-01-01

    Executive Summary Restoration of fish passage through culvert barriers has emerged as a major issue in the Pacific Northwest and nationwide. The problem has many dimensions, including the huge number of potential barriers, uncertainty about which structures are actually barriers, the benefits and risks involved with restoration, and the financial costs and timelines. This report attempts to address what we call 'thinking outside of the pipe' in terms of fish passage information needs. This means understanding the value of each potential passage restoration project in the context of other possible projects, and to view individual restoration projects within a larger landscape of habitats and population processes. In this report we provide a brief review of some essential characteristics of animal movement and examples from a focal group of fishes in Washington State: salmon, trout, and char. While several other fishes and many other species use streams where culvert passage barriers may occur, it is the salmonids that are by far the most widespread and in most cases extending furthest into the headwaters of stream networks in Washington. We begin this report by outlining some basic characteristics of animal movement and then apply that foundation to the case of salmonid fishes. Next we consider the consequences of disrupting fish movement with human-constructed barriers, such as culverts. Finally, this body of evidence is summarized and we propose a short list of what we view as high priority information needs to support more effective restoration of fish passage through culverts.

  20. Phosphorus fluxes in headwater streams draining non-research poultry-pasture operations in north-central Georgia, USA

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Romeis, J. J.; Jackson, C. R.; Radcliffe, D. E.; Risse, M. L.; Bryant, J.

    2007-12-01

    Poultry production is the largest agricultural commodity in Georgia, USA. Due to inefficient utilization of the phosphorus (P) in poultry feed, the manure contains high concentrations of P. When used as fertilizer for crops and pasture, poultry manure may be washed from the soil surface and increase eutrophication risks to downstream lakes and reservoirs. Long term application of poultry manure may result in P saturation of the soils. In the upper Etowah River basin in north-central Georgia, a long history of poultry farming has resulted in high P levels in soils receiving regular poultry manure applications. Few studies to date have been performed on the estimation of P fluxes from operational commercial poultry farms in Georgia. In Fall 2006, a 20-month surface water quality monitoring program was completed that was aimed at estimating P and suspended sediment fluxes in nine headwater streams draining poultry-pasture operations in the upper Etowah River basin. The nine catchments differed in terms of land use history, soil P levels, best management practices and other factors. An additional three streams draining U.S. National Forest were also monitored to provide reference concentrations and loads. Monitoring data included continuous (5-minute) streamflow, rainfall, and water quality samples. Water quality samples included biweekly grab samples plus storm samples collected using conventional autosamplers. Storm sampling using autosamplers included collection of discrete samples and composite samples. In particular instances, the two types of storm sample were collected simultaneously. Discrete storm sampling methods enabled collection of both rising and falling hydrograph limb samples to identify potential hysteretic water quality effects. Water samples were analyzed for total P, filterable reactive P, and total suspended solids. We are using this data to compare different flux estimation methods with emphasis on regression models that utilize laboratory results

  1. Nitrate loading and CH4 and N2O Flux from headwater streams

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schade, J. D.; Bailio, J.; McDowell, W. H.

    2015-12-01

    Freshwater ecosystems transport and process significant amounts of terrestrial carbon and can be considerable sources of CO2, CH4, and N2O. A great deal of uncertainty, however, remains in both global estimates and our understanding of drivers of freshwater greenhouse gas emissions. Furthermore, small headwater streams have received insufficient attention to date and may contribute disproportionately to global GHG flux. Our objective was to quantify GHG flux and assess the impact of changes in DOC and NO3 concentrations in surface and subsurface water on flux rates in three streams in the Lamprey River watershed in New Hampshire, USA, that contrast in surface water DOC:NO3. We measured DOC, NO3 and dissolved gas concentrations in surface waters of each stream monthly from May 2011 to April 2012. Empirical measurements of reaeration coefficients were used to convert dissolved gas concentrations to fluxes. We found higher GHG concentrations and fluxes in the two streams with high DOC concentrations, particularly gases produced by anaerobic metabolism (CH4, N2O from methanogenesis and denitrification, respectively). The stream with high DOC and high NO3 showed high N2O and low CH4 flux, while the high DOC, low NO3 stream showed high CH4 and low N2O flux. Our results are consistent with a model in which C inputs drive total GHG production, while NO3 input regulates the relative importance of CH4 and N2O by suppressing methanogenesis and stimulating denitrification. The magnitude of GHG fluxes suggests that streams in this region are likely to be small sources of CO2, but potentially important sources of CH4 and N2O. Since CH4 and N2O are many times more powerful than CO2 at trapping heat in the atmosphere, freshwater emissions of these gases have the potential to offset a significant proportion of the climate benefits of the terrestrial carbon sink, a possibility that has not been sufficiently incorporated into climate models.

  2. Nitrate loading and CH4 and N2O Flux from headwater streams

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sousa, C. H. R. D.; Hilker, T.; Hall, F. G.; Moura, Y. M.; McAdam, E.

    2014-12-01

    Freshwater ecosystems transport and process significant amounts of terrestrial carbon and can be considerable sources of CO2, CH4, and N2O. A great deal of uncertainty, however, remains in both global estimates and our understanding of drivers of freshwater greenhouse gas emissions. Furthermore, small headwater streams have received insufficient attention to date and may contribute disproportionately to global GHG flux. Our objective was to quantify GHG flux and assess the impact of changes in DOC and NO3 concentrations in surface and subsurface water on flux rates in three streams in the Lamprey River watershed in New Hampshire, USA, that contrast in surface water DOC:NO3. We measured DOC, NO3 and dissolved gas concentrations in surface waters of each stream monthly from May 2011 to April 2012. Empirical measurements of reaeration coefficients were used to convert dissolved gas concentrations to fluxes. We found higher GHG concentrations and fluxes in the two streams with high DOC concentrations, particularly gases produced by anaerobic metabolism (CH4, N2O from methanogenesis and denitrification, respectively). The stream with high DOC and high NO3 showed high N2O and low CH4 flux, while the high DOC, low NO3 stream showed high CH4 and low N2O flux. Our results are consistent with a model in which C inputs drive total GHG production, while NO3 input regulates the relative importance of CH4 and N2O by suppressing methanogenesis and stimulating denitrification. The magnitude of GHG fluxes suggests that streams in this region are likely to be small sources of CO2, but potentially important sources of CH4 and N2O. Since CH4 and N2O are many times more powerful than CO2 at trapping heat in the atmosphere, freshwater emissions of these gases have the potential to offset a significant proportion of the climate benefits of the terrestrial carbon sink, a possibility that has not been sufficiently incorporated into climate models.

  3. Carbon Metabolism, Uptake Kinetics, and Export: how Watershed Form Influences Carbon Mobilization and In-Stream Transformations in Headwater Catchments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Seybold, E. C.; McGlynn, B. L.

    2014-12-01

    Previous research has demonstrated the highly dynamic nature of hydrologic connectivity, and the vertical and spatial expansion of the active watershed area during wet periods. While activation of variable DOM and solute sources during expansion and contraction periods has been well documented in a number of systems, changes in nutrient loading to streams have rarely been linked explicitly to in-stream function. To this end, we investigated the linkages between terrestrial mobilization of DOC and DIC, in-stream biogeochemical cycling, and downstream transport across scales in two geomorphically contrasting watersheds located in Tenderfoot Creek Experimental Forest, Montana. We deployed a network of in-situ high frequency sensors with a focus on CO2, dissolved oxygen, fluorescent DOM, nitrate, and a suite of supporting chemical constituents every 30 minutes beginning with the onset of snowmelt and through summer baseflow recession. Our results suggest that DOM and DIC fluxes, as well as ecosystem processes such as metabolism, were coupled to watershed scale carbon accumulation and mobilization. In both watersheds, metabolism tracked the temporal trends of DOM loading from the terrestrial landscape, indicating that the streams are actively transforming allochthonous organic materials during transport. Headwater stream reaches in the watershed with more hydrologically connected riparian source areas exhibited elevated metabolism, carbon uptake, and carbon export as compared to streams in the watershed with less riparian connectivity, suggesting that the degree of riparian connectivity may explain spatial variation in metabolism and in-stream carbon cycling within and across stream networks. Ultimately, this study highlights the tight coupling between terrestrial uplands and in-stream ecosystem processes in headwater catchments, and identifies spatio-temporal variation in hydrologic connectivity as a key driver of in-stream metabolic variation. We posit that the

  4. DOC Dynamics in Small Headwater Streams: the Role of Hydrology, Climate, and Land Management

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lajtha, K.; Lee, B. S.; Jones, J. A.

    2015-12-01

    Dissolved organic carbon (DOC) is a critical component of the carbon (C) cycle of both terrestrial and aquatic systems. For small headwater allochthonous streams, terrestrial C delivery fuels the metabolism of receiving waters and significantly influences biotic diversity and function. While nutrient fluxes in streams have long been used as indicators of terrestrial ecosystem processes, less attention has been given to terrestrial controls on DOC export. We used the long-term stream chemistry records from the H.J. Andrews Forest LTER to examine forest management, climatic, and hydrologic controls on both seasonal and annual DOC fluxes. Within a watershed, annual DOC flux was highly related to annual discharge (Q), although considerable variability in higher discharge years suggested a role for indices of storminess, especially early in the water year. Among watersheds, younger, previously harvested watersheds generally had significantly lower DOC fluxes for a given Q than old-growth watersheds, even 4+ decades after harvest. The exception to this pattern was a harvested watershed that had significant downed wood retained on site, and had densities of coarse woody debris (CWD) close to that of the old-growth watersheds even though live tree biomass was similar to the other harvested watersheds. Other climatic factors did not appear to have significant roles in predicting either seasonal or annual fluxes of DOC. This is in sharp contrast to fluxes of nitrate at our site, which appears to be related most significantly to the presence of alder within the watershed. Taken together, our data suggest a persistent and cascading role for CWD in old-growth forest ecosystems.

  5. A Mechanistic Assessment of a Near-stream Saturated Area Dynamics in a Headwater Catchment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Frentress, J.; Pfister, L.; McDonnell, J.

    2015-12-01

    Saturation excess overland flow generated in near-stream saturated areas is a mixture of rainfall and exfiltrating sub-surface water that can be quickly transported to the stream network during rainfall events. While many isotope hydrograph separation studies have demonstrated generally the dominance of pre-event water in the channel hydrograph, the mixing processes within the saturated area itself are poorly understood. Here, we isolated and measured discharge generated within a 100-m2 saturated area of a headwater reach of the 45-ha Weierbach catchment (Luxembourg). We quantified surface saturation using ground-based thermal infrared imagery and in-site piezometers throughout a series of rainfall events. This, combined with isotope and geochemical tracing enabled us to assess the role of surface saturation dynamics on mixing and storm hydrograph response. Surprisingly, our detailed analysis showed that surface saturation dynamics were weakly correlated to discharge and precipitation; cumulative rainfall on near-stream saturated areas alone was unable to explain the flow generated within this reach. Streamflow isotopic response was essentially unchanging within the 5-week monitoring period (-55 to -58 δ2D and -8.5 to -9 for δ18O ‰) suggesting that well-mixed streamflow sources that were little affected by rainfall sources. While Na+, Mg2+, and Ca2+ show slight flushing and dilution responses, riparian and streamflow sources responded differently across the event. Overall, groundwater exfiltration within the saturated area appeared to generate streamflow throughout the reach, effectively erasing any rainfall onto saturated area signal.

  6. Diversity of benthic biofilms along a land use gradient in tropical headwater streams, Puerto Rico.

    PubMed

    Burgos-Caraballo, Sofía; Cantrell, Sharon A; Ramírez, Alonso

    2014-07-01

    The properties of freshwater ecosystems can be altered, directly or indirectly, by different land uses (e.g., urbanization and agriculture). Streams heavily influenced by high nutrient concentrations associated with agriculture or urbanization may present conditions that can be intolerable for many aquatic species such as macroinvertebrates and fishes. However, information with respect to how benthic microbial communities may respond to changes in stream ecosystem properties in relation to agricultural or urban land uses is limited, in particular for tropical ecosystems. In this study, diversity of benthic biofilms was evaluated in 16 streams along a gradient of land use at the Turabo watershed in Puerto Rico using terminal restriction fragment length polymorphism. Diversity indices and community structure descriptors (species richness, Shannon diversity, dominance and evenness) were calculated for both bacteria and eukaryotes for each stream. Diversity of both groups, bacteria and eukaryotes, did not show a consistent pattern with land use, since it could be high or low at streams dominated by different land uses. This suggests that diversity of biofilms may be more related to site-specific conditions rather than watershed scale factors. To assess this contention, the relationship between biofilm diversity and reach-scale parameters (i.e., nutrient concentrations, canopy cover, conductivity, and dissolved oxygen) was determined using the Akaike Information Criterion (AIC(c)) for small sample size. Results indicated that nitrate was the variable that best explained variations in biofilm diversity. Since nitrate concentrations tend to increase with urban land use, our results suggest that urbanization may indeed increase microbial diversity indirectly by increasing nutrients in stream water.

  7. Morphology of step-pools in a wilderness headwater stream: The importance of standardizing geomorphic measurements

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nickolotsky, Aaron; Pavlowsky, Robert T.

    2007-01-01

    The morphology of step-pools and cascades reflect the geological and climatic factors affecting channels in mountain watersheds. This study uses longitudinal and cross-section surveys to describe a headwater stream in the Boston Mountains of the Ozarks Plateau region in Arkansas and develop morphological relationships for comparisons with other regions. In the Bowers Hollow Creek watershed (3.5 km 2), located within the boundaries of the Upper Buffalo Wilderness Area, step height and wavelength relationships are generally similar to those reported from other regions. Step-pool reaches were widely distributed in a discontinuous manner throughout the watershed. Average values of the sampled reaches are: reach slopes, 0.105 m/m; width, 6.10 m; crest particle sizes, 440 mm; step heights, 0.87 m; and step wavelengths, 6.62 m. The mean step steepness for the watershed was 0.13, whereas the mean length of a reach step to height ratio was 9:1. A comparison of morphological definitions found that the values of step height and steepness can vary by > 30% according to how step parameters are defined. Step height is particularly sensitive; thus, comparison of step height-based relationships from published data requires great care.

  8. Carbon cycling and exports over diel and flood-recovery timescales in a subtropical rainforest headwater stream.

    PubMed

    Looman, Arún; Santos, Isaac R; Tait, Douglas R; Webb, Jackie R; Sullivan, Caroline A; Maher, Damien T

    2016-04-15

    Catchment headwaters comprise the majority of all stream length globally, however, carbon (C) dynamics in these systems remains poorly understood. We combined continuous measurements of pCO2 and radon ((222)Rn, a natural groundwater tracer) with discrete sampling for particulate organic, dissolved organic and inorganic carbon (POC, DOC, and DIC) to assess the short-term carbon dynamics of a pristine subtropical headwater stream in Australia, over contrasting hydrologic regimes of drought, flash-flooding and recovery. Observations over 23days revealed a shift from carbon losses dominated by CO2 outgassing under conditions of low flow (66.4±0.4% of carbon export) to downstream exports of carbon during the flood (87.8±9.7% of carbon export). DOC was the dominant form of downstream exports throughout the study (DOC:DIC:POC=0.82:0.05:0.13). The broadest diel variability among variables occurred during the drought phase, with diel variability up to 662μatmd(-1) (or 27μM[CO2*]d(-1)), 17μMd(-1) and 268Bqm(-3)d(-1) for pCO2, dissolved oxygen and (222)Rn, respectively. Diel dynamics indicated multiple interrelated drivers of stream water chemistry including groundwater seepage and in-stream metabolism. The catchment exported terrestrial carbon throughout the field campaign, with a mean net stream flux of 4.7±7.8mmolCm(-2)(catchment area)d(-1) which is equivalent to 1.4±2.3% of the estimated local terrestrial net primary production. Our observations highlight the importance of accounting for hydrological extremes when assessing the carbon budgets and ecosystem metabolism of headwater streams, and provide a first estimate of aquatic carbon exports from a pristine Australian subtropical rainforest. PMID:26849329

  9. Carbon cycling and exports over diel and flood-recovery timescales in a subtropical rainforest headwater stream.

    PubMed

    Looman, Arún; Santos, Isaac R; Tait, Douglas R; Webb, Jackie R; Sullivan, Caroline A; Maher, Damien T

    2016-04-15

    Catchment headwaters comprise the majority of all stream length globally, however, carbon (C) dynamics in these systems remains poorly understood. We combined continuous measurements of pCO2 and radon ((222)Rn, a natural groundwater tracer) with discrete sampling for particulate organic, dissolved organic and inorganic carbon (POC, DOC, and DIC) to assess the short-term carbon dynamics of a pristine subtropical headwater stream in Australia, over contrasting hydrologic regimes of drought, flash-flooding and recovery. Observations over 23days revealed a shift from carbon losses dominated by CO2 outgassing under conditions of low flow (66.4±0.4% of carbon export) to downstream exports of carbon during the flood (87.8±9.7% of carbon export). DOC was the dominant form of downstream exports throughout the study (DOC:DIC:POC=0.82:0.05:0.13). The broadest diel variability among variables occurred during the drought phase, with diel variability up to 662μatmd(-1) (or 27μM[CO2*]d(-1)), 17μMd(-1) and 268Bqm(-3)d(-1) for pCO2, dissolved oxygen and (222)Rn, respectively. Diel dynamics indicated multiple interrelated drivers of stream water chemistry including groundwater seepage and in-stream metabolism. The catchment exported terrestrial carbon throughout the field campaign, with a mean net stream flux of 4.7±7.8mmolCm(-2)(catchment area)d(-1) which is equivalent to 1.4±2.3% of the estimated local terrestrial net primary production. Our observations highlight the importance of accounting for hydrological extremes when assessing the carbon budgets and ecosystem metabolism of headwater streams, and provide a first estimate of aquatic carbon exports from a pristine Australian subtropical rainforest.

  10. Spawning characteristics of redband trout in a headwater stream in Montana

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Muhlfeld, Clint C.

    2002-01-01

    I investigated the spawning characteristics of redband trout Oncorhynchus mykiss gairdneri (a rainbow trout subspecies) during the spring of 1998 in Basin Creek, a third-order headwater stream located in the Kootenai River drainage in northwestern Montana. I examined the timing of spawning as related to discharge and water temperature and analyzed microhabitat selection of 30 completed redds in a low-gradient (0.5–1.5%) reach. Redband trout spawned as flow declined after peak runoff and as mean daily water temperature exceeded 6.0C and maximum daily temperature exceeded 7.0C. Redband trout began spawning on 6 June (mean daily discharge = 2.1 m3/s), 10 d after the peak discharge (8.7 m3/s) occurred. The last redd was completed on 24 June, when discharge was 1.5 m3/s. The mean total redd length was 53 cm (SD = 14; range = 31–91 cm), and the mean total area was 51 cm2 (SD = 8; range= 46– 76 cm2). Eighty percent of the redds were located in pool tailouts, 13% in runs, and 7% in riffles. Spawning redband trout selected redd sites based on substrate size and water depth but not water velocity. Fish selected substrate sizes of 2–6 mm, water depths of 20–30 cm, and water velocities of 40–70 cm/s. My results suggest that redband trout in a low-gradient, third-order mountain stream found suitable spawning habitat in pool tail-outs that contained abundant gravels.

  11. Export of Greenhouse Gases Across the Soil/Stream Interface in a Boreal Headwater Stream

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Oquist, M. G.; Bishop, K. H.; Laudon, H.; Klemedtsson, L.; Nilsson, M. B.

    2015-12-01

    Lateral export of greenhouse gases (GHGs) from groundwater to surface waters is often poorly quantified in GHG budgets of terrestrial ecosystems, including boreal forests. The importance of lateral CO2 export through groundwater for net ecosystem carbon balances is becoming increasingly evident. However, riparian zones in the boreal landscape often exhibit redox characteristics that promote production also of N2O and CH4, that may reach surface waters and add to the total GHG emissions. We estimate annual and seasonal groundwater export of CO2, N2O and CH4 from a boreal forested catchment (11.9 ha) draining into a 1st order stream and quantify the total emission of greenhouse gases across the soil/stream interface. We present annual GHG export for two years, one with annual discharge close to the long-term average and one when discharge was twice as high. During the year with normal discharge export of CO2, N2O and CH4 were 12.3, 0.0015, and 0.00014 g m-2 year-1, respectively, while the export during the wet year was 14.9, 0.001 and 0.0001 g m-2 year-1. In terms of CO2 equivalents the GHG export was dominated by CO2, 96% and 91% for the normal and we year, respectively. Corresponding contributions for N2O were 4% and 9%, respectively, while export of CH4 was <0.1% during both years. While the export of CO2 was evenly distributed between the growing season and the non-growing season, most of the N2O and CH4 export occurred during the non-growing season. Through measurements of groundwater nitrate concentrations the validity of the existing IPCC emission factor EF5-g for N2O emissions was tested. It showed that this emission factor underestimates actual groundwater N2O emissions from the catchment by 2-3 orders of magnitude.

  12. Wood retention and transport in tropical, headwater streams, La Selva Biological Station, Costa Rica

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cadol, Daniel; Wohl, Ellen

    2010-11-01

    Wood in tropical streams has the potential to be more mobile than wood in otherwise similar temperate streams because of the warm and humid conditions that promote decay and the more frequent and flashier floods of the tropics. To test this hypothesis, we monitored all large wood pieces for 2.3 years in 10 50-m-long reaches of old-growth headwater streams in La Selva Biological Station, Costa Rica. Annual wood retention rates for pieces ranged from 0.55 to 0.91 among the sites, and retention rates by volume ranged from 0.67 to 0.99. Assuming steady state wood load, which is reasonable for La Selva, these rates are equivalent to mean residence times of 2.2-10.6 years for pieces, and 3.0-83.2 years for a volume of wood. Calculating mean residence time from the weighted average of retention rates gives an average residence time of 4.9 years for a piece of wood and 6.9 years for a volume of wood. These values are less than those reported for old-growth temperate forests, supporting our hypothesis. Mobility of individual pieces was best predicted by piece length relative to stream width ( lr, higher lr led to lower mobility), channel gradient ( s, higher s led to higher mobility), and piece integration into the channel (unattached pieces were 2.6 times more mobile than attached, ramp, or bridge pieces). Temporal variation in retention rates was well explained by variation in peak flow. All four of these factors have also been observed to influence mobility in the temperate zone. The higher mobility of wood in our study site relative to the temperate rainforest of the Pacific Northwest may be explained by the flashy and frequent floods, the high decay rate, or the branching morphology of the native trees; but differentiating the role of these factors, particularly flow and decay, will be complicated by their covariation across climates.

  13. Use of ESI-FTICR-MS to Characterize Dissolved Organic Matter in Headwater Streams Draining Forest-Dominated and Pasture-Dominated Watersheds

    PubMed Central

    Lu, YueHan; Li, Xiaping; Mesfioui, Rajaa; Bauer, James E.; Chambers, R. M.; Canuel, Elizabeth A.; Hatcher, Patrick G.

    2015-01-01

    Electrospray ionization Fourier transform ion cyclotron resonance mass spectrometry (ESI-FTICR-MS) has proven to be a powerful technique revealing complexity and diversity of natural DOM molecules, but its application to DOM analysis in grazing-impacted agricultural systems remains scarce. In the present study, we presented a case study of using ESI-FTICR-MS in analyzing DOM from four headwater streams draining forest- or pasture-dominated watersheds in Virginia, USA. In all samples, most formulas were CHO compounds (71.8–87.9%), with other molecular series (CHOS, CHON, CHONS, and CHOP (N, S)) accounting for only minor fractions. All samples were dominated by molecules falling in the lignin-like region (H/C = 0.7–1.5, O/C = 0.1–0.67), suggesting the predominance of allochthonous, terrestrial plant-derived DOM. Relative to the two pasture streams, DOM formulas in the two forest streams were more similar, based on Jaccard similarity coefficients and nonmetric multidimensional scaling calculated from Bray-Curtis distance. Formulas from the pasture streams were characterized by lower proportions of aromatic formulas and lower unsaturation, suggesting that the allochthonous versus autochthonous contributions of organic matter to streams were modified by pasture land use. The number of condensed aromatic structures (CAS) was higher for the forest streams, which is possibly due to the controlled burning in the forest-dominated watersheds and suggests that black carbon was mobilized from soils to streams. During 15-day biodegradation experiments, DOM from the two pasture streams was altered to a greater extent than DOM from the forest streams, with formulas with H/C and O/C ranges similar to protein (H/C = 1.5–2.2, O/C = 0.3–0.67), lipid (H/C = 1.5–2.0, O/C = 0–0.3), and unsaturated hydrocarbon (H/C = 0.7–1.5, O/C = 0–0.1) being the most bioreactive groups. Aromatic compound formulas including CAS were preferentially removed during combined light

  14. Use of ESI-FTICR-MS to Characterize Dissolved Organic Matter in Headwater Streams Draining Forest-Dominated and Pasture-Dominated Watersheds.

    PubMed

    Lu, YueHan; Li, Xiaping; Mesfioui, Rajaa; Bauer, James E; Chambers, R M; Canuel, Elizabeth A; Hatcher, Patrick G

    2015-01-01

    Electrospray ionization Fourier transform ion cyclotron resonance mass spectrometry (ESI-FTICR-MS) has proven to be a powerful technique revealing complexity and diversity of natural DOM molecules, but its application to DOM analysis in grazing-impacted agricultural systems remains scarce. In the present study, we presented a case study of using ESI-FTICR-MS in analyzing DOM from four headwater streams draining forest- or pasture-dominated watersheds in Virginia, USA. In all samples, most formulas were CHO compounds (71.8-87.9%), with other molecular series (CHOS, CHON, CHONS, and CHOP (N, S)) accounting for only minor fractions. All samples were dominated by molecules falling in the lignin-like region (H/C = 0.7-1.5, O/C = 0.1-0.67), suggesting the predominance of allochthonous, terrestrial plant-derived DOM. Relative to the two pasture streams, DOM formulas in the two forest streams were more similar, based on Jaccard similarity coefficients and nonmetric multidimensional scaling calculated from Bray-Curtis distance. Formulas from the pasture streams were characterized by lower proportions of aromatic formulas and lower unsaturation, suggesting that the allochthonous versus autochthonous contributions of organic matter to streams were modified by pasture land use. The number of condensed aromatic structures (CAS) was higher for the forest streams, which is possibly due to the controlled burning in the forest-dominated watersheds and suggests that black carbon was mobilized from soils to streams. During 15-day biodegradation experiments, DOM from the two pasture streams was altered to a greater extent than DOM from the forest streams, with formulas with H/C and O/C ranges similar to protein (H/C = 1.5-2.2, O/C = 0.3-0.67), lipid (H/C = 1.5-2.0, O/C = 0-0.3), and unsaturated hydrocarbon (H/C = 0.7-1.5, O/C = 0-0.1) being the most bioreactive groups. Aromatic compound formulas including CAS were preferentially removed during combined light+bacterial incubations

  15. Use of ESI-FTICR-MS to Characterize Dissolved Organic Matter in Headwater Streams Draining Forest-Dominated and Pasture-Dominated Watersheds.

    PubMed

    Lu, YueHan; Li, Xiaping; Mesfioui, Rajaa; Bauer, James E; Chambers, R M; Canuel, Elizabeth A; Hatcher, Patrick G

    2015-01-01

    Electrospray ionization Fourier transform ion cyclotron resonance mass spectrometry (ESI-FTICR-MS) has proven to be a powerful technique revealing complexity and diversity of natural DOM molecules, but its application to DOM analysis in grazing-impacted agricultural systems remains scarce. In the present study, we presented a case study of using ESI-FTICR-MS in analyzing DOM from four headwater streams draining forest- or pasture-dominated watersheds in Virginia, USA. In all samples, most formulas were CHO compounds (71.8-87.9%), with other molecular series (CHOS, CHON, CHONS, and CHOP (N, S)) accounting for only minor fractions. All samples were dominated by molecules falling in the lignin-like region (H/C = 0.7-1.5, O/C = 0.1-0.67), suggesting the predominance of allochthonous, terrestrial plant-derived DOM. Relative to the two pasture streams, DOM formulas in the two forest streams were more similar, based on Jaccard similarity coefficients and nonmetric multidimensional scaling calculated from Bray-Curtis distance. Formulas from the pasture streams were characterized by lower proportions of aromatic formulas and lower unsaturation, suggesting that the allochthonous versus autochthonous contributions of organic matter to streams were modified by pasture land use. The number of condensed aromatic structures (CAS) was higher for the forest streams, which is possibly due to the controlled burning in the forest-dominated watersheds and suggests that black carbon was mobilized from soils to streams. During 15-day biodegradation experiments, DOM from the two pasture streams was altered to a greater extent than DOM from the forest streams, with formulas with H/C and O/C ranges similar to protein (H/C = 1.5-2.2, O/C = 0.3-0.67), lipid (H/C = 1.5-2.0, O/C = 0-0.3), and unsaturated hydrocarbon (H/C = 0.7-1.5, O/C = 0-0.1) being the most bioreactive groups. Aromatic compound formulas including CAS were preferentially removed during combined light+bacterial incubations

  16. Effects of hydromorphology and riparian vegetation on the sediment quality of agricultural low-order streams: consequences for stream restoration.

    PubMed

    Teufl, Bernadette; Weigelhofer, Gabriele; Fuchsberger, Jennifer; Hein, Thomas

    2013-03-01

    Intensive agricultural land use imposes multiple pressures on streams. More specifically, the loading of streams with nutrient-enriched soil from surrounding crop fields may deteriorate the sediment quality. The current study aimed to find out whether stream restoration may be an effective tool to improve the sediment quality of agricultural headwater streams. We compared nine stream reaches representing different morphological types (forested meandering reaches vs. deforested channelized reaches) regarding sediment structure, sedimentary nutrient and organic matter concentrations, and benthic microbial respiration. Main differences among reach types were found in grain sizes. Meandering reaches featured larger mean grain sizes (50-70 μm) and a thicker oxygenated surface layer (8 cm) than channelized reaches (40 μm, 5 cm). Total phosphorous amounted for up to 1,500 μg g(-1) DW at retentive channelized reaches and 850-1,050 μg g(-1) DW at the others. While N-NH(4) accumulated in the sediments (60-180 μg g(-1) DW), N-NO(3) concentrations were generally low (2-5 μg g(-1) DW). Benthic respiration was high at all sites (10-20 g O(2) m(-2) day(-1)). Our study shows that both hydromorphology and bank vegetation may influence the sediment quality of agricultural streams, though effects are often small and spatially restricted. To increase the efficiency of stream restoration in agricultural landscapes, nutrient and sediment delivery to stream channels need to be minimized by mitigating soil erosion in the catchment.

  17. Groundwater flow path dynamics and nitrogen transport potential in the riparian zone of an agricultural headwater catchment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Williams, Mark R.; Buda, Anthony R.; Elliott, Herschel A.; Hamlett, James; Boyer, Elizabeth W.; Schmidt, John P.

    2014-04-01

    Shallow groundwater dynamics play a critical role in determining the chemistry and movement of nitrogen (N) in the riparian zone. In this study, we characterized N concentration variability and hydrologic transport pathways in shallow groundwater draining areas of a riparian area with and without emergent groundwater seeps. The study was conducted in FD36, an agricultural headwater catchment in the Ridge and Valley physiographic region of central Pennsylvania, USA. Three seep and adjacent non-seep areas were each instrumented with a field of 40 piezometers installed in a grid pattern (1.5-m spacing) at both 20- and 60-cm depths. Piezometers were monitored seasonally for approximately two years (October 2010-May 2012). Results showed that hydraulic head within seep areas was variable and some regions exhibited upward vertical hydraulic gradients of 0.18-0.27. Non-seep areas were characterized by uniform hydraulic head levels and were relatively hydrostatic. Nitrate-N (NO3-N) concentrations in seep areas were significantly greater than those in the non-seep areas at two of the three study sites. A two-component mixing model using chloride as a conservative tracer indicated that shallow groundwater in seep areas was primarily (53-75%) comprised of water from a shallow fractured aquifer, which had elevated NO3-N concentrations (5.7 mg L-1). Shallow groundwater in non-seep areas, however, was comprised (58-82%) of perched water on top of the fragipan that was likely recharged locally in the riparian zone and had low NO3-N concentrations (0.6 mg L-1). Higher NO3-N concentrations, variable hydraulic head, and groundwater emergence onto the land surface in seep areas provided evidence for preferential flow paths as an important conduit for water and N movement in these areas of the riparian zone. We conclude that the potential for N delivery to the stream in FD36 was much greater from seep areas compared to non-seep areas. Targeted management of seeps should be a priority

  18. Temporal dynamics between cattle in-stream presence and suspended solids in a headwater catchment.

    PubMed

    Terry, Julie A; McW H Benskin, Clare; Eastoe, Emma F; Haygarth, Philip M

    2014-07-01

    Cattle in-stream activity is potentially an important contributor to water pollution from agriculture. Here we present research on the physical movements of cattle within a stream on suspended solid concentrations (SSC). This study used camera surveillance to monitor the in-stream activity of dairy cattle in an unfenced reach over a four-month period. Results were compared against high-resolution SSC data. Over the days that cattle grazed the field, 57.9% of the instances when SSC crossed the 25 mg l(-1) Freshwater Fish Directive guideline threshold can be attributed to cattle presence in the stream. Flow was the main driver of total sediments transported over the study period, and no relationship was found between SSC and the absolute number of cattle feet in the water. Hysteresis analysis indicated a 'first-flush' of local sediments rapidly mobilised during the non-cattle related SSC events, a result of cattle proximity to channel margins. Results demonstrate a temporal lag between cattle in-stream presence and a critical amount of their contribution to sediment load, and that monitoring only instantaneously with cattle activity may lead to underestimation of their pollution impact.

  19. Hydro-climatic control of stream dissolved organic carbon in headwater catchment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Humbert, Guillaume; Jaffrezic, Anne; Fovet, Ophélie; Gruau, Gérard; Durand, Patrick

    2014-05-01

    Dissolved organic matter (DOM) is a key form of the organic matter linking together the water and the carbon cycles and interconnecting the biosphere (terrestrial and marine) and the soil. At the landscape scale, land use and hydrology are the main factors controlling the amount of DOM transferred from soils to the stream. In an intensively cultivated catchment, a recent work using isotopic composition of DOM as a marker has identified two different sources of DOM. The uppermost soil horizons of the riparian wetland appear as a quasi-infinite source while the topsoil of the hillslope forms a limited one mobilized by water-table rise and exported to the stream across the upland-riparian wetland-stream continuum. In addition to the exportation of DOM via water fluxes, climatic factors like temperature and precipitation regulate the DOM production by influencing microbial activity and soil organic matter degradation. The small headwater catchment (5 km²) of Kervidy-Naizin located in Brittany is part of the Environment Research Observatory (ORE) AgrHys. Weather and the hydro-chemistry of the stream, and the groundwater levels are daily recorded since 1993, 2000 and 2001 respectively. Over 13 contrasted hydrological years, the annual flow weighted mean concentration of dissolved organic carbon (DOC) is 5.6 mg.L-1 (sd = 0.7) for annual precipitation varying from 488mm to 1327mm and annual mean temperatures of 11°C (sd = 0.6). Based on this considerable dataset and this annual variability, we tried to understand how the hydro-climatic conditions determinate the stream DOC concentrations along the year. From the fluctuations of water table depth, each hydrologic year has been divided into three main period: i) progressive rewetting of the riparian wetland soils, ii) rising and holding high of the water table in the hillslope, iii) drawdown of the water-table, with less and less topsoil connected to the stream. Within each period base flow and storm flow data were first

  20. Near-stream soil water groundwater coupling in the headwaters of the Afon Hafren, Wales: Implications for surface water quality

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Haria, Atul H.; Shand, Paul

    2006-12-01

    SummaryHard-rock acid headwater catchments typically exhibit a rapid streamflow response and concomitant rapid mobilisation of soil-derived solutes, such as aluminium, into the aquatic environment during storm events. The rapid stream responses are paradoxically associated with pre-event water dominating the storm hydrograph, however the sources and mechanisms by which 'old' water enters the stream channel and interacts with the soil horizons are still poorly understood. To investigate these processes a detailed and novel field study was established in the riparian zone and lower hillslopes of the Hafren catchment at Plynlimon, mid-Wales. This study showed that shallow bedrock groundwaters discharge into the stream channel. Pressure wave propagation in response to recharge further upslope caused a rapid displacement of shallow groundwaters up into the soils in the near-stream hillslope. A lateral fast flow horizon transported water down slope as interflow at the soil-bedrock interface such that the upper soil horizons remained largely unsaturated. Only where there was a discontinuity in the lateral fast flow horizon was water forced up as an ephemeral spring discharge at the soil surface. At this site, the major zone of soil water-groundwater coupling was in a narrow (20-25 m) strip next to the stream channel. The zone of soil water-groundwater interaction next to the stream channel is likely to depend on the nature of the lateral flow pathways and the hillslope characteristic. This study has shown the importance of the near-stream environment as a locus for soil waters that are bedrock groundwater derived; these groundwaters dominate processes in the deepest soil horizons from where soil components such as aluminium are sourced. Understanding these physical processes is fundamental for understanding upland catchment functioning and has important implications for solute transport modelling and for the sustainable management of surface water systems and stream

  1. Biotic drivers of anastomosing channel pattern in headwater streams of the Colorado Rocky Mountains

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wohl, E. E.

    2010-12-01

    Most of the headwater rivers in the Colorado Rocky Mountains, USA occur as single channels in steep, narrow valleys. Where variations in bedrock erodibility create segments of wider, lower gradient valleys, however, anastomosing channels can occur if one of two biotic drivers is present. Where a disturbance such as a forest fire or windstorm allows pioneer woody species to colonize valley bottoms, beavers can establish colonies. Beavers build dams that enhance overbank flooding and raise the local water table, limiting the return of conifers and promoting aspen-willow (Populus-Salix) forests that provide food for the beavers. Beavers facilitate the formation of multiple channels by digging small canal-like features across the floodplain and by damming the main channel and promoting channel avulsion. In old-growth conifer forests, channel-spanning logjams can enhance overbank flows that facilitate the development of multiple (sub)parallel channels that extend for 50-300 m downstream. Enhanced overbank flows and multiple channels increase the retention of instream wood, creating a self-enhancing feedback of more jams. At least two thresholds must be crossed for anastomosing driven by logjams to develop; a valley morphology threshold and a wood load threshold. Anastomosing channels are present where stream gradient < 4% and the ratio of (channel width/valley-bottom width) < 0.2; only single channels flow through old-growth forests in valley segments that are steeper and narrower. The average wood piece diameter in old-growth anastomosing channel segments > 20 cm, whereas average piece diameter in forests that have not been disturbed in a century is 10-20 cm; channels in these younger forests do not exhibit anastomosing planforms. Wood load in old-growth anastomosing channels averages 200 m3/ha; old-growth and younger forest single channels average < 100 m3/ha.

  2. Effects of Land Use on Stable Carbon Isotopic Composition and Concentration of Dissolved Organic Carbon (DOC) and Dissolved Inorganic Carbon (DIC) in Southeastern US Piedmont Headwater Streams

    EPA Science Inventory

    Stable carbon isotopic composition (delta 13C) and concentrations of DOC and DIC were measured in stream water samples collected monthly in 15 headwater streams from an area with extensive poultry and cattle production and a rapidly growing human population. Linear regression te...

  3. Long-term trends in stream water and precipitation chemistry at five headwater basins in the northeastern United States

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Clow, D.W.; Mast, M.A.

    1999-01-01

    Stream water data from five headwater basins in the northeastern United States covering water years 1968-1996 and precipitation data from eight nearby precipitation monitoring sites covering water years 1984-1996 were analyzed for temporal trends in chemistry using the nonparametric seasonal Kendall test. Concentrations of SO4 declined at three of five streams during 1968,1996 (p < 0.1), and all of the streams exhibited downward trends in SO4 over the second half of the period (1984-1996). Concentrations of SO4 in precipitation declined at seven of eight sites from 1984 to 1996, and the magnitudes of the declines (-0.7 to -2.0 ??eq L-1 yr-1) generally were similar to those of stream water SO4. These results indicate that changes in precipitation SO4 were of sufficient magnitude to account for changes in stream water SO4. Concentrations of Ca + Mg declined at three of five streams and five of eight precipitation sites from 1984 to 1996. Precipitation acidity decreased at five of eight sites during the same period, but alkalinity increased in only one stream. In most cases the decreases in stream water SO4 were similar in magnitude to declines in stream water Ca + Mg, which is consistent with the theory of leaching by mobile acid anions in soils. In precipitation the magnitudes of SO4 declines were similar to those of hydrogen, and declines in Ca + Mg were much smaller. This indicates that recent decreases in SO4 deposition are now being reflected in reduced precipitation acidity. The lack of widespread increases in stream water alkalinity, despite the prevalence of downward trends in Stream water SO4, suggests that at most sites, increases in stream water pH and acid-neutralizing capacity may be delayed until higher soil base-saturation levels are achieved.

  4. Agricultural Intensification in the Amazon: Tracking Nitrogen Fertilizer from Soy-Maize Double Cropping to Streams

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cabrera, V. D.; Jankowski, K.; Neill, C.; Macedo, M.; Deegan, L.; Brando, P. M.; Nascimento, S.; Nascimento, E.; Rocha, S.; Coe, M. T.; Nunes, D.

    2015-12-01

    Globalization and the increasing demand for food create pressure to both expand and intensify agriculture. These changes have potentially large consequences for the solute concentrations and functioning of streams. In the Brazilian Amazon, crop agriculture expanded greatly during the last 20 years. More recently, farmers have intensified production on existing cropland by double cropping of soy and maize during the same year. Maize, a novel crop for the region, requires much higher applications of nitrogen (N) fertilizer than soybeans. To determine whether this novel land use and associated N addition influenced N concentrations in groundwater and stream water, we measured N concentrations in groundwater wells and streams from small headwater watersheds across three land uses (soy-maize, soy, and tropical forest) in the Upper Xingu Basin, a region of rapid cropland intensification in the southern Amazon. Each watershed contained six groundwater wells arranged in a transect reaching cropland field edge on either side of the stream. Total inorganic N concentrations were higher in wells adjacent to fields where double cropping occurred, while stream concentrations did not differ overall among land uses. This suggests the riparian zones are critical in the removal of N, but as the intensification of agriculture continues the ability of the riparian zone to prevent N from traveling to streams is unknown. Their protection is critical to the functioning of tropical watersheds.

  5. Links between riparian landcover, instream environment and fish assemblages in headwater streams of south-eastern Brazil

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Cruz, Bruna B.; Miranda, Leandro E.; Cetra, Mauricio

    2013-01-01

    We hypothesised and tested a hierarchical organisation model where riparian landcover would influence bank composition and light availability, which in turn would influence instream environments and control fish assemblages. The study was conducted during the dry season in 11 headwater tributaries of the Sorocaba River in the upper Paraná River Basin, south-eastern Brazil. We focused on seven environmental factors each represented by one or multiple environmental variables and seven fish functional traits each represented by two or more classes. Multivariate direct gradient analyses suggested that riparian zone landcover can be considered a higher level causal factor in a network of relations that control instream characteristics and fish assemblages. Our results provide a framework for a hierarchical conceptual model that identifies singular and collective influences of variables from different scales on each other and ultimately on different aspects related to stream fish functional composition. This conceptual model is focused on the relationships between riparian landcover and instream variables as causal factors on the organisation of stream fish assemblages. Our results can also be viewed as a model for headwater stream management in that landcover can be manipulated to influence factors such as bank composition, substrates and water quality, whereas fish assemblage composition can be used as indicators to monitor the success of such efforts.

  6. Perched groundwater-surface interactions and their consequences in stream flow generation in a semi-arid headwater catchment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Molenat, Jerome; Bouteffeha, Maroua; Raclot, Damien; Bouhlila, Rachida

    2013-04-01

    In semi-arid headwater catchment, it is usually admitted that stream flow comes predominantly from Hortonian overland flow (infiltration excess overland flow). Consequently, subsurface flow processes, and especially perched or shallow groundwater flow, have not been studied extensively. Here we made the assumption that perched groundwater flow could play a significant role in stream flow generation in semi-arid catchment. To test this assumption, we analyzed stream flow time series of a headwater catchment in the Tunisian Cap Bon region and quantified the flow fraction coming from groundwater discharge and that from overland flow. Furthermore, the dynamics of the perched groundwater was analyzed, by focusing on the different perched groundwater-surface interaction processes : diffuse and local infiltration, diffuse exfiltration, and direct groundwater discharge to the stream channel. This work is based on the 2.6 km² Kamech catchment (Tunisia), which belongs to the long term Mediterranean hydrological observatory OMERE (Voltz and Albergel, 2002). Results show that even though Hortonian overland flow was the main hydrological process governing the stream flow generation, groundwater discharge contribution to the stream channel annually accounted for from 10% to 20 % depending on the year. Furthermore, at some periods, rising of groundwater table to the soil surface in bottom land areas provided evidences of the occurrence of saturation excess overland flow processes during some storm events. Reference Voltz , M. and Albergel , J., 2002. OMERE : Observatoire Méditerranéen de l'Environnement Rural et de l'Eau - Impact des actions anthropiques sur les transferts de masse dans les hydrosystèmes méditerranéens ruraux. Proposition d'Observatoire de Recherche en Environnement, Ministère de la Recherche.

  7. Channel water balance and exchange with subsurface flow along a mountain headwater stream in Montana, United States

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Payn, R.A.; Gooseff, M.N.; McGlynn, B.L.; Bencala, K.E.; Wondzell, S.M.

    2009-01-01

    Channel water balances of contiguous reaches along streams represent a poorly understood scale of stream-subsurface interaction. We measured reach water balances along a headwater stream in Montana, United States, during summer base flow recessions. Reach water balances were estimated from series of tracer tests in 13 consecutive reaches delineated evenly along a 2.6 km valley segment. For each reach, we estimated net change in discharge, gross hydrologic loss, and gross hydrologic gain from tracer dilution and mass recovery. Four series of tracer tests were performed during relatively high, intermediate, and low base flow conditions. The relative distribution of channel water along the stream was strongly related to a transition in valley structure, with a general increase in gross losses through the recession. During tracer tests at intermediate and low flows, there were frequent substantial losses of tracer mass (>10%) that could not be explained by net loss in flow over the reach, indicating that many of the study reaches were concurrently losing and gaining water. For example, one reach with little net change in discharge exchanged nearly 20% of upstream flow with gains and losses along the reach. These substantial bidirectional exchanges suggest that some channel interactions with subsurface flow paths were not measurable by net change in flow or transient storage of recovered tracer. Understanding bidirectional channel water balances in stream reaches along valleys is critical to an accurate assessment of stream solute fate and transport and to a full assessment of exchanges between the stream channel and surrounding subsurface.

  8. Seasonal Variation in Floodplain Biogeochemical Processing in a Restored Headwater Stream.

    PubMed

    Jones, C Nathan; Scott, Durelle T; Guth, Christopher; Hester, Erich T; Hession, W Cully

    2015-11-17

    Stream and river restoration activities have recently begun to emphasize the enhancement of biogeochemical processing within river networks through the restoration of river-floodplain connectivity. It is generally accepted that this practice removes pollutants such as nitrogen and phosphorus because the increased contact time of nutrient-rich floodwaters with reactive floodplain sediments. Our study examines this assumption in the floodplain of a recently restored, low-order stream through five seasonal experiments. During each experiment, a floodplain slough was artificially inundated for 3 h. Both the net flux of dissolved nutrients and nitrogen uptake rate were measured during each experiment. The slough was typically a source of dissolved phosphorus and dissolved organic matter, a sink of NO3(-), and variable source/sink of ammonium. NO3(-) uptake rates were relatively high when compared to riverine uptake, especially during the spring and summer experiments. However, when scaled up to the entire 1 km restoration reach with a simple inundation model, less than 0.5-1.5% of the annual NO3(-) load would be removed because of the short duration of river-floodplain connectivity. These results suggest that restoring river-floodplain connectivity is not necessarily an appropriate best management practice for nutrient removal in low-order streams with legacy soil nutrients from past agricultural landuse. PMID:26463837

  9. Seasonal Variation in Floodplain Biogeochemical Processing in a Restored Headwater Stream.

    PubMed

    Jones, C Nathan; Scott, Durelle T; Guth, Christopher; Hester, Erich T; Hession, W Cully

    2015-11-17

    Stream and river restoration activities have recently begun to emphasize the enhancement of biogeochemical processing within river networks through the restoration of river-floodplain connectivity. It is generally accepted that this practice removes pollutants such as nitrogen and phosphorus because the increased contact time of nutrient-rich floodwaters with reactive floodplain sediments. Our study examines this assumption in the floodplain of a recently restored, low-order stream through five seasonal experiments. During each experiment, a floodplain slough was artificially inundated for 3 h. Both the net flux of dissolved nutrients and nitrogen uptake rate were measured during each experiment. The slough was typically a source of dissolved phosphorus and dissolved organic matter, a sink of NO3(-), and variable source/sink of ammonium. NO3(-) uptake rates were relatively high when compared to riverine uptake, especially during the spring and summer experiments. However, when scaled up to the entire 1 km restoration reach with a simple inundation model, less than 0.5-1.5% of the annual NO3(-) load would be removed because of the short duration of river-floodplain connectivity. These results suggest that restoring river-floodplain connectivity is not necessarily an appropriate best management practice for nutrient removal in low-order streams with legacy soil nutrients from past agricultural landuse.

  10. A stream sediment geochemical survey of the Ganga River headwaters in the Garhwal Himalaya

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Mukherjee, P.K.; Purohit, K.K.; Saini, N.K.; Khanna, P.P.; Rathi, M.S.; Grosz, A.E.

    2007-01-01

    This study models geochemical and adjunct geologic data to define provinces that are favorable for radioactive-mineral exploration. A multi-element bed-sediment geochemical survey of streams was carried out in the headwaters region of the Ganga River in northern India. Overall median values for uranium and thorium (3.6 and 13.8 ppm; maxima of 4.8 and 19.0 ppm and minima of 3.1 and 12.3 ppm respectively) exceed average upper crustal abundances (2.8 and 10.7 ppm) for these radioactive elements. Anomalously high values reach up to 8.3 and 30.1 ppm in thrust zone rocks, and 11.4 and 22.5 ppm in porphyroids. At their maxima, these abundances are nearly four- and three-fold (respectively) enriched in comparison to average crustal abundances for these rock types. Deformed, metamorphosed and sheared rocks are characteristic of the main central thrust zone (MCTZ). These intensively mylonitized rocks override and juxtapose porphyritic (PH) and proterozoic metasedimentary rock sequences (PMS) to the south. Granitoid rocks, the major protoliths for mylonites, as well as metamorphosed rocks in the MCT zone are naturally enriched in radioelements; high values associated with sheared and mylonitized zones are coincident with reports of radioelement mineralization and with anomalous radon concentrations in soils. The radioelement abundance as well as REE abundance shows a northward enrichment trend consistent with increasing grade of metamorphism indicating deformation-induced remobilization of these elements. U and Th illustrate good correlation with REEs but not with Zr. This implies that zircon is not a principal carrier of U and Th within the granitoid-dominant thrust zone and that other radioelement-rich secondary minerals are present in considerable amounts. Thus, the relatively flat, less fractionated, HREE trend is also not entirely controlled by zircon. The spatial correlation of geologic boundary zones (faults, sheared zones) with geochemical and with geophysical (Rn

  11. An Assessment of Cellulose Filters as a Standardized Material for Measuring Litter Breakdown in Headwater Streams

    EPA Science Inventory

    The decay rate of cellulose filters and associated chemical and biological characteristics were compared to those of white oak (Quercus alba) leaves to determine if cellulose filters could be a suitable standardized material for measuring deciduous leaf breakdown in headwater str...

  12. An assessment of cellulose filters as a standardized material for measuring litter breakdown in headwater streams

    EPA Science Inventory

    The decay rate of cellulose filters and associated chemical and biological characteristics were compared to those of white oak (Quercus alba) leaves to determine if cellulose filters could be a suitable standardized material for measuring deciduous leaf breakdown in headwater str...

  13. Using microbiological tracers to assess the impact of winter land use restrictions on the quality of stream headwaters in a small catchment.

    PubMed

    Flynn, Raymond M; Deakin, Jenny; Archbold, Marie; Cushnan, Hugh; Kilroy, Kate; O'Flaherty, Vincent; Misstear, Bruce D

    2016-01-15

    Diverse land use activities can elevate risk of microbiological contamination entering stream headwaters. Spatially distributed water quality monitoring carried out across a 17 km(2) agricultural catchment aimed to characterize microbiological contamination reaching surface water and investigate whether winter agricultural land use restrictions proved effective in addressing water quality degradation. Combined flow and concentration data revealed no significant difference in fecal indicator organism (FIO) fluxes in base flow samples collected during the open and prohibited periods for spreading organic fertilizer, while relative concentrations of Escherichia coli, fecal streptococci and sulfite reducing bacteria indicated consistently fresh fecal pollution reached aquatic receptors during both periods. Microbial source tracking, employing Bacteroides 16S rRNA gene markers, demonstrated a dominance of bovine fecal waste in river water samples upstream of a wastewater treatment plant discharge during open periods. This contrasted with responses during prohibited periods where human-derived signatures dominated. Differences in microbiological signature, when viewed with hydrological data, suggested that increasing groundwater levels restricted vertical infiltration of effluent from on-site wastewater treatment systems and diverted it to drains and surface water. Study results reflect seasonality of contaminant inputs, while suggesting winter land use restrictions can be effective in limiting impacts of agricultural wastes to base flow water quality.

  14. Using microbiological tracers to assess the impact of winter land use restrictions on the quality of stream headwaters in a small catchment.

    PubMed

    Flynn, Raymond M; Deakin, Jenny; Archbold, Marie; Cushnan, Hugh; Kilroy, Kate; O'Flaherty, Vincent; Misstear, Bruce D

    2016-01-15

    Diverse land use activities can elevate risk of microbiological contamination entering stream headwaters. Spatially distributed water quality monitoring carried out across a 17 km(2) agricultural catchment aimed to characterize microbiological contamination reaching surface water and investigate whether winter agricultural land use restrictions proved effective in addressing water quality degradation. Combined flow and concentration data revealed no significant difference in fecal indicator organism (FIO) fluxes in base flow samples collected during the open and prohibited periods for spreading organic fertilizer, while relative concentrations of Escherichia coli, fecal streptococci and sulfite reducing bacteria indicated consistently fresh fecal pollution reached aquatic receptors during both periods. Microbial source tracking, employing Bacteroides 16S rRNA gene markers, demonstrated a dominance of bovine fecal waste in river water samples upstream of a wastewater treatment plant discharge during open periods. This contrasted with responses during prohibited periods where human-derived signatures dominated. Differences in microbiological signature, when viewed with hydrological data, suggested that increasing groundwater levels restricted vertical infiltration of effluent from on-site wastewater treatment systems and diverted it to drains and surface water. Study results reflect seasonality of contaminant inputs, while suggesting winter land use restrictions can be effective in limiting impacts of agricultural wastes to base flow water quality. PMID:26470010

  15. Long-term effects on nitrogen and benthic fauna of extreme weather events: Examples from two Swedish headwater streams.

    PubMed

    Löfgren, Stefan; Grandin, Ulf; Stendera, Sonja

    2014-01-01

    Climate change is expected to cause an increased frequency of extreme events such as heavy floods and major storms. Such stochastic events have an immediate impact on surface water quality, but the long-term effects are largely unknown. In this study, we assess long-term monitoring data from two Swedish headwater catchments affected by extreme weather events. At one site, where nitrogen effects in soil water, groundwater, and stream water were studied after storm-felling and subsequent forest dieback from bark beetle attack, long-term (> 5 years) but relatively modest (generally <1 mg L⁻¹) increases in ammonium (NH(4)-N) and nitrate (NO(3)-N) concentrations were observed in the various aqueous media. At the other site, where effects on benthic fauna were studied in a stream impacted by extreme geophysical disturbances caused by rainstorm-induced flashflood, only short-term (1 year) effects were revealed both regarding diversity and composition of species.

  16. Long-term effects on nitrogen and benthic fauna of extreme weather events: Examples from two Swedish headwater streams.

    PubMed

    Löfgren, Stefan; Grandin, Ulf; Stendera, Sonja

    2014-01-01

    Climate change is expected to cause an increased frequency of extreme events such as heavy floods and major storms. Such stochastic events have an immediate impact on surface water quality, but the long-term effects are largely unknown. In this study, we assess long-term monitoring data from two Swedish headwater catchments affected by extreme weather events. At one site, where nitrogen effects in soil water, groundwater, and stream water were studied after storm-felling and subsequent forest dieback from bark beetle attack, long-term (> 5 years) but relatively modest (generally <1 mg L⁻¹) increases in ammonium (NH(4)-N) and nitrate (NO(3)-N) concentrations were observed in the various aqueous media. At the other site, where effects on benthic fauna were studied in a stream impacted by extreme geophysical disturbances caused by rainstorm-induced flashflood, only short-term (1 year) effects were revealed both regarding diversity and composition of species. PMID:25403970

  17. Hydrologic connectivity increases denitrification in the hyporheic zone and restored floodplains of an agricultural stream

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Roley, Sarah S.; Tank, Jennifer L.; Williams, Maureen A.

    2012-09-01

    Stream ecotones, specifically the lateral floodplain and subsurface hyporheic zone, can be important sites for nitrogen (N) removal via denitrification, but their role in streams with constructed floodplains has not been examined. We studied denitrification in the hyporheic zone and floodplains of an agriculturally influenced headwater stream in Indiana, USA, that had floodplains added as part of a "two-stage ditch" restoration project. To examine the potential for N removal in the hyporheic zone, we seasonally measured denitrification rates and nitrate concentrations by depth into the stream sediments. We found that nitrate concentration and denitrification rates declined with depth into the hyporheic zone, but denitrification was still measureable to a depth of at least 20 cm. We also measured denitrification rates on the restored floodplains over the course of a flood (pre, during, and post-inundation), and also compared denitrification rates between vegetated and non-vegetated areas of the floodplain. We found that floodplain denitrification rates increased over the course of a floodplain inundation event, and that the presence of surface water increased denitrification rates when vegetation was present. Stream ecotones in midwestern, agriculturally influenced streams have substantial potential for N removal via denitrification, particularly when they are hydrologically connected with high-nitrate surface water.

  18. Evaluation of agricultural best-management practices in the Conestoga River headwaters, Pennsylvania; description and water quality of the Little Conestoga Creek headwaters prior to the implementation of nutrient management

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Fishel, D.K.; Brown, M.J.; Kostelnik, K.M.; Howse, M.A.

    1992-01-01

    The headwaters of the Conestoga River are being studied to determine the effects of agricultural Best-Management Practices on surface-water and ground-water quality. As part of this study, a 5.82-square-mile area of the Little Conestoga Creek headwaters (Small Watershed) was monitored during 1984-86, prior to implementation of Best-Management Practices. This report describes the land use and hydrology of this study area and characterizes its surface-water and ground-water quality during the pre-Best-Management Practice phase. During base-flow conditions, median concentrations of dissolved nitrite plus nitrate nitrogen as nitrogen increased from 2.7 to 8.1 milligrams per liter as the stream flowed through the intensively-farmed carbonate valley. Median total phosphorus increased from 0.05 to 0.20 milligram per liter. Concentrations of dissolved nitrate nitrogen as nitrogen measured in ground water in carbonate rocks in the valley were as great as 25 milligrams per liter and consistently exceeded 10 milligrams per liter. Statistical analysis showed that it will require substantial reductions in concentrations and discharges of nitrogen and phosphorus in base flow to obtain statistically measurable improvements in water quality. If concentrations and discharges of total nitrogen in base flow at the five sites are reduced by 15 to 33 percent, and by 63 to 70 percent, respectively, then the Wilcoxon Mann-Whitney rank-sum test will be able to detect an improvement in water quality 95 percent of the time. Likewise, if concentrations of total phosphorus are reduced by 36 to 54 percent, or discharges of total phosphorus are reduced by 52 to 69 percent at the five sites, then an improvement in water quality will be able to be detected 95 percent of the time.

  19. The role of log jams and exceptional flood events in mobilizing coarse particulate organic matter in a steep headwater stream

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jochner, M.; Turowski, J. M.; Badoux, A.; Stoffel, M.; Rickli, C.

    2015-07-01

    Coarse particulate organic matter (CPOM) fulfills important functions in the physical and ecological system of a stream. CPOM delivery to and export from the stream has implications for the stream's morphology and sediment transport capacity as well as the energy budget and food availability. Export rates of CPOM from mountain catchments have been observed to strongly increase with rising discharge, but the mechanism leading to this strong relationship is unclear. Here, we show that log jams in the Erlenbach, a steep headwater stream in the Swiss Prealps, are an effective barrier for the transport of CPOM pieces, and thus become sites of storage of large quantities of material over time. Exceptional discharge events with return periods exceeding 20 years play a dual role in CPOM transport in the Erlenbach. First, they appear to destroy existing log jams, releasing the stored material (wood and sediment). Second, they intensify channel-hillslope coupling, thereby recruiting new logs to the channel, around which new jams can form. This allows for the formulation of a new, fully episodic end-member in a four-end-member model of CPOM dynamics of steep mountain streams based on wood delivery and export.

  20. Flushing of distal hillslopes as an alternative source of stream dissolved organic carbon in a headwater catchment

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Gannon, John P; Bailey, Scott W.; McGuire, Kevin J.; Shanley, James B.

    2015-01-01

    We investigated potential source areas of dissolved organic carbon (DOC) in headwater streams by examining DOC concentrations in lysimeter, shallow well, and stream water samples from a reference catchment at the Hubbard Brook Experimental Forest. These observations were then compared to high-frequency temporal variations in fluorescent dissolved organic matter (FDOM) at the catchment outlet and the predicted spatial extent of shallow groundwater in soils throughout the catchment. While near-stream soils are generally considered a DOC source in forested catchments, DOC concentrations in near-stream groundwater were low (mean = 2.4 mg/L, standard error = 0.6 mg/L), less than hillslope groundwater farther from the channel (mean = 5.7 mg/L, standard error = 0.4 mg/L). Furthermore, water tables in near-stream soils did not rise into the carbon-rich upper B or O horizons even during events. In contrast, soils below bedrock outcrops near channel heads where lateral soil formation processes dominate had much higher DOC concentrations. Soils immediately downslope of bedrock areas had thick eluvial horizons indicative of leaching of organic materials, Fe, and Al and had similarly high DOC concentrations in groundwater (mean = 14.5 mg/L, standard error = 0.8 mg/L). Flow from bedrock outcrops partially covered by organic soil horizons produced the highest groundwater DOC concentrations (mean = 20.0 mg/L, standard error = 4.6 mg/L) measured in the catchment. Correspondingly, stream water in channel heads sourced in part by shallow soils and bedrock outcrops had the highest stream DOC concentrations measured in the catchment. Variation in FDOM concentrations at the catchment outlet followed water table fluctuations in shallow to bedrock soils near channel heads. We show that shallow hillslope soils receiving runoff from organic matter-covered bedrock outcrops may be a major source of DOC in headwater catchments in forested mountainous regions

  1. Factors affecting distribution of wood, detritus, and sediment in headwater streams draining managed young-growth red alder - Conifer forests in southeast Alaska

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Gomi, T.; Johnson, A.C.; Deal, R.L.; Hennon, P.E.; Orlikowska, E.H.; Wipfli, M.S.

    2006-01-01

    Factors (riparian stand condition, management regimes, and channel properties) affecting distributions of wood, detritus (leaves and branches), and sediment were examined in headwater streams draining young-growth red alder (Alnus rubra Bong.) - conifer riparian forests (40 years old) remained in channels and provided sites for sediment and organic matter storage. Despite various alder-conifer mixtures and past harvesting effects, the abundance of large wood, fine wood, and detritus accumulations significantly decreased with increasing channel bank-full width (0.5-3.5 m) along relatively short channel distances (up to 700 m). Changes in wood, detritus, and sediment accumulations together with changes in riparian stand characteristics create spatial and temporal variability of in-channel conditions in headwater systems. A component of alder within young-growth riparian forests may benefit both wood production and biological recovery in disturbed headwater stream channels. ?? 2006 NRC.

  2. Channel water balance and exchange with subsurface flow along a mountain headwater stream in Montana, United States

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Payn, R.A.; Gooseff, M.N.; McGlynn, B.L.; Bencala, K.E.; Wondzell, S.M.

    2009-01-01

    Channel water balances of contiguous reaches along streams represent a poorly understood scale of stream-subsurface interaction. We measured reach water balances along a headwater stream in Montana, United States, during summer base flow recessions. Reach water balances were estimated from series of tracer tests in 13 consecutive reaches delineated evenly along a 2.6 km valley segment. For each reach, we estimated net change in discharge, gross hydrologic loss, and gross hydrologic gain from tracer dilution and mass recovery. Four series of tracer tests were performed during relatively high, intermediate, and low base flow conditions. The relative distribution of channel water along the stream was strongly related to a transition in valley structure, with a general increase in gross losses through the recession. During tracer tests at intermediate and low flows, there were frequent substantial losses of tracer mass (>10%) that could not be explained by net loss in flow over the reach, indicating that many of the study reaches were concurrently losing and gaining water. For example, one reach with little net change in discharge exchanged nearly 20% of upstream flow with gains and losses along the reach. These substantial bidirectional exchanges suggest that some channel interactions with subsurface flow paths were not measurable by net change in flow or transient storage of recovered tracer. Understanding bidirectional channel water balances in stream reaches along valleys is critical to an accurate assessment of stream solute fate and transport and to a full assessment of exchanges between the stream channel and surrounding subsurface. Copyright 2009 by the American Geophysical Union.

  3. On the relative importance of pool morphology and woody debris to distributions of shrimp in a Puerto Rican headwater stream

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Pyron, M.; Covich, A.P.; Black, R.W.

    1999-01-01

    In this paper, we report the sizes and distributional orientation of woody debris in a headwater rainforest stream in the Luquillo Experimental Forest (LEF), Puerto Rico. We also provide results of a 4-month study of a wood addition experiment designed to increase cover for benthic macroinvertebrates (freshwater shrimp). We added branch-sized woody debris to 20 pools in three streams. We trapped four species of freshwater shrimp (two species of benthic detritivores and two predatory shrimp species) during each of the 4 months following wood additions. An analysis of pool morphology (maximum depth, surface area and volume) provided a useful predictor of shrimp abundances. In general, numbers of shrimps increased with sizes of stream pools. A repeated measures ANOVA demonstrated no effect of woody debris additions on total numbers of shrimp per pool area. Two detritivore species (Atya lanipes, a filter feeder and Xiphocaris elongata, a shredder) decreased in abundance with increased woody debris and there was no statistical relationship between woody debris additions and predators (Macrobrachium carcinus and M. crenulatum). Small woody debris additions may have altered flow velocities that were important to filter-feeding Atya at the microhabitat scale, although the overall velocities within pools were not altered by wood additions. Lower numbers of Atya and Xiphocaris in two of the three streams may result from the occurrence of two predaceous fishes (American eel and mountain mullet) and more predatory Macrobrachium in these streams. One likely interpretation of the results of this study is that the stream pools in these study reaches had sufficient habitat structure provided by numerous rock crevices (among large rocks and boulders) to provide refuge from predators. Addition of woody debris did not add significantly to the existing structure. These results may not apply to stream channels with sand and gravel substrata where crevices and undercut banks are lacking

  4. Aquatic hyphomycete communities associated with decomposing alder leaf litter in reference headwater streams of the Basque Country (northern Spain).

    PubMed

    Pérez, Javier; Descals, Enrique; Pozo, Jesús

    2012-08-01

    The community of aquatic hyphomycetes associated with decomposing alder leaf litter was studied during autumn-winter in nine headwater reference streams of the Basque Country (northern Spain). In order to study the spatial variability in composition and community structure, three streams from each of three different river basins were compared. The colonization dynamics and community changes throughout the decomposition process were also followed in three of the rivers (one per basin). The taxonomic richness and community structure of these fungi varied among rivers, including similar streams of a given watershed. However, neither species diversity nor total abundance was statistically related to environmental variables. Only the conidial production of two of the species, Flagellospora curvula and Lunulospora curvula appeared to be enhanced by nitrate availability in the water. The taxonomic richness and the reproductive activity (sporulation rate) were positively related to the leaf litter decomposition rate. The changes in conidial production along the process were similar for all the streams and helped explain leaf litter quality dynamics.

  5. Characterizing Non-Point Source Pollution From Agricultural Landscape Using Remote Sensing And Gis - A Case Study From Sugarcreek Headwaters, Ohio, USA

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Prasad, V. K.; Stinner, B.; McCartney, D.

    Ohio is typical among many mid west and eastern states in US that are experiencing elevated inputs of anthropogenic pollutants, especially from agricultural sources. In this study, we designed an integrated Remote sensing and GIS based approach to investigate and understand the role of landscape complexity affecting the spatial and temporal variation in pollutant loads in one of the most impaired headwater streams in Ohio. LANDSAT ETM+ data in conjunction with digital elevation model were used to compute the hydrological and watershed parameters, viz., wetness index, topographic index, soil loss, flow direction, flow accumulation, stream networks, stream orders, etc. These parameters were used in Geographic Information Systems framework along with step wise multiple linear regression to understand the spatial and temporal variation in pollutant loads. Among the different parameters, results suggested elevation range and upstream flow length as best predictors for nitrate, flow direction and upstream flow length for ammonia and slope and elevation range for phosphate loads. Methodology followed in the study and the results obtained suggest potential use of Remote sensing and GIS for characterizing non-point source pollution.

  6. Influence of Land Use on the Stable Carbon Isotopic Composition and Concentration of Dissolved Organic Carbon and Dissolved Inorganic Carbon in Georgia Piedmont Headwater Streams

    EPA Science Inventory

    Headwater streams are the dominant land-water interface across much of the landscape and provide many important ecological services. Cycling and transport of various carbon fractions, which serve as important food sources for downstream aquatic ecosystems, are among the important...

  7. A validation study of a rapid field-based rating system for discriminating among flow permanence classes of headwater streams in South Carolina

    EPA Science Inventory

    Rapid field-based protocols for classifying flow permanence of headwater streams are needed to inform timely regulatory decisions. Such an existing method was developed for and has been used in North Carolina since 1997. The method uses ordinal scoring of 26 geomorphology, hydr...

  8. PREDICTING THE OCCURRENCE OF NUTRIENTS AND PESTICIDES DURING BASE FLOW IN NONTIDAL HEADWATER STREAMS OF THE MID-ATLANTIC COASTAL PLAIN

    EPA Science Inventory

    Water quality in nontidal headwater (first-order) streams of the Mid-Atlantic Coastal Plain (MACP) during base flow in the late winter and spring is related to land use, hydrogeology, and other natural or human influences in contributing watersheds.

  9. Carbon isotope fractionation of dissolved inorganic carbon (DIC) due to outgassing of carbon dioxide from a headwater stream

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Doctor, D.H.; Kendall, C.; Sebestyen, S.D.; Shanley, J.B.; Ohte, N.; Boyer, E.W.

    2008-01-01

    The stable isotopic composition of dissolved inorganic carbon (??13C-DIC) was investigated as a potential tracer of streamflow generation processes at the Sleepers River Research Watershed, Vermont, USA. Downstream sampling showed ?? 13C-DIC increased between 3-5??? from the stream source to the outlet weir approximately 0??5 km downstream, concomitant with increasing pH and decreasing PCO2. An increase in ??13C-DIC of 2.4 ?? 0??1??? per log unit decrease of excess PCO2 (stream PCO2 normalized to atmospheric PCO2) was observed from downstream transect data collected during snowmelt. Isotopic fractionation of DIC due to CO2 outgassing rather than exchange with atmospheric CO2 may be the primary cause of increased ?? 13C-DIC values downstream when PCO2 of surface freshwater exceeds twice the atmospheric CO2 concentration. Although CO2 outgassing caused a general increase in stream ??13C-DIC values, points of localized groundwater seepage into the stream were identified by decreases in ??13C-DIC and increases in DIC concentration of the stream water superimposed upon the general downstream trend. In addition, comparison between snowmelt, early spring and summer seasons showed that DIC is flushed from shallow groundwater flowpaths during snowmelt and is replaced by a greater proportion of DIC derived from soil CO2 during the early spring growing season. Thus, in spite of effects from CO2 outgassing, ??13C of DIC can be a useful indicator of groundwater additions to headwater streams and a tracer of carbon dynamics in catchments. Copyright ?? 2007 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

  10. The role of log jams and exceptional flood events in mobilizing coarse particulate organic matter in a steep headwater stream

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jochner, M.; Turowski, J. M.; Badoux, A.; Stoffel, M.; Rickli, C.

    2015-02-01

    Export rates of coarse particulate organic matter (CPOM) from mountain catchments have been observed to strongly increase with rising discharge, but the mechanism leading to this strong relationship is unclear. Here, we show that log jams in the Erlenbach, a steep headwater stream in the Swiss Prealps, are an effective barrier for the transport of CPOM pieces, and thus become sites of storage of large quantities of material over time. Exceptional discharge events with return periods exceeding 20 years play a dual role in CPOM transport. First, they destroy existing log jams, releasing the stored material (wood and sediment). Second, they intensify channel-hillslope coupling, thereby recruiting new logs to the channel, around which new jams can form.

  11. The role of dissolved organic nitrogen in a nitrate-rich agricultural stream.

    PubMed

    Oviedo-Vargas, Diana; Royer, Todd V

    2015-03-01

    Agricultural activities have heavily altered the nitrogen (N) cycle in stream ecosystems draining croplands, particularly in the midwestern United States. However, our knowledge about dissolved organic N (DON) biogeochemistry in agricultural ecosystems is limited. From January 2011 to June 2012, we investigated DON dynamics in an agricultural headwater stream in the midwestern United States. We quantified the contribution of DON to the total dissolved N (TDN) pool and examined the role of DON as a source of N for microbial metabolism. For this we measured N-acquiring enzyme activities (aminopeptidases) and whole-stream DON uptake through short-term releases of amino acids. To investigate potential coupling between the N and C cycles occurring via simultaneous uptake of these two elements during assimilation of amino acids, seven of the short-term releases were performed concurrently with acetate. We found minimal contribution of DON to the TDN pool in this stream as a result of high concentrations of nitrate. Acetate uptake suggested that C was a limiting factor for microbial metabolism in this stream. In contrast, we were not able to detect amino acid uptake during any of the 13 short-term releases we conducted, likely as a result of high availability of dissolved inorganic N. Aminopeptidase (AMP) activity did not reflect N demand. Large spatial variability in AMP was observed within and among sites, possibly as result of physicochemical characteristics of the sediments. In contrast to other human-dominated streams, DON appeared to play a minor role in microbial metabolic processes and contributed minimally to the N pool of the study stream. PMID:26023984

  12. The burial of headwater streams in drainage pipes reduces in-stream nitrate retention: results from two US metropolitan areas

    EPA Science Inventory

    Urbanization causes stream degradation in various ways, but perhaps the most extreme example is the burial of streams in underground storm drains to facilitate above ground development or to promote the rapid conveyance of stormwater. Stream burial is extensive in urban basins (...

  13. A method to estimate the impact of clear-cutting on nutrient concentrations in boreal headwater streams.

    PubMed

    Palviainen, Marjo; Finér, Leena; Laurén, Ari; Mattsson, Tuija; Högbom, Lars

    2015-10-01

    Large-scale forestry operations, like clear-cutting, may impair surface water quality if not done with environmental considerations in mind. Catchment and country level estimates of nutrient loads from forestry are generally based on specific export values, i.e., changes in annual exports due to the implemented forestry operations expressed in kg ha(-1). We introduce here a specific concentration approach as a method to estimate the impact of clear-cutting on nutrient concentrations and export in headwater streams. This new method is potentially a more dynamic and flexible tool to estimate nutrient loads caused by forestry, because variation in annual runoff can be taken into account in load assessments. We combined water quality data from eight boreal headwater catchment pairs located in Finland and Sweden, where the effect of clear-cutting on stream water quality has been studied experimentally. Statistically significant specific concentration values could be produced for total nitrogen, nitrate, ammonium, and phosphate. The significant increases in the concentrations of these nutrients occurred between 2 and 6 years after clear-cutting. Significant specific concentration values could not be produced for total phosphorus and total organic carbon with the whole dataset, although in some single studies significant increases in their concentrations after clear-cutting were observed. The presented method enables taking into account variation in runoff, temporal dynamics of effects, and the proportional size of the treated area in load calculations. The number of existing studies considering large site-specific variation in responses to clear-cutting is small, and therefore further empirical studies are needed to improve predictive capabilities of the specific concentration values. PMID:25663527

  14. A method to estimate the impact of clear-cutting on nutrient concentrations in boreal headwater streams.

    PubMed

    Palviainen, Marjo; Finér, Leena; Laurén, Ari; Mattsson, Tuija; Högbom, Lars

    2015-10-01

    Large-scale forestry operations, like clear-cutting, may impair surface water quality if not done with environmental considerations in mind. Catchment and country level estimates of nutrient loads from forestry are generally based on specific export values, i.e., changes in annual exports due to the implemented forestry operations expressed in kg ha(-1). We introduce here a specific concentration approach as a method to estimate the impact of clear-cutting on nutrient concentrations and export in headwater streams. This new method is potentially a more dynamic and flexible tool to estimate nutrient loads caused by forestry, because variation in annual runoff can be taken into account in load assessments. We combined water quality data from eight boreal headwater catchment pairs located in Finland and Sweden, where the effect of clear-cutting on stream water quality has been studied experimentally. Statistically significant specific concentration values could be produced for total nitrogen, nitrate, ammonium, and phosphate. The significant increases in the concentrations of these nutrients occurred between 2 and 6 years after clear-cutting. Significant specific concentration values could not be produced for total phosphorus and total organic carbon with the whole dataset, although in some single studies significant increases in their concentrations after clear-cutting were observed. The presented method enables taking into account variation in runoff, temporal dynamics of effects, and the proportional size of the treated area in load calculations. The number of existing studies considering large site-specific variation in responses to clear-cutting is small, and therefore further empirical studies are needed to improve predictive capabilities of the specific concentration values.

  15. Episodic acidification and changes in fish diversity in Pennsylvania headwater streams

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Heard, R.M.; Sharpe, W.E.; Carline, R.F.; Kimmel, William G.

    1997-01-01

    Current water chemistry and fish communities in 70 Pennsylvania streams were compared with historical records to determine whether fish species richness had declined and, if so, the possible role of acidification. First-, second-, and third-order streams were selected, and stream sites sampled during the 1961-1971 survey were resampled during May and June 1994 in the Appalachian Plateaus province and during June 1995 in the Valley and Ridge province. Stream-flow was measured and a habitat assessment was completed at each site. Dominant bedrock types influencing the stream sampling site were determined for the Appalachian Plateaus streams. Episodic water chemistry was collected for 39 of the 50 Appalachian Plateaus streams and 14 of the 20 Valley and Ridge streams during the winter and spring of 1996. Thirty-eight (76%) streams of the Appalachian Plateaus province and 13 (65%) streams in the Valley and Ridge province had a loss of fish species since the 1961-1971 sampling period. Habitat scores were not related to losses of fish species. Of the 53 streams sampled during runoff episodes 22 (42%) increased in total dissolved aluminum by more than 50 ??g/L, and 31 (58%) streams decreased in pH by 0.5 units or more. Minnows (Cyprinidae) and darters (Percidae) are sensitive to acidity and were the species most often lost. Streams draining watersheds of the Appalachian Plateaus province dominated by Pottsville bedrock had more acidic water quality during base flow and storm flow sampling periods than streams dominated by Pocono bedrock. The results of this study indicate that many Pennsylvania streams have undergone an alarming reduction in fish diversity during the past 25-34 years. In many of these streams the loss in fish diversity may be attributed to episodic acidification.

  16. Processes and rates of sediment and wood accumulation in headwater streams of the Oregon Coast Range, USA

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    May, Christine L.; Gresswell, Robert E.

    2003-01-01

    Channels that have been scoured to bedrock by debris flows provide unique opportunities to calculate the rate of sediment and wood accumulation in low-order streams, to understand the temporal succession of channel morphology following disturbance, and to make inferences about processes associated with input and transport of sediment. Dendrochronology was used to estimate the time since the previous debris flow and the time since the last stand-replacement fire in unlogged basins in the central Coast Range of Oregon. Debris flow activity increased 42 per cent above the background rate in the decades immediately following the last wildfire. Changes in wood and sediment storage were quantified for 13 streams that ranged from 4 to 144 years since the previous debris flow. The volume of wood and sediment in the channel, and the length of channel with exposed bedrock, were strongly correlated with the time since the previous debris flow. Wood increased the storage capacity of the channel and trapped the majority of the sediment in these steep headwater streams. In the absence of wood, channels that have been scoured to bedrock by a debris flow may lack the capacity to store sediment and could persist in a bedrock state for an extended period of time. With an adequate supply of wood, low-order channels have the potential of storing large volumes of sediment in the interval between debris flows and can function as one of the dominant storage reservoirs for sediment in mountainous terrain.

  17. Influences of fragmentation on three species of native warmwater fishes in a Colorado River Basin headwater stream system, Wyoming

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Compton, R.I.; Hubert, W.A.; Rahel, F.J.; Quist, M.C.; Bower, M.R.

    2008-01-01

    We investigated the effects of constructed instream structures on movements and demographics of bluehead suckers Catostomus discobolus, flannelmouth suckers C. latipinnis, and roundtail chub Gila robusta in the upstream portion of Muddy Creek, an isolated headwater stream system in the upper Colorado River basin of Wyoming. Our objectives were to (1) evaluate upstream and downstream movements of these three native species past a small dam built to divert irrigation water from the stream and a barrier constructed to prevent upstream movements of nonnative salmonids and (2) describe population characteristics in stream segments created by these structures. Our results indicated that upstream and downstream movements of the three target fishes were common. Fish of all three species moved frequently downstream over both structures, displayed some upstream movements over the irrigation diversion dam, and did not move upstream over the fish barrier. Spawning migrations by some fish into an intermittent tributary, which was not separated from Muddy Creek by a barrier, were observed for all three species. Both the irrigation diversion dam and the fish barrier contributed to fragmentation of the native fish populations, and considerable differences in population features were observed among segments. The instream structures may eventually cause extirpation of some native species in one or more of the segments created by the structures. ?? Copyright by the American Fisheries Society 2008.

  18. Landscape Characteristics and Variations in Longitudinal Stream Flow Contribution in two Headwater Semi-Arid Mountain Watersheds

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shakespeare, B.; Gooseff, M. N.

    2005-12-01

    Understanding what role particular catchment attributes (slope, aspect, landcover, and contributing area) play in the contribution of stream flow is important for land management decisions, especially in the semi-arid western areas of the United States. Our study site is paired small catchments (approximately 9 and 11 km2) in the headwaters of the Weber drainage basin in Northern Utah. These catchments are surrounded by Wasatch formation with loamy textured soils. One catchment is predominantly underlain by quartzite while the other catchment is mostly underlain by limestone. We measured lateral flow gains every 200 to 400 meters using salt dilution gauging techniques throughout the ~5 km long streams. These measurements were taken synoptically 3 times during the seasonal discharge recession (summer 2005). The flows ranged spatially from 4 L s-1 to 55 L s-1 and varied temporally by as much as 50% when comparing the same reaches. Using GIS software, landscape analysis of slope, aspect, contributing area, topographic convergence, riparian and hillslope area, and landcover was performed for each of the delineated stream reach contributing areas. The results were tested for correlations between lateral flow gains measured in the field and different landscape characteristics. Each of the synoptic events was compared with each other to explore effects of seasonal recession on the relationships between flow gain and landscape characteristics.

  19. Relationships among varying sampling distance and the IBI in warmwater, headwater streams of the Eastern Corn Belt Plain.

    PubMed

    Simon, Thomas P; Morris, Charles C

    2014-10-01

    Single-pass electrofishing was used to define the most efficient sampling distance to assess stream condition using the index of biotic integrity (IBI) methodology in headwater (<36 km(2) drainage area), warmwater streams in the Eastern Corn Belt Plain ecoregion. Based on wetted widths (1-3.3 m) of sampled reaches, we defined effort based on increased area (range 50-555 m(2)). Sampled area necessary to capture a representative fish assemblage increased until 167-m(2) distance, which is equivalent to a minimum sampling distance of one habitat cycle. No significant difference in metric actual observed value response was found with increasing habitat cycle. Increased effort is required in smaller streams widths (≤1 m) to achieve the recommended sample area. The effect of rare fish on the IBI was tested using a modified Walford method. A significant decrease in IBI score was observed when 10% of the rare data were removed. The presence of rare fish did not influence individual IBI metrics or scores for either the increased effort or reduced effort calibrations until greater than 3% of the data was removed for number of species, 15% removal of data for number of minnow species, and 5% removal of data for catch per unit effort (CPUE). Increased effort did not affect any metric or IBI score, while reduced effort influenced the number of darter, madtom, and sculpin species and catch per unit effort metric scores but did not affect IBI score. PMID:24996620

  20. Relationships among varying sampling distance and the IBI in warmwater, headwater streams of the Eastern Corn Belt Plain.

    PubMed

    Simon, Thomas P; Morris, Charles C

    2014-10-01

    Single-pass electrofishing was used to define the most efficient sampling distance to assess stream condition using the index of biotic integrity (IBI) methodology in headwater (<36 km(2) drainage area), warmwater streams in the Eastern Corn Belt Plain ecoregion. Based on wetted widths (1-3.3 m) of sampled reaches, we defined effort based on increased area (range 50-555 m(2)). Sampled area necessary to capture a representative fish assemblage increased until 167-m(2) distance, which is equivalent to a minimum sampling distance of one habitat cycle. No significant difference in metric actual observed value response was found with increasing habitat cycle. Increased effort is required in smaller streams widths (≤1 m) to achieve the recommended sample area. The effect of rare fish on the IBI was tested using a modified Walford method. A significant decrease in IBI score was observed when 10% of the rare data were removed. The presence of rare fish did not influence individual IBI metrics or scores for either the increased effort or reduced effort calibrations until greater than 3% of the data was removed for number of species, 15% removal of data for number of minnow species, and 5% removal of data for catch per unit effort (CPUE). Increased effort did not affect any metric or IBI score, while reduced effort influenced the number of darter, madtom, and sculpin species and catch per unit effort metric scores but did not affect IBI score.

  1. Tracking Changes in Dissolved Organic Matter Patterns in Perennial Headwater Streams Throughout a Hydrologic Year Using In-situ Sensors and Optical Properties

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Armstrong, A.; Epting, S.; Hosen, J. D.; Palmer, M.

    2015-12-01

    Dissolved organic matter (DOM) plays a central role in freshwater streams but key questions remain unanswered about temporal patterns in its quantity and composition. DOM in perennial streams in the temperate zone is a complex mixture reflecting a variety of sources such as leached plant material, organic matter from surrounding soils, and microbial processes in the streams themselves. Headwater perennial streams in the Tuckahoe Creek watershed of the Atlantic coastal plain (Maryland, USA) drain a mosaic of land cover types including row crops, forests, and both forested and marshy small depressional wetlands. Wetland-stream surface hydrologic connections generally occur between mid-fall and late spring, coinciding with peak wetland hydrologic expression (i.e. highest groundwater levels and surface inundation extent). When inundated, these wetlands contain high DOM concentrations, and surface connections may serve as conduits for downstream export. We hypothesized that changes in wetland-stream surface hydrologic connectivity would affect patterns of DOM concentration and composition in these streams. We deployed 6 sondes equipped with fluorescent DOM sensors in 4 perennial streams, 1 forested wetland, and the larger downstream channel draining all study sites for the 2015 water year. The 4 headwater streams drain areas containing forested wetlands and have documented temporary channel connections. Combined with baseflow and stormflow sampling, the sondes provided 15 minute estimates of dissolved organic carbon (DOC) concentrations. This resolution provided insights into patterns of DOC concentration across temporal scales from daily rhythms to seasonal changes, during both baseflow and storm conditions. Discrete measurements of absorbance and fluorescence provided information about DOM composition throughout the study. Together these measurements give a detailed record of DOM dynamics in multiple perennial headwater streams for an entire year. This information

  2. Species composition and habitat associations of benthic algal assemblages in headwater streams of the Sierra Nevada, California

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Brown, L.R.; May, J.T.; Hunsaker, C.T.

    2008-01-01

    Despite their trophic importance and potential importance as bioindicators of stream condition, benthic algae have not been well studied in California. In particular there are few studies from small streams in the Sierra Nevada. The objective of this study was to determine the standing crop of chlorophyll-a and benthic algal species assemblages present in the small 1st- and 2nd-order streams of the Kings River Experimental Watersheds (KREW, watersheds of Bull, Providence, Duff, and Teakettle Creeks) and determine the associations of these measures with stream habitat. We collected samples of benthic algae from rock substrata in September 2002 (7 sites) and 2005 (the same 7 sites plus 5 additional sites). Habitat and water-quality data were collected concurrently. Chlorophyll-a values ranged from 0.2 to 3.2 mg??m-2. Chlorophyll-a in the Bull Creek watershed was generally lower than in the other watersheds. Benthic algal assemblages were dominated by diatoms and cyanobacteria. We collected 79 taxa of diatoms in 2002 and 126 taxa in 2005. Diatom taxa richness in individual samples ranged from 15 to 47. Nonmetric multidimensional scaling analysis of arcsine square-root transformed proportional abundances of diatoms identified 3 groups of sites. Bull Creek sites were generally different from other sites (group 1), and the sites from Bull Creek were different in 2002 (group 2) and 2005 (group 3). Five taxa appeared to be particularly important in distinguishing groups: Achnanthidium minutissimum, Cocconeis placentula, Eunotia incisa, Eunotia pectinalis var. minor, and Planothidium lanceolatum. Elevation, water temperature, pH, specific conductance, and canopy were habitat variables correlated with the differences in diatom assemblages among sites. Our results provide a valuable baseline for future studies of benthic algae in Sierra Nevada headwater streams and will be particularly important in understanding the effects of different forest restoration management

  3. Using a Whole-stream Approach to Quantify Headwater Yedoma DOC Processing Rates in NE Siberia, Russia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Heslop, J.; Walter Anthony, K. M.; Davydova, A.; Davydov, S. P.; Zimov, N.

    2015-12-01

    Climate warming triggers the release of permafrost organic carbon (OC) via permafrost thaw and erosion, exporting large amounts of terrestrial C to aquatic environments and making previously frozen OC from a range of soil depths available for microbial processing. It is estimated 210-476 Pg C is stored in deep, ice-rich loess-dominated soils referred to as yedoma. Yedoma is extensive in NE Siberia and Alaska, where it underlies an area of over 1,000,000 km2 and averages 25 m in thickness. Recent research suggests ancient (Pleistocene-aged) permafrost OC, such as yedoma OC, is rapidly and preferentially utilized by microbial communities in Arctic headwater streams. We utilized a combination of short-term laboratory incubations and a whole-stream approach to examine permafrost-derived dissolved organic carbon (DOC) uptake, processing, and transport rates in a small stream which drains yedoma uplands in Cherskii, NE Siberia. Short-term incubations were conducted on permafrost leachates mixed with stream water to quantify microbial processing rates of permafrost-derived DOC from leachates made with surface (0-15 cm), shallow (70-100 cm), and deep (<2 m) yedoma sediments. In addition, we conducted whole-stream DOC release experiments to quantify permafrost DOC uptake length, rate, and velocity. DOC composition from samples collected during both the incubations and the nutrient-release experiments was characterized using absorbance measurements (SUVA254 and SR) and florescence spectrometry (EEMs) to quantify how DOC composition correlates to and changes with permafrost DOC bioavailability and processing parameters. Preliminary results suggest DOC processing rates may be highest in leachates made from surface sediments, which receive fresh OC input from modern ecosystems, and from deep sediments, which contain ancient, previously immobile OC. Shallow permafrost OC, which experiences degradation from annual freeze-thaw cycles without receiving fresh OC input, may have the

  4. Temporal control on concentration, character, and export of dissolved organic carbon in two hemiboreal headwater streams draining contrasting catchments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wallin, Marcus B.; Weyhenmeyer, Gesa A.; Bastviken, David; Chmiel, Hannah E.; Peter, Simone; Sobek, Sebastian; Klemedtsson, Leif

    2015-05-01

    Although lateral carbon (C) export from terrestrial to aquatic systems is known to be an important component in landscape C balances, most existing global studies are lacking empirical data on the soil C export. In this study, the concentration, character, and export of dissolved organic carbon (DOC) were studied during 2 years in two hemiboreal headwater streams draining catchments with different soil characteristics (mineral versus peat soils). The streams exposed surprisingly similar strong air temperature controls on the temporal variability in DOC concentration in spite of draining such different catchments. The temporal variability in DOC character (determined by absorbance metrics, specific ultraviolet absorbance 254 (SUVA254) as a proxy for aromaticity and a254/a365 ratio as a proxy for mean molecular weight) was more complex but related to stream discharge. While the two streams showed similar ranges and patterns in SUVA254, we found a significant difference in median a254/a354, suggesting differences in the DOC character. Both streams responded similarly to hydrological changes with higher a254/a365 at higher discharge, although with rather small differences in a254/a365 between base flow and high flow (<0.3). The DOC exports (9.6-25.2 g C m-2 yr-1) were among the highest reported so far for Scandinavia and displayed large interannual and intraannual variability mainly driven by irregular precipitation/discharge patterns. Our results show that air temperature and discharge affect the temporal variability in DOC quantity and character in different ways. This will have implications for the design of representative sampling programs, which in turn will affect the reliability of future estimates of landscape C budgets.

  5. A national scale monitoring network for nutrients in agriculture dominated headwaters in the Netherlands

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Broers, H. P.; Rozemeijer, J.; Klein, J.

    2012-04-01

    Although specific monitoring networks exist in the Netherlands which assess the leaching of nutrients to surface waters and groundwater, none of them was capable to quantify the effects of nutrient reduction schemes to agriculture dominated headwaters. Thus, an important link was missing which relates the nutrient concentrations measured in shallow groundwater at farm scale to nutrient concentrations measured at the scale of Water Framework Directive water bodies. A new network was composed using existing monitoring locations and water quality time series owned by the 24 water boards in the Netherlands. Only monitoring locations were selected where no other pollution sources , such as water sewage treatment plants were influencing water quality. Eventually, 168 monitoring locations were selected to assess compliance to environmental standards and 80 for trend analysis. Compliance was tested applying environmental quality standards (EQS) based on summer averaged concentrations, which are set by the water boards and which are water type and location dependent. Compliance was strongly weather dependent, and only 24% of the locations complied for N and P under all weather conditions. Trends were assessed using a combination of seasonal Mann-Kendall tests and Theil-Sen robust lines for individual time series, and aggregating those trends to acquire median and average trend slopes for the sand, clay and peat regions in the Netherlands. Significant downward trends were demonstrated for N and P over the whole period (slopes between -0,55 mgN/l and -0.015 and 0.02 mg P/l per 10 year). Slopes were even more pronounced for winter concentrations of N (-0.89 mg N/l per 10 year). The slopes were relevant and environmentally significant in relation to the height of the EQS and were attributed to the effective reduction of nutrient leaching as the result of adapted farming practices. The presentation will highlight and evaluate choices in the design of the newly composed network

  6. The Affects of Mountain Top Removal Mining on Headwater Streams in Eastern Kentucky

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Word, D. A.; Jack, J. D.; Kelley, R.

    2005-05-01

    Mountain Top Removal/Valley Fill (MTR/VF) coal mining is a relatively new coal extraction technology that is widely utilized throughout the Appalachian region. During this process, the mountaintop is blasted away, the coal removed and the leftover material (spoil) is then deposited into the surrounding valleys. The potential negative ecological effects of these operations on stream biodiversity has received some attention but there is little available data on how these fills affect stream functions such as litter decomposition rates. We selected 4 streams draining "retired" MTR/VF sites of various ages in eastern Kentucky (USA) and one stream from an actively mined site. We compared leaf mass loss rates, N dynamics, fungal colonization (as measured by ergosterol) and water chemistry parameters in these streams to three unmined reference streams. Leaf litter mass loss was usually higher in the reference streams while water chemistry parameters such as conductivity, nitrate and TDS were often much higher in the MTR/VF streams. Such differences in stream function and water quality should be considered in permitting decisions and in assessing recovery of streams after mining.

  7. Characterization of major-ion chemistry and nutrients in headwater streams along the Appalachian National Scenic Trail and within adjacent watersheds, Maine to Georgia

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Argue, Denise M.; Pope, Jason P.; Dieffenbach, Fred

    2012-01-01

    An inventory of water-quality data on field parameters, major ions, and nutrients provided a summary of water quality in headwater (first- and second-order) streams within watersheds along the Appalachian National Scenic Trail (Appalachian Trail). Data from 1,817 sampling sites in 831 catchments were used for the water-quality summary. Catchment delineations from NHDPlus were used as the fundamental geographic units for this project. Criteria used to evaluate sampling sites for inclusion were based on selected physical attributes of the catchments adjacent to the Appalachian Trail, including stream elevation, percentage of developed land cover, and percentage of agricultural land cover. The headwater streams of the Appalachian Trail are generally dilute waters, with low pH, low acid neutralizing capacity (ANC), and low concentrations of nutrients. The median pH value was slightly acidic at 6.7; the median specific conductance value was 23.6 microsiemens per centimeter, and the median ANC value was 98.7 milliequivalents per liter (μeq/L). Median concentrations of cations (calcium, magnesium, sodium, and potassium) were each less than 1.5 milligrams per liter (mg/L), and median concentrations of anions (bicarbonate, chloride, fluoride, sulfate, and nitrate) were less than 10 mg/L. Differences in water-quality constituent levels along the Appalachian Trail may be related to elevation, atmospheric deposition, geology, and land cover. Spatial variations were summarized by ecological sections (ecosections) developed by the U.S. Forest Service. Specific conductance, pH, ANC, and concentrations of major ions (calcium, chloride, magnesium, sodium, and sulfate) were all negatively correlated with elevation. The highest elevation ecosections (White Mountains, Blue Ridge Mountains, and Allegheny Mountains) had the lowest pH, ANC, and concentrations of major ions. The lowest elevation ecosections (Lower New England and Hudson Valley) generally had the highest pH, ANC, and

  8. Trends and Controls on Summer Surface-Water Temperatures in Salmonid-Bearing Headwater Streams in Two Common Geomorphic Settings, Kenai Peninsula, Alaska

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Callahan, M. K.; Bellino, J. C.; Rains, M. C.

    2010-12-01

    Stream temperature is an important physical characteristic of headwater streams that plays a critical role in the presence and health of juvenile salmonids. Headwater stream temperature was documented in two geomorphic settings on the Kenai Peninsula, Alaska, focusing on the variation in temperature induced by diffuse groundwater discharge and variable air temperature. Eighteen headwater stream reaches were studied in four watersheds, with 11 drainageway sites and seven discharge-slope sites. In drainageway sites, low-gradient streams flow through broad valleys with groundwater-fed fen wetlands; in discharge-slope sites, high-gradient streams flow through narrow valleys with groundwater-fed slope wetlands. At all 18 sites, hourly stream temperatures were measured for one year. At one drainageway and one discharge-slope site, groundwater temperatures, stream stages, and groundwater heads in the local groundwater flow systems were also measured hourly for a year. A process-based, mechanistic surface-water temperature model (SSTEMP) was used to identify the importance of surface-water temperature controls, particularly the role of groundwater discharge and air temperature, at the two highly instrumented sites. The contribution of groundwater to flow was calculated using a mass-balance water quality mixing model. Groundwater discharge represented 40-60 percent of total stream flow in both geomorphic settings. However, stream and groundwater temperature characteristics differed between the two geomorphic settings. Stream and groundwater temperatures were tightly coupled in the discharge-slope site but not in the drainageway site. Furthermore, warmer stream temperatures occurred at the drainageway site compared to the discharge-slope site, especially during the late summer. SSTEMP simulations indicate that diffuse groundwater discharge does not greatly affect changes in stream temperature at either geomorphic setting, corroborating field observations that focused

  9. Groundwater flow path dynamics and nitrogen transport potential in the riparian zone of an agricultural headwater catchment

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Stream riparian zones are often thought of as areas that provide natural remediation for groundwater contaminants, especially agricultural nitrogen (N). While denitrification and vegetative uptake tend to be efficient N removal processes in slow moving shallow groundwater, these mechanisms decrease ...

  10. Hydrological conditions regulate dissolved organic matter quality in an intermittent headwater stream. From drought to storm analysis.

    PubMed

    Guarch-Ribot, Alba; Butturini, Andrea

    2016-11-15

    Storms and droughts are an essential driver for the dissolved organic matter (DOM) concentration in headwater streams. However, the relationship between DOM quality and discharge (Q) has not been addressed in depth and the impact of other hydro-climatic or biogeochemical drivers has not been explored. In this study DOM quality variability was explored at seasonal and storm event scales during an intensive 2.5-year-long sampling in a Mediterranean stream characterized by a severe summer drought. DOM quality was described in terms of absorbance and fluorescence properties. Most of the DOM properties were strongly related to discharge revealing the input of allochthonous, degraded, aromatic, humic and increased-molecular-size DOM under high flow conditions. However, these relationships disappeared or reversed during drying and rewetting periods. Each DOM response at the storm event scale (DOM-Q hysteresis) was outlined with two descriptors that summarised its trend (dilution/flushing/chemostasis) and shape (linear/nonlinear response). Multiple linear regression and commonality analysis showed that, in addition to the magnitude of storm episodes, antecedent hydrological conditions, namely pre-event basal flow and the magnitude of the previous storm event, played a significant role in regulating the trends and shapes of DOM-Q hysteresis. PMID:27470016

  11. Assessing impacts of unconventional natural gas extraction on microbial communities in headwater stream ecosystems in Northwestern Pennsylvania.

    PubMed

    Trexler, Ryan; Solomon, Caroline; Brislawn, Colin J; Wright, Justin R; Rosenberger, Abigail; McClure, Erin E; Grube, Alyssa M; Peterson, Mark P; Keddache, Mehdi; Mason, Olivia U; Hazen, Terry C; Grant, Christopher J; Lamendella, Regina

    2014-01-01

    Hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling have increased dramatically in Pennsylvania Marcellus shale formations, however the potential for major environmental impacts are still incompletely understood. High-throughput sequencing of the 16S rRNA gene was performed to characterize the microbial community structure of water, sediment, bryophyte, and biofilm samples from 26 headwater stream sites in northwestern Pennsylvania with different histories of fracking activity within Marcellus shale formations. Further, we describe the relationship between microbial community structure and environmental parameters measured. Approximately 3.2 million 16S rRNA gene sequences were retrieved from a total of 58 samples. Microbial community analyses showed significant reductions in species richness as well as evenness in sites with Marcellus shale activity. Beta diversity analyses revealed distinct microbial community structure between sites with and without Marcellus shale activity. For example, operational taxonomic units (OTUs) within the Acetobacteracea, Methylocystaceae, Acidobacteriaceae, and Phenylobacterium were greater than three log-fold more abundant in MSA+ sites as compared to MSA- sites. Further, several of these OTUs were strongly negatively correlated with pH and positively correlated with the number of wellpads in a watershed. It should be noted that many of the OTUs enriched in MSA+ sites are putative acidophilic and/or methanotrophic populations. This study revealed apparent shifts in the autochthonous microbial communities and highlighted potential members that could be responding to changing stream conditions as a result of nascent industrial activity in these aquatic ecosystems.

  12. Assessing impacts of unconventional natural gas extraction on microbial communities in headwater stream ecosystems in Northwestern Pennsylvania

    PubMed Central

    Trexler, Ryan; Solomon, Caroline; Brislawn, Colin J.; Wright, Justin R.; Rosenberger, Abigail; McClure, Erin E.; Grube, Alyssa M.; Peterson, Mark P.; Keddache, Mehdi; Mason, Olivia U.; Hazen, Terry C.; Grant, Christopher J.; Lamendella, Regina

    2014-01-01

    Hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling have increased dramatically in Pennsylvania Marcellus shale formations, however the potential for major environmental impacts are still incompletely understood. High-throughput sequencing of the 16S rRNA gene was performed to characterize the microbial community structure of water, sediment, bryophyte, and biofilm samples from 26 headwater stream sites in northwestern Pennsylvania with different histories of fracking activity within Marcellus shale formations. Further, we describe the relationship between microbial community structure and environmental parameters measured. Approximately 3.2 million 16S rRNA gene sequences were retrieved from a total of 58 samples. Microbial community analyses showed significant reductions in species richness as well as evenness in sites with Marcellus shale activity. Beta diversity analyses revealed distinct microbial community structure between sites with and without Marcellus shale activity. For example, operational taxonomic units (OTUs) within the Acetobacteracea, Methylocystaceae, Acidobacteriaceae, and Phenylobacterium were greater than three log-fold more abundant in MSA+ sites as compared to MSA− sites. Further, several of these OTUs were strongly negatively correlated with pH and positively correlated with the number of wellpads in a watershed. It should be noted that many of the OTUs enriched in MSA+ sites are putative acidophilic and/or methanotrophic populations. This study revealed apparent shifts in the autochthonous microbial communities and highlighted potential members that could be responding to changing stream conditions as a result of nascent industrial activity in these aquatic ecosystems. PMID:25408683

  13. Assessing impacts of unconventional natural gas extraction on microbial communities in headwater stream ecosystems in Northwestern Pennsylvania.

    PubMed

    Trexler, Ryan; Solomon, Caroline; Brislawn, Colin J; Wright, Justin R; Rosenberger, Abigail; McClure, Erin E; Grube, Alyssa M; Peterson, Mark P; Keddache, Mehdi; Mason, Olivia U; Hazen, Terry C; Grant, Christopher J; Lamendella, Regina

    2014-01-01

    Hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling have increased dramatically in Pennsylvania Marcellus shale formations, however the potential for major environmental impacts are still incompletely understood. High-throughput sequencing of the 16S rRNA gene was performed to characterize the microbial community structure of water, sediment, bryophyte, and biofilm samples from 26 headwater stream sites in northwestern Pennsylvania with different histories of fracking activity within Marcellus shale formations. Further, we describe the relationship between microbial community structure and environmental parameters measured. Approximately 3.2 million 16S rRNA gene sequences were retrieved from a total of 58 samples. Microbial community analyses showed significant reductions in species richness as well as evenness in sites with Marcellus shale activity. Beta diversity analyses revealed distinct microbial community structure between sites with and without Marcellus shale activity. For example, operational taxonomic units (OTUs) within the Acetobacteracea, Methylocystaceae, Acidobacteriaceae, and Phenylobacterium were greater than three log-fold more abundant in MSA+ sites as compared to MSA- sites. Further, several of these OTUs were strongly negatively correlated with pH and positively correlated with the number of wellpads in a watershed. It should be noted that many of the OTUs enriched in MSA+ sites are putative acidophilic and/or methanotrophic populations. This study revealed apparent shifts in the autochthonous microbial communities and highlighted potential members that could be responding to changing stream conditions as a result of nascent industrial activity in these aquatic ecosystems. PMID:25408683

  14. Hydrological conditions regulate dissolved organic matter quality in an intermittent headwater stream. From drought to storm analysis.

    PubMed

    Guarch-Ribot, Alba; Butturini, Andrea

    2016-11-15

    Storms and droughts are an essential driver for the dissolved organic matter (DOM) concentration in headwater streams. However, the relationship between DOM quality and discharge (Q) has not been addressed in depth and the impact of other hydro-climatic or biogeochemical drivers has not been explored. In this study DOM quality variability was explored at seasonal and storm event scales during an intensive 2.5-year-long sampling in a Mediterranean stream characterized by a severe summer drought. DOM quality was described in terms of absorbance and fluorescence properties. Most of the DOM properties were strongly related to discharge revealing the input of allochthonous, degraded, aromatic, humic and increased-molecular-size DOM under high flow conditions. However, these relationships disappeared or reversed during drying and rewetting periods. Each DOM response at the storm event scale (DOM-Q hysteresis) was outlined with two descriptors that summarised its trend (dilution/flushing/chemostasis) and shape (linear/nonlinear response). Multiple linear regression and commonality analysis showed that, in addition to the magnitude of storm episodes, antecedent hydrological conditions, namely pre-event basal flow and the magnitude of the previous storm event, played a significant role in regulating the trends and shapes of DOM-Q hysteresis.

  15. Response of near-stream surface connectivity to water table dynamics during rainfall events at a small headwater catchment (Luxembourg)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Frentress, Jay; Martínez-Carreras, Núria; Pfister, Laurent; McDonnell, Jeff

    2014-05-01

    The controls on non-linear streamflow response to changing streamflow sources during precipitation events are poorly understood. Here, we investigate the linkages between surface saturation development and streamflow under a range of wetness conditions for a forested headwater catchment in Luxembourg. Previous work at this site shows a threshold response in stream discharge to changes in soil moisture. This non-linearity is thought to reflect the development of saturation connectivity that drives streamflow response. Furthermore, the catchment has typically large rainfall-runoff ratios during winter, accompanied by long delays to peak after the onset of rainfall. To better understand controls on these behaviors, we examined the response of near-stream surface saturation development to incident precipitation, discharge, and fluctuating groundwater levels during rain events. Specifically, we sought to test the hypothesis that threshold-like response behavior exists between near-stream surface saturation and discharge, as well as quantify changes in surface saturated zone chemistry to better understand mixing between end-member sources during events. We used ground-based thermal infrared imagery to measure surface saturation development in a 4 by 6 m zone in the riparian area. Imagery collected over several months was analyzed to calculate the proportion of saturated area. Water samples from this saturated riparian area, nearby piezometers as well as discharge were collected for analysis of water isotopes, major cations/anions, and silica concentrations. Data analysis is ongoing but preliminary results indicate that saturation extent exhibits a non-linear, threshold-like response to discharge and antecedent wetness conditions. Surface saturation showed strong hysteresis with near-stream groundwater levels, with saturated areas expanding ahead of increasing groundwater levels. As the proportion of saturated area increased during rainfall events, the saturated riparian

  16. Effects of upland disturbance and instream restoration on hydrodynamics and ammonium uptake in headwater streams

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Roberts, B.J.; Mulholland, P.J.; Houser, J.N.

    2007-01-01

    Delivery of water, sediments, nutrients, and organic matter to stream ecosystems is strongly influenced by the catchment of the stream and can be altered greatly by upland soil and vegetation disturbance. At the Fort Benning Military Installation (near Columbus, Georgia), spatial variability in intensity of military training results in a wide range of intensities of upland disturbance in stream catchments. A set of 8 streams in catchments spanning this upland disturbance gradient was selected for investigation of the impact of disturbance intensity on hydrodynamics and nutrient uptake. The size of transient storage zones and rates of NH4+ uptake in all study streams were among the lowest reported in the literature. Upland disturbance did not appear to influence stream hydrodynamics strongly, but it caused significant decreases in instream nutrient uptake. In October 2003, coarse woody debris (CWD) was added to 1/2 of the study streams (spanning the disturbance gradient) in an attempt to increase hydrodynamic and structural complexity, with the goals of enhancing biotic habitat and increasing nutrient uptake rates. CWD additions had positive short-term (within 1 mo) effects on hydrodynamic complexity (water velocity decreased and transient storage zone cross-sectional area, relative size of the transient storage zone, fraction of the median travel time attributable to transient storage over a standardized length of 200 m, and the hydraulic retention factor increased) and nutrient uptake (NH4+ uptake rates increased). Our results suggest that water quality in streams with intense upland disturbances can be improved by enhancing instream biotic nutrient uptake capacity through measures such as restoring stream CWD. ?? 2007 by The North American Benthological Society.

  17. Effects of upland disturbance and instream restoration on hydrodynamics and ammonium uptake in headwater streams

    SciTech Connect

    Roberts, Brian J; Mulholland, Patrick J; Houser, Jeffrey N

    2007-01-01

    Delivery of water, sediments, nutrients, and organic matter to stream ecosystems is strongly influenced by the catchment of the stream and can be altered greatly by upland soil and vegetation disturbance. At the Fort Benning Military Installation (near Columbus, Georgia), spatial variability in intensity of military training results in a wide range of intensities of upland disturbance in stream catchments. A set of 8 streams in catchments spanning this upland disturbance gradient was selected for investigation of the impact of disturbance intensity on hydrodynamics and nutrient uptake. The size of transient storage zones and rates of NH4+ uptake in all study streams were among the lowest reported in the literature. Upland disturbance did not appear to influence stream hydrodynamics strongly, but it caused significant decreases in instream nutrient uptake. In October 2003, coarse woody debris (CWD) was added to of the study streams (spanning the disturbance gradient) in an attempt to increase hydrodynamic and structural complexity with the goals of enhancing biotic habitat and increasing nutrient uptake rates. CWD additions had positive short-term (within 1 mo) effects on hydrodynamic complexity (water velocity decreased and transient storage zone cross-sectional area, relative size of the transient storage zone, fraction of the median travel time attributable to transient storage over a standardized length of 200 m, and the hydraulic retention factor increased) and nutrient uptake (NH4+ uptake rates increased). Our results suggest that water quality in streams with intense upland disturbances can be improved by enhancing instream biotic nutrient uptake capacity through measures such as restoring stream CWD.

  18. Episodic acidification and associated fish and benthic invertebrate responses of four adirondack headwater streams. Methods report

    SciTech Connect

    Kretser, W.A.; Simonin, H.A.; Bath, D.W.; Gallagher, J.; Olson, M.L.

    1993-10-01

    Four low order Adirondack streams were investigated from September 1988 through June 1990 to examine the effects of hydrologic events in relation to stream chemistry and associated biological communities. The four streams were monitored continuously for pH, specific conductivity, temperatures, flow and water quality using a variety of instrumentation and procedures. During base flow and hydrologic events, weekly water samples were collected manually. Assessment of the biological communities in response to changes in water chemistry involved a number of standard fisheries techniques including electroshocking for population estimates, in situ bioassay experiments and radio tagging experiments.

  19. Seasonal variations in acid-neutralizing capacity in 13 northeast United States headwater streams

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dewalle, David R.; Davies, Trevor D.

    1997-04-01

    Variations in acid-neutralizing capacity (ANC) in 13 streams in the Adirondack, Catskill, and Northern Appalachian Plateau regions of the northeast United States were related to discharge, time of year, and seasonal variations in cation and anion concentrations using periodic regression analysis, ANC varied significantly with both discharge and time of year in 12 streams. Generation of ANC seasonal variations, being dependent upon the precise timing and magnitude of seasonal variations in cation and anion concentrations, was unique to each stream. Greatest seasonal ANC variations occurred in streams where seasonal variations in major anion and cation concentrations were completely out of phase. Maximum errors that could occur because of extrapolation of ANC data from one time of year to another were equal to or greater than maximum errors due to extrapolation of ANC from one discharge to another.

  20. Impacts of Urbanization and Intermittent Flow on Macroinvertebrates in Headwater Stream

    EPA Science Inventory

    Recent Supreme Court cases have brought increased attention to the contribution of intermittent waters to the health of downstream ecosystems. However, there is still limited knowledge on what factors are shaping these frequently disturbed intermittent stream communities. The obj...

  1. Macroinvertebrate communities in headwater streams affected by acidic precipitation in the central Appalachians

    SciTech Connect

    Griffith, M.B.; Perry, S.A.; Perry, W.B.

    1995-03-01

    We collected quantitative macroinvertebrate samples monthly from September 1989 to October 1990 from four streams on the Allegheny Plateau of West Virginia that were characterized by different bedrock geology and streamwater pH. Mean pH was 4.3, 6.1, and 6.0, and 7.5 in the four streams. We compared species and functional group composition of the benthic macroinvertebrate community in these streams to choose taxa that could be used as indicator species for differences in pH in bioassessment studies. The streams differed in species composition and abundance and several species were found that could be used as indicators for each of the levels of pH.

  2. POTENTIAL USE OF BENTHIC ALGAE AS HYDROLOGIC INDICATORS FOR HEADWATER STREAMS: SOME DATA EXPLORATION

    EPA Science Inventory

    Benthic algae were sampled to determine the utility of algal communities as indicators of hydrologic regime as part of a national survey involving habitat measurements and community assessments. Streams from four forests near Cincinnati were classified according to hydrologic pe...

  3. Evidence of acidification of headwater streams in the new jersey pinelands.

    PubMed

    Johnson, A H

    1979-11-16

    Seventeen years of stream pH data indicate a trend of acidification in two small streams in the New Jersey Pine Barrens which drain relatively undisturbed areas. The decline in pH has amounted to approximately 0.4 unit, with an estimated increase in H(+) concentration of about 50 microequivalents per liter. The data collected to date are consistent with the postulation of an atmospheric source for the increased H(+). PMID:17820764

  4. Evidence of acidification of headwater streams in the new jersey pinelands.

    PubMed

    Johnson, A H

    1979-11-16

    Seventeen years of stream pH data indicate a trend of acidification in two small streams in the New Jersey Pine Barrens which drain relatively undisturbed areas. The decline in pH has amounted to approximately 0.4 unit, with an estimated increase in H(+) concentration of about 50 microequivalents per liter. The data collected to date are consistent with the postulation of an atmospheric source for the increased H(+).

  5. Influence of Pools and Riffles on Chironomidae Diversity in Headwater Streams of the Atlantic Forest.

    PubMed

    Silveira, L S; Rosa, B F J V; Gonçalves, E A; Alves, R G

    2015-10-01

    Studies on mesohabitat scale have been used to shed light on the ecology and distribution of chironomid larvae in small streams. Thus, the objective of the present study was to examine the diversity and distribution of the Chironomidae assemblage on the mesohabitat scale in three streams located in different preserved areas of southeastern Brazil. In each stream, litter samples were obtained in the dry season of 2010 in ten pools and ten riffles with a Surber sampler (area 0.04 m(2); mesh size 0.21 mm). The abundance was similar among streams and between mesohabitats, while the estimated richness was highest in riffles. There was a difference in the composition of the Chironomidae assemblages between the mesohabitats, although the litter composition was similar between them, indicating the importance of current speed on the distribution of the taxa. The dispersion of the sample units (β-diversity) of riffles and pools was similar, although it was different among the three streams. The results of this study provide further evidence of the importance of habitat heterogeneity within streams as a generator of diversity for Chironomidae in tropical lotic systems. PMID:26243331

  6. Influence of Pools and Riffles on Chironomidae Diversity in Headwater Streams of the Atlantic Forest.

    PubMed

    Silveira, L S; Rosa, B F J V; Gonçalves, E A; Alves, R G

    2015-10-01

    Studies on mesohabitat scale have been used to shed light on the ecology and distribution of chironomid larvae in small streams. Thus, the objective of the present study was to examine the diversity and distribution of the Chironomidae assemblage on the mesohabitat scale in three streams located in different preserved areas of southeastern Brazil. In each stream, litter samples were obtained in the dry season of 2010 in ten pools and ten riffles with a Surber sampler (area 0.04 m(2); mesh size 0.21 mm). The abundance was similar among streams and between mesohabitats, while the estimated richness was highest in riffles. There was a difference in the composition of the Chironomidae assemblages between the mesohabitats, although the litter composition was similar between them, indicating the importance of current speed on the distribution of the taxa. The dispersion of the sample units (β-diversity) of riffles and pools was similar, although it was different among the three streams. The results of this study provide further evidence of the importance of habitat heterogeneity within streams as a generator of diversity for Chironomidae in tropical lotic systems.

  7. Ecosystem Function in Appalachian Headwater Streams during an Active Invasion by the Hemlock Woolly Adelgid

    PubMed Central

    Northington, Robert M.; Webster, Jackson R.; Benfield, Ernest F.; Cheever, Beth M.; Niederlehner, Barbara R.

    2013-01-01

    Forested ecosystems in the southeastern United States are currently undergoing an invasion by the hemlock woolly adelgid (HWA). Previous studies in this area have shown changes to forest structure, decreases in canopy cover, increases in organic matter, and changes to nutrient cycling on the forest floor and soil. Here, we were interested in how the effects of canopy loss and nutrient leakage from terrestrial areas would translate into functional changes in streams draining affected watersheds. We addressed these questions in HWA-infested watersheds at the Coweeta Hydrologic Laboratory in North Carolina. Specifically, we measured stream metabolism (gross primary production and ecosystem respiration) and nitrogen uptake from 2008 to 2011 in five streams across the Coweeta basin. Over the course of our study, we found no change to in-stream nutrient concentrations. While canopy cover decreased annually in these watersheds, this change in light penetration did not translate to higher rates of in-stream primary production during the summer months of our study. We found a trend towards greater heterotrophy within our watersheds, where in-stream respiration accounted for a much larger component of net ecosystem production than GPP. Additionally, increases in rhododendron cover may counteract changes in light and nutrient availability that occurred with hemlock loss. The variability in our metabolic and uptake parameters suggests an actively-infested ecosystem in transition between steady states. PMID:23613803

  8. Ecosystem function in Appalachian headwater streams during an active invasion by the hemlock woolly adelgid.

    PubMed

    Northington, Robert M; Webster, Jackson R; Benfield, Ernest F; Cheever, Beth M; Niederlehner, Barbara R

    2013-01-01

    Forested ecosystems in the southeastern United States are currently undergoing an invasion by the hemlock woolly adelgid (HWA). Previous studies in this area have shown changes to forest structure, decreases in canopy cover, increases in organic matter, and changes to nutrient cycling on the forest floor and soil. Here, we were interested in how the effects of canopy loss and nutrient leakage from terrestrial areas would translate into functional changes in streams draining affected watersheds. We addressed these questions in HWA-infested watersheds at the Coweeta Hydrologic Laboratory in North Carolina. Specifically, we measured stream metabolism (gross primary production and ecosystem respiration) and nitrogen uptake from 2008 to 2011 in five streams across the Coweeta basin. Over the course of our study, we found no change to in-stream nutrient concentrations. While canopy cover decreased annually in these watersheds, this change in light penetration did not translate to higher rates of in-stream primary production during the summer months of our study. We found a trend towards greater heterotrophy within our watersheds, where in-stream respiration accounted for a much larger component of net ecosystem production than GPP. Additionally, increases in rhododendron cover may counteract changes in light and nutrient availability that occurred with hemlock loss. The variability in our metabolic and uptake parameters suggests an actively-infested ecosystem in transition between steady states.

  9. DISSOLVED ORGANIC CARBON AND DISSOLVED CARBON DIOXIDE CONCENTRATIONS AND EXPORT IN GEORGIA PIEDMONT HEADWATER STREAMS

    EPA Science Inventory

    The South Fork Broad River (SFBR) drains about 550 km2 of the Georgia Piedmont. The SFBR watershed is primarily rural and undeveloped although the human population increased by about 25% between 1990 and 2000. Forestry and agriculture are the main land uses. Agriculture consis...

  10. Variability of DOM concentration and quality in a peatland and forest headwater stream: seasonal and event characteristics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Broder, Tanja; Knorr, Klaus-Holger; Biester, Harald

    2016-04-01

    Export of terrestrial dissolved organic matter (DOM) from soils to aquatic systems plays a fundamental role in surface water chemistry. In many catchments, main sources are peatlands and peaty riparian zones. However, not only total DOM concentration is of great interest for e.g. the carbon cycle or drinking water generation. Also the quality of DOM strongly affects function and fate of DOM in aquatic systems. Moreover, changes in DOM quality can help to elucidate sources of DOM and underlying controls of mobilization. Therefore, this study focused on changes of DOM concentration and quality in a peatland and forest headwater stream considering seasonal patterns and hydrological dynamics. The study was conducted at the Odersprung bog, in a small headwater catchment characterized by an ombrotrophic peatland with adjacent, peaty forest soils in the Harz Mountains in northwestern Germany. During a one-year campaign, sampling of the headwater stream was conducted in biweekly intervals and in high resolution during selected high discharge events. DOM was characterized by spectrofluorometric indices, such as SUVA254nm, SR, HIX and FI, as well as by PARAFAC modelling of fluorescence spectra. Results showed major changes in DOM concentration, as well as in DOM quality during the sampling period. DOM concentrations ranged between 5 to 45 mg C L-1 and were mainly controlled by season with low concentrations during snowmelt and spring and higher concentrations in late summer and fall. Highest concentrations occurred at a fall high discharge event. Compared to the peatland, the forested site with a peaty riparian zone exhibited higher DOM concentrations and a stronger variability induced by hydrologic conditions. DOM quality changes as indicated by spectrofluorometric indices and modelled PARAFAC components were mainly induced by hydrology and showed no clear seasonal pattern. An increasing water level at the bog site caused hydrological connection of fresh DOM pools and a

  11. Do post-mining constructed channels replace functional characteristics of headwater streams?

    EPA Science Inventory

    Mountaintop mining and valley fill (MTMVF) is a method of coal mining common in eastern Kentucky and southern West Virginia. Over 1200 miles of stream channel have been buried by MTMVF. Permits for surface coal mining have recognized constructed drainage ditches associated with ...

  12. VERTICAL, LONGITUDINAL, AND TEMPORAL VARIATION IN THE MACROBENTHOS OF AN APPALACHIAN HEADWATER STREAM SYSTEM

    EPA Science Inventory

    We examined vertical, longitudinal, and season variation in the abundance, diversity, variability, and assemblage composition of the epibenthic and hyporheic macrobenthos at Elklick Run, a first-through fourth-order stream continuum in the central Appalachian Mountains in West Vi...

  13. Controls on stream water dissolved mercury in three mid-Appalachian forested headwater catchments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Riscassi, Ami L.; Scanlon, Todd M.

    2011-12-01

    Determining the controls on dissolved mercury (HgD) transport is necessary to improve estimations of export from unmonitored watersheds and to forecast responses to changes in deposition and other environmental forcings. Stream water HgD and dissolved organic carbon (DOC) were evaluated over a range of discharge conditions in three streams within Shenandoah National Park, VA. Watersheds are distinguished by stream water pH (ranging from neutral to acidic) and soil size fractioning (ranging from clays to sands). At all sites, discharge was a significant but poor predictor of HgD concentrations (r2 from 0.13-0.52). HgD was strongly coupled with DOC at all sites (r2 from 0.74-0.89). UV absorbance at 254 nm (UV254), a proxy for DOC quantity and quality, slightly improved the predictions of HgD. Mean DOC quality differed between streams, with less aromatic DOC mobilized from the more acidic watershed. The site with less aromatic DOC and sandy soils mobilized more Hg to the stream for the same quantity and quality of DOC, likely due to the reduced capacity of the larger-grained soils to retain Hg, leaving a greater fraction associated with the organic matter. A similar amount of 0.54 ng HgD/mg DOC is transported at all sites, suggesting the less aromatic DOC transports less Hg per unit DOC, offsetting the effects of soil type. This research demonstrates that soil composition and DOC quality influence HgDexport. We also provide evidence that soil organic carbon is a primary control on Hg-DOC ratios (0.12-1.4 ng mg-1) observed across the U.S. and Sweden.

  14. Channel processes following land use changes in a degrading steep headwater stream in North Island, New Zealand

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kasai, Mio

    2006-11-01

    In headwater streams in steep land settings, narrow and steep valley floors provide closely coupled relationships between geomorphic components including hillslopes, tributary fans, and channel reaches. These relationships together with small catchment sizes result in episodic changes to the amount of stored sediment in channels. Major sediment inputs follow high magnitude events. Subsequent exponential losses via removal of material can be represented by a relaxation curve. The influence of hillslope and tributary processes on relaxation curves, and that of altered coupling relations between components, were investigated along a 1.3 km reach of a degrading channel in the 4.8 km 2 Weraamaia Catchment, New Zealand. Extensive deforestation in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, followed by invasion of scrubs and reforestation, induced changes to major erosion types from gully complexes to shallow landslides. Changes in the size and pattern of sediment slugs from 1938 to 2002 were analysed from air photographs tied to detailed field measurement. The rate and calibre of sediment flux changed progressively following substantive hillslope input in a storm in 1938. Subsequently, the channel narrowed and incised, decoupling tributary fans from the main stem, thereby scaling down the size of sediment slugs. As a consequence, the dominant influence on the behaviour of sediment slugs and associated relaxation processes, changed from tributary fans to the type and distribution of bedrock outcrops along the reach.

  15. Occurrence of maize detritus and a transgenic insecticidal protein (Cry1Ab) within the stream network of an agricultural landscape

    PubMed Central

    Tank, Jennifer L.; Rosi-Marshall, Emma J.; Royer, Todd V.; Whiles, Matt R.; Griffiths, Natalie A.; Frauendorf, Therese C.; Treering, David J.

    2010-01-01

    Widespread planting of maize throughout the agricultural Midwest may result in detritus entering adjacent stream ecosystems, and 63% of the 2009 US maize crop was genetically modified to express insecticidal Cry proteins derived from Bacillus thuringiensis. Six months after harvest, we conducted a synoptic survey of 217 stream sites in Indiana to determine the extent of maize detritus and presence of Cry1Ab protein in the stream network. We found that 86% of stream sites contained maize leaves, cobs, husks, and/or stalks in the active stream channel. We also detected Cry1Ab protein in stream-channel maize at 13% of sites and in the water column at 23% of sites. We found that 82% of stream sites were adjacent to maize fields, and Geographical Information Systems analyses indicated that 100% of sites containing Cry1Ab-positive detritus in the active stream channel had maize planted within 500 m during the previous crop year. Maize detritus likely enters streams throughout the Corn Belt; using US Department of Agriculture land cover data, we estimate that 91% of the 256,446 km of streams/rivers in Iowa, Illinois, and Indiana are located within 500 m of a maize field. Maize detritus is common in low-gradient stream channels in northwestern Indiana, and Cry1Ab proteins persist in maize leaves and can be measured in the water column even 6 mo after harvest. Hence, maize detritus, and associated Cry1Ab proteins, are widely distributed and persistent in the headwater streams of a Corn Belt landscape. PMID:20876106

  16. Occurrence of maize detritus and a transgenic insecticidal protein (Cry1Ab) within the stream network of an agricultural landscape.

    PubMed

    Tank, Jennifer L; Rosi-Marshall, Emma J; Royer, Todd V; Whiles, Matt R; Griffiths, Natalie A; Frauendorf, Therese C; Treering, David J

    2010-10-12

    Widespread planting of maize throughout the agricultural Midwest may result in detritus entering adjacent stream ecosystems, and 63% of the 2009 US maize crop was genetically modified to express insecticidal Cry proteins derived from Bacillus thuringiensis. Six months after harvest, we conducted a synoptic survey of 217 stream sites in Indiana to determine the extent of maize detritus and presence of Cry1Ab protein in the stream network. We found that 86% of stream sites contained maize leaves, cobs, husks, and/or stalks in the active stream channel. We also detected Cry1Ab protein in stream-channel maize at 13% of sites and in the water column at 23% of sites. We found that 82% of stream sites were adjacent to maize fields, and Geographical Information Systems analyses indicated that 100% of sites containing Cry1Ab-positive detritus in the active stream channel had maize planted within 500 m during the previous crop year. Maize detritus likely enters streams throughout the Corn Belt; using US Department of Agriculture land cover data, we estimate that 91% of the 256,446 km of streams/rivers in Iowa, Illinois, and Indiana are located within 500 m of a maize field. Maize detritus is common in low-gradient stream channels in northwestern Indiana, and Cry1Ab proteins persist in maize leaves and can be measured in the water column even 6 mo after harvest. Hence, maize detritus, and associated Cry1Ab proteins, are widely distributed and persistent in the headwater streams of a Corn Belt landscape.

  17. Nutrient Processing in Urban Headwater Streams and Floodplains Following Restoration (Invited)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    McMillan, S. K.; Noe, G. B.; Tuttle, A. K.; Jennings, G. M.

    2013-12-01

    Efforts are underway in multiple metropolitan regions to restore degraded urban streams by engineering channels to improve stability and geomorphic complexity, replanting riparian vegetation and connecting floodplains. While extensive research has been conducted on the capacity for riparian zones to buffer nutrient loads in natural systems, we know relatively little about their influence on water chemistry in restored streams. Similarly, low-order streams have long been recognized as hot spots for nutrient transformations with instream modifications during restoration seeking to reestablish these functions. Through this research, we investigated the time trajectory for recovery of both instream and floodplain nutrient transformations in series of restored streams in North Carolina, USA with a range of restoration ages and design approaches. Rates of N and P net mineralization and denitrifying enzyme activity in floodplain sediments were positively correlated with monthly sedimentation rates and soil carbon pools. Multiple linear regression analysis of seasonal reach scale nitrate (1.4-116 mg m-2 h-1) and phosphate (1.0 - 97 mg m-2 h-1) uptake rates highlighted the importance of background concentration and temperature but also sediment carbon, which was closely correlated with canopy cover and restoration age. Similar patterns were observed in seasonal measurements of denitrification rates in streambed sediments that were significant higher near geomorphic features with either greater hyporheic flow or deposition of organic matter (average of 4.87×0.45 mg m-2 h-1 compared to 3.26×0.27 mg m-2 h-1, p<0.01). These results suggest that newly restored streams with herbaceous riparian vegetation and minimal shading exhibit higher autochthonous production leading to greater reach scale uptake of phosphate. However, different patterns were observed with nitrate, which exhibited greater retention (both instream and floodplain soils) at older sites, which we attribute to

  18. Potential population and assemblage influences of non-native trout on native nongame fish in Nebraska headwater streams

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Turek, Kelly C.; Pegg, Mark A.; Pope, Kevin L.; Schainost, Steve

    2014-01-01

    Non-native trout are currently stocked to support recreational fisheries in headwater streams throughout Nebraska. The influence of non-native trout introductions on native fish populations and their role in structuring fish assemblages in these systems is unknown. The objectives of this study were to determine (i) if the size structure or relative abundance of native fish differs in the presence and absence of non-native trout, (ii) if native fish-assemblage structure differs in the presence and absence of non-native trout and (iii) if native fish-assemblage structure differs across a gradient in abundances of non-native trout. Longnose dace Rhinichthys cataractae were larger in the presence of brown trout Salmo trutta and smaller in the presence of rainbow trout Oncorhynchus mykiss compared to sites without trout. There was also a greater proportion of larger white suckers Catostomus commersonii in the presence of brown trout. Creek chub Semotilus atromaculatus and fathead minnow Pimephales promelas size structures were similar in the presence and absence of trout. Relative abundances of longnose dace, white sucker, creek chub and fathead minnow were similar in the presence and absence of trout, but there was greater distinction in native fish-assemblage structure between sites with trout compared to sites without trout as trout abundances increased. These results suggest increased risk to native fish assemblages in sites with high abundances of trout. However, more research is needed to determine the role of non-native trout in structuring native fish assemblages in streams, and the mechanisms through which introduced trout may influence native fish populations.

  19. Channel morphology and bed-load yield in fluvial, formerly-glaciated headwater streams of the Columbia Mountains, Canada

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Green, K. C.; Brardinoni, F.; Alila, Y.

    2013-04-01

    This study examines channel-reach morphology and bedload yield dynamics in relation to landscape structure and snowmelt hydrology in headwater streams of the Columbia Mountains, Canada. Data collection relies on field surveys and geographic information systems analysis in conjunction with a nested monitoring network of water discharge and bedload transfer. The landscape is characterized by subdued, formerly-glaciated upland topography in which the geomorphic significance of landslides and debris flows is negligible and fluvial processes prevail. While the spatial organization of channel morphology is chiefly controlled by glacially imposed local slope in conjunction with wood abundance and availability of glacigenic deposits, downstream patterns of the coarse grain-size fraction, bankfull width, bankfull depth, and stream power are all insensitive to systematic changes of local slope along the typically stepped long profiles. This is an indication that these alluvial systems have adjusted to the contemporary snowmelt-driven water and sediment transport regimes, and as such are able to compensate for the glacially-imposed boundary conditions. Bedload specific yield increases with drainage area suggesting that fluvial re-mobilization of glacial and paraglacial deposits dominate the sedimentary dynamics of basins as small as 2 km2. Stepwise multiple regression analysis shows that annual rates of sediment transfer are mainly controlled by the number of peak events over threshold discharge. During such events, repeated destabilization of channel bed armoring and re-mobilization of sediment temporarily stored behind LWD structures can generate bedload transport across the entire snowmelt season. In particular, channel morphology controls the variability of bedload response to hydrologic forcing. In the present case studies, we show that the observed spatial variability in annual bedload yield appears to be modulated by inter-basin differences in morphometric

  20. Channel morphology and patterns of bedload transport in fluvial, formerly-glaciated, forested headwater streams of the Columbia Mountains, Canada

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Green, Kim; Brardinoni, Francesco; Alila, Younes

    2013-04-01

    This study examines channel-reach morphology and bedload transport dynamics in relation to landscape structure and snowmelt hydrology in Cotton and Elk Creek, two headwater streams of the southern Columbia Mountains, Canada. Data collection is based on field surveys and GIS analysis in conjunction with a nested monitoring network of water discharge and bed load transfer. The nested monitoring network is designed to examine the effects of channel bed texture, and the influence of free-formed (i.e., boulder cascades, step pools, and riffle pools) and forced-alluvial morphologies (i.e., forced step pools) on bedload entrainment and transport. The landscape is characterized by subdued glaciated topography in which sediment is primarily supplied by bank failures and fluvial transfer dominates the channelized sediment cascade. The spatial distribution of channel types is mainly controlled by glacially imposed local slope together with availability of wood and glacigenic materials. Interestingly, downstream hydraulic geometry as well as downstream patterns of the coarse channel bed fraction and stream power are all insensitive to systematic changes of local slope along the typically stepped longitudinal profiles. An indication that the study alluvial systems are adjusted to the contemporary hydrologic and sedimentary regimes, and as such through post-LGM times have been able to compensate for the glacially-imposed boundary conditions. Stepwise multiple regression indicates that annual bedload yield is chiefly controlled by the number of peak events over threshold discharge. During such high flows, repeated destabilization of channel bed armouring and re-mobilization of sediment stored behind logjams can ensure sediment supply for bedload transport across the entire snowmelt season. In particular, channel morphology affects distinctively the variability of bed load response to hydrologic forcing. The observed spatial variability in annual bedload yield appears to correlate

  1. The influence of forest management on headwater stream amphibians at multiple spatial scales

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Stoddard, M.; Hayes, J.P.

    2005-01-01

    Understanding how habitat structure at multiple spatial scales influences vertebrates can facilitate development of effective conservation strategies, but until recently most studies have focused on habitat relationships only at fine or intermediate scales. In particular, patterns of amphibian occurrence across broad spatial scales are not well studied, despite recent concerns over regional and global declines. We examined habitat relationships of larval and neotenic Pacific giant salamanders (Dicamptodon tenebrosus), larval and adult Pacific tailed frogs (Ascaphus truei) (hereafter 'tailed frogs'), and torrent salamanders (Rhyacotriton spp.) at three spatial scales (2-m sample unit, intermediate, and drainage). In 1998 and 1999, we captured 1568 amphibians in 702 sample units in 16 randomly chosen drainages in the Oregon Coast Range. We examined species-habitat associations at each spatial scale using an information-theoretic approach of analysis to rank sets of logistic regression models developed a priori. At the 2-m sample unit scale, all groups were negatively associated with proportion of small substrate and positively associated with stream width or elevation. At the intermediate scale, Pacific giant salamanders, adult tailed frogs, and torrent salamanders were positively associated with presence of a 46-m band of forested habitat on each side of the stream, and larval tailed frogs were positively associated with presence of forest >105 years old. Aspect was important for Pacific giant salamanders and larval tailed frogs at the intermediate scale. At the drainage scale, all groups except torrent salamanders were positively associated with proportion of stream length having forested bands >46 m in width, but further analysis suggests narrower bands may provide adequate protection for some groups. Population- and community-level responses at broad spatial scales may be reflected in species-level responses at fine spatial scales, and our results suggest that

  2. Dominance of organic nitrogen from headwater streams to large rivers across the conterminous United States

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Scott, D.; Harvey, J.; Alexander, R.; Schwarz, G.

    2007-01-01

    The frequency and magnitude of hypoxic areas in coastal waterbodies are increasing across the globe, partially in response to the increase in nitrogen delivery from the landscape (Diaz, 2001; Rabalais et al., 2002). Although studies of annual total nitrogen and nitrate yields have greatly improved understanding of the contaminant sources that contribute to riverine nitrogen loads (Alexander et al., 2000; Caraco and Cole, 1999), the emphasis of these studies on annual timescales and selected nitrogen forms is not sufficient to understand the factors that control the cycling, transport, and fate of reactive nitrogen. Here we use data from 850 river stations to calculate long-term mean-annual and interannual loads of organic, ammonia, and nitrate-nitrite nitrogen suitable for spatial analysis. We find that organic nitrogen is the dominant nitrogen pool within rivers across most of the United States and is significant even in basins with high anthropogenic sources of nitrogen. Downstream organic nitrogen patterns illustrate that organic nitrogen is an abundant fraction of the nitrogen loads in all regions. Although the longitudinal patterns are not consistent across regions, these patterns are suggestive of cycling between ON and NO3- on seasonal timescales influenced by land use, stream morphology, and riparian connectivity with active floodplains. Future regional studies need to incorporate multinitrogen species at intraannual timescales, as well as stream characteristics beyond channel depth, to elucidate the roles of nitrogen sources and in-stream transformations on the fate and reactivity of riverine nitrogen transported to coastal seas.

  3. DOC:NO3- ratios and NO3- uptake in forested headwater streams

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rodríguez-Cardona, Bianca; Wymore, Adam S.; McDowell, William H.

    2016-01-01

    The underlying mechanisms driving the coupled interactions between inorganic nitrogen uptake and dissolved organic matter are not well understood, particularly in surface waters. To determine the relationship between dissolved organic carbon (DOC) quantity and nitrate (NO3-) uptake kinetics in streams, we performed a series of NO3- Tracer Additions for Spiraling Curve Characterization experiments in four streams within the Lamprey River Watershed, New Hampshire, across a range in background DOC concentrations (1-8 mg C/L). Experiments were performed throughout the 2013 and 2014 growing seasons. Across streams and experimental dates, ambient uptake velocity (Vf) correlated positively with increasing DOC concentrations and DOC:NO3- ratios but was only weakly negatively associated with NO3- concentrations. Ambient NO3- Vf was unrelated to pH, light, temperature, dissolved oxygen, and Specific Ultraviolet Absorbance at 254 nm. Although there were general tendencies across the entire Lamprey River Watershed, individual sites behaved differently in their uptake kinetics. NO3- uptake dynamics in the Lamprey River Watershed are most strongly influenced by DOC concentrations rather than NO3- concentrations or physicochemical parameters, which have been identified as regional- to continental-scale drivers in previous research. Understanding the fundamental relationships between dissolved organic matter and inorganic nutrients will be important as global and climatic changes influence the delivery and production of DOC and NO3- in aquatic ecosystems.

  4. Freshwater transport forms of Na, Mg, and Ca in streams of adjacent headwater catchments composed of differing vegetation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Terajima, T.; Moriizumi, M.

    2012-04-01

    To understand the freshwater transport forms of major metals, concentrations of Na, Mg, Ca, Si, and fulvic acid-like materials (FAM) were measured in streams of headwater catchments with differing vegetation (coniferous and deciduous forests). The proportion of non-ionic forms (NIF) relative to total elements in the coniferous and deciduous catchments ranged from 0% to 40% and from 0% to 70%, respectively, in baseflows, and from 5% to 60% and from 20% to 60%, respectively, in stormflows. In the baseflows, NIF and total Si (T-Si) were highly correlated (r > 0.9) in both catchments. In contrast, in the stormflows, T-Si and FAM showed a good correlation (r > 0.8) in both catchments, implying that stormflow may have enhanced organic-inorganic binding. However, in the coniferous catchment, good correlations (r > 0.8) between NIF and T-Si or FAM were associated with only the rising limb of the hydrograph, whereas in the deciduous catchment, good correlations (r > 0.8) were associated with both the rising and falling limbs. These results indicate that: (1) under low-flow conditions, major metals may form binding with clay minerals and thus be transported as NIF, (2) storm events may enhance the binding of clay minerals with humic substances, (3) in the coniferous catchment, the complexation of NIF with the organic-inorganic binding and their transport in stormflows are associated with the rising limb of the storm hydrograph, whereas NIF transport during the falling limb may reflect the effect of other materials, and (4) in the deciduous catchment, NIF transport may occur mainly in association with organic-inorganic binding throughout a storm event. These findings show that active binding of Na, Mg, and Ca in freshwater environments with organic and inorganic substances, under the effect of differing vegetation on that binding, should be carefully examined in studies of chemical hydrology in headwater catchments. Key words: fulvic acid, major metal, complexation, humic

  5. Spatio-temporal variability of the molecular fingerprint of soil dissolved organic matter in a headwater agricultural catchment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jeanneau, Laurent; Pierson-Wickmann, Anne-Catherine; Jaffrezic, Anne; Lambert, Thibault; Gruau, Gérard

    2013-04-01

    Dissolved organic matter (DOM) is implied in (i) ecosystem services such as the support of biodiversity, (ii) the alteration of the drinkable water quality by formation of trihalomethane and (iii) the transfer of micropollutants from soils to rivers. Moreover, since DOM connects soils and oceans that are interacting with the atmosphere, understanding its biogeochemistry will help in investigating the carbon cycle and in creating strategies to mitigate climate change. DOM in headwater stream ecosystems is mainly inherited from allochtonous inputs with different reservoirs being mobilized during storm and interstorm events at the scale of an hydrological year. Those changes in DOM reservoirs, if accompanied by composition and reactivity changes, may impact DOM ecosystem services and drinking water production processes. Elucidating the compositional changes due to changes in the source of DOM in rivers has thus become a important axis of DOM research. The aim of this study is to test the ability of the molecular tools of the organic geochemistry and more specifically the combination of thermochemiolysis and gas chromatography - mass spectrometry (THM-GC-MS) to (i) link the variability of the river DOM composition to different DOM reservoirs in catchment soils and (ii) provide hypothesis on the nature and the mechanisms of formation (microbial growth, litter decomposition) of those reservoirs. This analytical method seems particularly adapted since it allows the differentiation between vegetal and microbial inputs and the determination of the extent of the biodegradation process of biomolecules such as lignin. To test this method, the molecular fingerprint of soil DOM has been investigated in the wetland area of a small (500 ha) agricultural catchment (the so-called Kervidy-Naizin catchment) located in Brittany, western France. The soil DOM was sampled fortnightly at three depths using zero-tension lysimeters during the hydrological year 2010-2011. The samples were

  6. Primary production in headwater streams of the Seine basin: the Grand Morin river case study.

    PubMed

    Flipo, Nicolas; Rabouille, Christophe; Poulin, Michel; Even, Stéphanie; Tusseau-Vuillemin, Marie-Hélène; Lalande, Marie

    2007-04-01

    Periphytic biomass has an important influence on the water quality of many shallow streams. The purpose of this paper is to synthesize the knowledge obtained on periphyton during the PIREN Seine research program. Periphyton was sampled using chl a measurements by acetone extraction and oxygen measurements with microelectrodes. The experiments reveal the presence of an important fixed biomass ranging between 123 and 850 mgchl a m(-2) and the mean gross production (photosynthesis) is shown to range between 180 and 315 mgC m(-2) h(-1). An independent approach was performed using the ProSe model, which simulates transport and biogeochemical processes in 22 km of the Grand Morin stream. A strong agreement between in situ measurements and the model results was obtained. The gross production obtained using ProSe is 220 mgC m(-2) h(-1) for the periphyton, which matches the experimental data. Although the net photosynthetic activity of the phytoplankton (0.84 gC gC(-1) d(-1)) is higher than the periphytic one (0.33 gC gC(-1) d(-1)), the absolute periphytic activity is greater since the mean biomass (3.4 gC m(-)(2)) is 10 times higher than the phytoplanktonic one (0.3 gC m(-2)), due to the short residence time of the water body (1.5d).

  7. Natural organic matter properties in Swedish agricultural streams

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bieroza, Magdalena; Kyllmar, Katarina; Bergström, Lars; Köhler, Stephan

    2016-04-01

    We have analysed natural organic matter (NOM) properties in 18 agricultural streams in Sweden covering a broad range of environmental (climate, soil type), land use and water quality (nutrient and concentrations, pH, alkalinity) characteristics. Stream water samples collected every two weeks within an ongoing Swedish Monitoring Programme for Agriculture have been analysed for total/dissolved organic carbon, absorbance and fluorescence spectroscopy. A number of quantitative and qualitative spectroscopic parameters was calculated to help to distinguish between terrestrially-derived, refractory organic material and autochthonous, labile material indicative of biogeochemical transformations of terrestrial NOM and recent biological production. The study provides insights into organic matter properties and carbon budgets in agricultural streams and improves understanding of how agricultural catchments transform natural and anthropogenic fluxes of organic matter and nutrients to signals observed in receiving waters.

  8. The biogeochemical fingerprint of urbanization: increasing carbon quality in Maine headwater streams

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Parr, T.; Cronan, C.; Ohno, T.; Simon, K. S.

    2012-12-01

    Conversion of land cover to urban use is an accelerating global phenomenon. Physical landscape change manifests as the replacement of forests, grasslands, and wetlands with buildings, novel vegetation, and infrastructure. This physical change also brings with it a change in the human management of the landscape for aesthetic and practical purposes (i.e. road salt applications). Although urbanization's effects on inorganic nutrients have been well studied, far less is known about the interactive influences of urbanization and urban landscape management practices on dissolved organic matter (DOM), a key energy source essential to ecosystem function. We examined the seasonal abundance and composition of DOM, nutrients, and common cations in 116 small streams along a gradient of urbanization (0-60% total watershed imperviousness, TWI), in Maine, USA. Dissolved organic carbon concentration ranged from 0.5 to 20 ppm with no clear relationship to watershed urbanization. In contrast, DOM composition, quantified with specific ultra violet absorbance at 254 nm (SUVA_{254}), fluorescence indices, and parallel factor analysis (PARAFAC), changed considerably with increasing urbanization. SUVA_{254} indicated a shift from higher molecular weight humic compounds (SUVA_{254}>4) toward lower molecular weight compounds (SUVA_{254}<2.5) with increasing urbanization. Fluorescence indices (Fluorescence Index, Humification Index, and α:β) indicated DOM source shifted from allochthonous sources (e.g. plant and soil carbon) toward autochthonously derived compounds (e.g. derivatives of in-stream algal and microbial production). Humic acid-like compounds decreased from 40% to 10% of the fluorescent DOM pool, while fluorescence of more labile compounds increased from 10 to 25% with increasing urbanization. Laboratory bioassays of DOM degradation rates showed that increasing urbanization doubled the bioavailability of DOM. Ratios of DOC:DON declined from 20-50 at TWI<8% to <20 above 8% TWI

  9. Land Use Influences Niche Size and the Assimilation of Resources by Benthic Macroinvertebrates in Tropical Headwater Streams

    PubMed Central

    Parreira de Castro, Diego Marcel; Reis de Carvalho, Débora; Pompeu, Paulo dos Santos; Moreira, Marcelo Zacharias; Nardoto, Gabriela Bielefeld; Callisto, Marcos

    2016-01-01

    It is well recognized that assemblage structure of stream macroinvertebrates changes with alterations in catchment or local land use. Our objective was to understand how the trophic ecology of benthic macroinvertebrate assemblages responds to land use changes in tropical streams. We used the isotope methodology to assess how energy flow and trophic relations among macroinvertebrates were affected in environments affected by different land uses (natural cover, pasture, sugar cane plantation). Macroinvertebrates were sampled and categorized into functional feeding groups, and available trophic resources were sampled and evaluated for the isotopic composition of 13C and 15N along streams located in the Cerrado (neotropical savanna). Streams altered by pasture or sugar cane had wider and more overlapped trophic niches, which corresponded to more generalist feeding habits. In contrast, trophic groups in streams with native vegetation had narrower trophic niches with smaller overlaps, suggesting greater specialization. Pasture sites had greater ranges of resources exploited, indicating higher trophic diversity than sites with natural cover and sugar cane plantation. We conclude that agricultural land uses appears to alter the food base and shift macroinvertebrate assemblages towards more generalist feeding behaviors and greater overlap of the trophic niches. PMID:26934113

  10. Land Use Influences Niche Size and the Assimilation of Resources by Benthic Macroinvertebrates in Tropical Headwater Streams.

    PubMed

    Parreira de Castro, Diego Marcel; Reis de Carvalho, Débora; Pompeu, Paulo dos Santos; Moreira, Marcelo Zacharias; Nardoto, Gabriela Bielefeld; Callisto, Marcos

    2016-01-01

    It is well recognized that assemblage structure of stream macroinvertebrates changes with alterations in catchment or local land use. Our objective was to understand how the trophic ecology of benthic macroinvertebrate assemblages responds to land use changes in tropical streams. We used the isotope methodology to assess how energy flow and trophic relations among macroinvertebrates were affected in environments affected by different land uses (natural cover, pasture, sugar cane plantation). Macroinvertebrates were sampled and categorized into functional feeding groups, and available trophic resources were sampled and evaluated for the isotopic composition of 13C and 15N along streams located in the Cerrado (neotropical savanna). Streams altered by pasture or sugar cane had wider and more overlapped trophic niches, which corresponded to more generalist feeding habits. In contrast, trophic groups in streams with native vegetation had narrower trophic niches with smaller overlaps, suggesting greater specialization. Pasture sites had greater ranges of resources exploited, indicating higher trophic diversity than sites with natural cover and sugar cane plantation. We conclude that agricultural land uses appears to alter the food base and shift macroinvertebrate assemblages towards more generalist feeding behaviors and greater overlap of the trophic niches. PMID:26934113

  11. Land Use Influences Niche Size and the Assimilation of Resources by Benthic Macroinvertebrates in Tropical Headwater Streams.

    PubMed

    Parreira de Castro, Diego Marcel; Reis de Carvalho, Débora; Pompeu, Paulo dos Santos; Moreira, Marcelo Zacharias; Nardoto, Gabriela Bielefeld; Callisto, Marcos

    2016-01-01

    It is well recognized that assemblage structure of stream macroinvertebrates changes with alterations in catchment or local land use. Our objective was to understand how the trophic ecology of benthic macroinvertebrate assemblages responds to land use changes in tropical streams. We used the isotope methodology to assess how energy flow and trophic relations among macroinvertebrates were affected in environments affected by different land uses (natural cover, pasture, sugar cane plantation). Macroinvertebrates were sampled and categorized into functional feeding groups, and available trophic resources were sampled and evaluated for the isotopic composition of 13C and 15N along streams located in the Cerrado (neotropical savanna). Streams altered by pasture or sugar cane had wider and more overlapped trophic niches, which corresponded to more generalist feeding habits. In contrast, trophic groups in streams with native vegetation had narrower trophic niches with smaller overlaps, suggesting greater specialization. Pasture sites had greater ranges of resources exploited, indicating higher trophic diversity than sites with natural cover and sugar cane plantation. We conclude that agricultural land uses appears to alter the food base and shift macroinvertebrate assemblages towards more generalist feeding behaviors and greater overlap of the trophic niches.

  12. Organic-matter decomposition along a temperature gradient in a forested headwater stream

    SciTech Connect

    Griffiths, Natalie A.; Tiegs, Scott D.

    2016-01-01

    Here, we used a natural temperature gradient in Walker Branch, a spring-fed forested stream in eastern Tennessee, USA, to examine the influence of temperature on organic-matter decomposition. These upstream sites are warmer than downstream sites in winter and are cooler than downstream sites in summer. We used a cotton-strip assay to examine breakdown of a substrate of uniform quality (95% cellulose) along the temperature gradient monthly for 2 y and litter bags to examine the interactive effects of leaf-litter quality (labile red maple [Acer rubrum] and tulip poplar [Liriodendron tulipifera], and less labile white oak [Quercus alba]), invertebrates, and temperature on breakdown rates along the downstream temperature gradient for 90 d in winter. Cotton-strip tensile loss and leaf-litter breakdown rates were highly variable. Tensile-loss rates likely were driven by a combination of daily and diel temperature, discharge, streamwater nutrients that varied seasonally and spatially along the temperature gradient. Leaf litter breakdown rates tended to be faster in warmer upstream sites (red maple = 0.0452/d, tulip poplar = 0.0376/d, white oak = 0.0142/d) and slower in cooler downstream sites (red maple = 0.0312/d, tulip poplar = 0.0236/d, white oak = 0.0107/d), and breakdown rates were positively correlated with total invertebrate density. Furthermore, temperature sensitivity of decomposition was similar among the 3 litter types. These results highlight the high degree of spatial and temporal heterogeneity that can exist for ecosystem processes and their drivers. Quantifying this heterogeneity is important when scaling functional metrics to stream and watershed scales and for understanding how organic-matter processing will respond to the warmer streamwater temperatures expected as a result of global climate change.

  13. Organic-matter decomposition along a temperature gradient in a forested headwater stream

    DOE PAGES

    Griffiths, Natalie A.; Tiegs, Scott D.

    2016-01-01

    Here, we used a natural temperature gradient in Walker Branch, a spring-fed forested stream in eastern Tennessee, USA, to examine the influence of temperature on organic-matter decomposition. These upstream sites are warmer than downstream sites in winter and are cooler than downstream sites in summer. We used a cotton-strip assay to examine breakdown of a substrate of uniform quality (95% cellulose) along the temperature gradient monthly for 2 y and litter bags to examine the interactive effects of leaf-litter quality (labile red maple [Acer rubrum] and tulip poplar [Liriodendron tulipifera], and less labile white oak [Quercus alba]), invertebrates, and temperaturemore » on breakdown rates along the downstream temperature gradient for 90 d in winter. Cotton-strip tensile loss and leaf-litter breakdown rates were highly variable. Tensile-loss rates likely were driven by a combination of daily and diel temperature, discharge, streamwater nutrients that varied seasonally and spatially along the temperature gradient. Leaf litter breakdown rates tended to be faster in warmer upstream sites (red maple = 0.0452/d, tulip poplar = 0.0376/d, white oak = 0.0142/d) and slower in cooler downstream sites (red maple = 0.0312/d, tulip poplar = 0.0236/d, white oak = 0.0107/d), and breakdown rates were positively correlated with total invertebrate density. Furthermore, temperature sensitivity of decomposition was similar among the 3 litter types. These results highlight the high degree of spatial and temporal heterogeneity that can exist for ecosystem processes and their drivers. Quantifying this heterogeneity is important when scaling functional metrics to stream and watershed scales and for understanding how organic-matter processing will respond to the warmer streamwater temperatures expected as a result of global climate change.« less

  14. Characterization of major-ion chemistry and nutrients in headwater streams along the Appalachian National Scenic Trail and within adjacent watersheds, Maine to Georgia

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Argue, Denise M.; Pope, Jason P.; Dieffenbach, Fred

    2012-01-01

    An inventory of water-quality data on field parameters, major ions, and nutrients provided a summary of water quality in headwater (first- and second-order) streams within watersheds along the Appalachian National Scenic Trail (Appalachian Trail). Data from 1,817 sampling sites in 831 catchments were used for the water-quality summary. Catchment delineations from NHDPlus were used as the fundamental geographic units for this project. Criteria used to evaluate sampling sites for inclusion were based on selected physical attributes of the catchments adjacent to the Appalachian Trail, including stream elevation, percentage of developed land cover, and percentage of agricultural land cover. The headwater streams of the Appalachian Trail are generally dilute waters, with low pH, low acid neutralizing capacity (ANC), and low concentrations of nutrients. The median pH value was slightly acidic at 6.7; the median specific conductance value was 23.6 microsiemens per centimeter, and the median ANC value was 98.7 milliequivalents per liter (μeq/L). Median concentrations of cations (calcium, magnesium, sodium, and potassium) were each less than 1.5 milligrams per liter (mg/L), and median concentrations of anions (bicarbonate, chloride, fluoride, sulfate, and nitrate) were less than 10 mg/L. Differences in water-quality constituent levels along the Appalachian Trail may be related to elevation, atmospheric deposition, geology, and land cover. Spatial variations were summarized by ecological sections (ecosections) developed by the U.S. Forest Service. Specific conductance, pH, ANC, and concentrations of major ions (calcium, chloride, magnesium, sodium, and sulfate) were all negatively correlated with elevation. The highest elevation ecosections (White Mountains, Blue Ridge Mountains, and Allegheny Mountains) had the lowest pH, ANC, and concentrations of major ions. The lowest elevation ecosections (Lower New England and Hudson Valley) generally had the highest pH, ANC, and

  15. Alternative Responses to Predation in Two Headwater Stream Minnows Is Reflected in Their Contrasting Diel Activity Patterns

    PubMed Central

    Kadye, Wilbert T.; Booth, Anthony J.

    2014-01-01

    Animals exhibit diel periodicity in their activity in part to meet energy requirements whilst evading predation. A competing hypothesis suggests that partitioning of diel activities is less important because animals capitalise on opportunity. To test these hypotheses we examined the diel activity patterns for two cyprinid minnows, chubbyhead barb Barbus anoplus and the Eastern Cape redfin minnow Pseudobarbus afer that both occur within headwater streams in the Eastern Cape, South Africa. Chubbyhead barbs exhibited consistent nocturnal activity based on both field and laboratory observations. Due to the absence of fish predators within its habitat, its nocturnal behaviour suggests a response to the cost associated with diurnal activity, such as predation risk by diving and wading birds. In contrast, redfin minnows showed high diurnal activity and a shoaling behaviour in the wild, whereas, in the laboratory, they showed high refuge use during the diel cycle. Despite their preference for refuge in the laboratory, they were diurnally active, a behaviour that was consistent with observations in the wild. The diurnal activity of this species suggests a response to the cost associated with nocturnal activity. Such a cost could be inferred from the presence of the longfin eel, a native predator that was active at night, whereas the daytime shoaling behaviour suggests an anti-predator mechanism to diurnal visual predators. The implications of these findings relate to the impacts associated with the potential invasions by non-native piscivores that occur in the mainstem sections. Diurnal activity patterns for redfin minnows, that are IUCN-listed as endangered, may, in part, explain their susceptibility to high predation by visual non-native piscivores, such as bass and trout. In contrast, the nocturnal habits of chubbyhead barbs suggest a probable pre-adaptation to visual predation. The likelihood of invasion by nocturnally-active sharptooth catfish Clarias gariepinus

  16. Measurement of Channel Morphology in a Headwater Stream using Low-Altitude Photography and a 3D Model Software

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nidaira, K.; Hiraoka, M.; Gomi, T.; Uchiyama, Y.

    2015-12-01

    We developed a method for measuring detail channel morphology using a low elevation photographic scanning. This study was conducted in a 36-m step-pool channel segment in a headwater stream of Ooborazawa watershed located in 20 km south of Tokyo. The channels were covered by Boenninghausenia japonica and Oplismenus undulatifolius var. undulatifolius. Therefore, topographic measurement in high altitude (up to 5 m) using a drone is not applicable. D50 and D90 of channel substrates were 4 cm and 21 cm, respectively. A plastic case that equipped with two digital cameras (RICOH CX5) is mounted at the top of 2.2 m of a glass fiber pole. Photos were taken every 5 seconds from 1.8 m above ground surface. Eleven ground control points (GCP) were installed and measured coordinates. We developed digital 3D topographic model using PhotoScan Pro edition version 1.0.0 and the developed 1 cm contour map using ArcGIS version 10.2. Furthermore, we measured the number, height, and length of steps for examining the accuracy of data. Resolution of obtained topographic model was from 9 to 11 mm per pixel. 1 cm of particle was identified using photo was 1 cm. Estimated step height was agreed to the measured step height in the field. We detected maximum channel scour from October to December, 2014 with (146.5 mm/day for maximum daily rain) occurred at pools with 13cm changes , while 5 to 10 cm of changes in sediment deposition occurred from Mya to June, 2015 with 78.5 mm/day of maximum daily rain. Disposition of sediment was concentration within the sequences of step structures. Our method allows us for understanding detail sediment movement and resultant localized channel changes in steep channels.

  17. Contrasting CO2 concentration discharge dynamics in headwater streams: A multi-catchment comparison

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dinsmore, K. J.; Wallin, M. B.; Johnson, M. S.; Billett, M. F.; Bishop, K.; Pumpanen, J.; Ojala, A.

    2013-06-01

    CO2 concentrations are highly variable and strongly linked to discharge, but until recently, measurements have been largely restricted to low-frequency manual sampling. Using new in situ CO2 sensors, we present concurrent, high-frequency (<30 min resolution) CO2 concentration and discharge data collected from five catchments across Canada, UK, and Fennoscandinavia to explore concentration-discharge dynamics; we also consider the relative importance of high flows to lateral aquatic CO2 export. The catchments encompassed a wide range of mean CO2 concentrations (0.73-3.05 mg C L-1) and hydrological flow regimes from flashy peatland streams to muted outflows within a Finnish lake system. In three of the catchments, CO2 concentrations displayed clear bimodal distributions indicating distinct CO2 sources. Concentration-discharge relationships were not consistent across sites with three of the catchments displaying a negative relationship and two catchments displaying a positive relationship. When individual high flow events were considered, we found a strong correlation between both the average magnitude of the hydrological and CO2 response peaks, and the average response lag times. An analysis of lateral CO2 export showed that in three of the catchments, the top 30% of flow (i.e., flow that was exceeded only 30% of the time) had the greatest influence on total annual load. This indicates that an increase in precipitation extremes (greater high-flow contributions) may have a greater influence on the flushing of CO2 from soils to surface waters than a long-term increase in mean annual precipitation, assuming source limitation does not occur.

  18. Physical, chemical, and biological characteristics of selected headwater streams along the Allegheny Front, Blair County, Pennsylvania, July 2011–September 2013

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Low, Dennis J.; Brightbill, Robin A.; Eggleston, Heather L.; Chaplin, Jeffrey J.

    2016-02-29

    Biotic health was characterized at 10 of 12 stream sites; the two sites excluded were established late in the study period (May 2013) for refinement of water quality in the headwaters of Poplar Run and the location of Marcellus Formation gas wells. On the basis of the Maryland Index of Biotic Integrity (MdIBI) for fish assemblages, 8 of 10 streams can be considered in fair health. Tipton Run had the highest MdIBI score (3.75) and the greatest number of native species. South Poplar Run had the lowest MdIBI score (1.75); pollution tolerant blacknose dace was dominant. On the basis of the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection macroinvertebrate index of biotic integrity, 9 of 10 streams were characterized as attaining, with scores as high as 88.9 at Tipton Run. Only Sugar Run was characterized as impaired, with a score of 40.4.

  19. Physical, chemical, and biological characteristics of selected headwater streams along the Allegheny Front, Blair County, Pennsylvania, July 2011–September 2013

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Low, Dennis J.; Brightbill, Robin A.; Eggleston, Heather L.; Chaplin, Jeffrey J.

    2016-02-29

    Biotic health was characterized at 10 of 12 stream sites; the two sites excluded were established late in the study period (May 2013) for refinement of water quality in the headwaters of Poplar Run and the location of Marcellus Formation gas wells. On the basis of the Maryland Index of Biotic Integrity (MdIBI) for fish assemblages, 8 of 10 streams can be considered in fair health. Tipton Run had the highest MdIBI score (3.75) and the greatest number of native species. South Poplar Run had the lowest MdIBI score (1.75); pollution tolerant blacknose dace was dominant. On the basis of the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection macroinvertebrate index of biotic integrity, 9 of 10 streams wer

  20. Are Streams in Agricultural and Urban Areas Contaminated by Pesticides?

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Kimbrough, R.A.

    1995-01-01

    To answer this question, a study of pesticides in streams in a small agricultural area and a small urban area in Colorado was conducted in 1993 by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) as part of the National Water-Quality Assessment (NAWQA) program. The results indicate that pesticides are present in streams, and both agricultural and urban areas are probable sources of the contamination. In the agricultural area, 30 pesticides were detected and in the urban area, 26 pesticides were detected at least once during the thirteen month study. In the agricultural area, the herbicides alachlor (two samples) and cyanazine (four samples) and the insecticide diazinon (one sample) were the only pesticides that exceeded the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's maximum contaminant levels (MCLs) or health advisory levels (HALs) for drinking water. No pesticides exceeded MCLs or HALs in the urban area.

  1. Headwater locations of U.S. streams tributary to St. Lawrence River basin between western Ohio and eastern New York, excluding Lake Champlain basin

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Eissler, Benjamin B.

    1979-01-01

    The headwater locations of several thousand U.S. streams tributary to Lakes Ontario and Erie and the St. Lawrence and Niagara Rivers, from the Maumee River in Ohio to the western border of the Lake Champlain basin in New York, including parts of Pennsylvania, are listed by quadrangle. The location of the headwater of each is given with reference to cultural and topographic features. ' Headwater ' in this report is defined as the first site downstream from which the average streamflow is 5 cubic feet per second. The site locations were determined from drainage areas as indicated on topographic maps. The size of the drainage area required to produce an average flow of 5 cubic feet per second was determined from equations, developed separately for each State by regression techniques, that define the relation between streamflow and hydrologic factors of the region. Drainage area and precipitation were factors in the equations for all three States: forest cover was found to be significant in Ohio. (Woodard-USGS)

  2. Ecology and management of agricultural drainage ditches: a literature review

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Agricultural drainage ditches are headwater streams that have been modified or constructed for agricultural drainage, and are often used in conjunction with tile drains. These modified streams are a common landscape feature in Ohio, and constitute 25% of stream habitat within the state. Management o...

  3. Water quality status and trends in agriculture-dominated headwaters; a national monitoring network for assessing the effectiveness of national and European manure legislation in The Netherlands.

    PubMed

    Rozemeijer, J C; Klein, J; Broers, H P; van Tol-Leenders, T P; van der Grift, B

    2014-12-01

    Large nutrient losses to groundwater and surface waters are a major drawback of the highly productive agricultural sector in The Netherlands. The resulting high nutrient concentrations in water resources threaten their ecological, industrial, and recreational functions. To mitigate eutrophication problems, legislation on nutrient application in agriculture was enforced in 1986 in The Netherlands. The objective of this study was to evaluate this manure policy by assessing the water quality status and trends in agriculture-dominated headwaters. We used datasets from 5 agricultural test catchments and from 167 existing monitoring locations in agricultural headwaters. Trend analysis for these locations showed a fast reduction of nutrient concentrations after the enforcement of the manure legislation (median slopes of -0.55 mg/l per decade for total nitrogen (N-tot) and -0.020 mg/l per decade for total phosphorus (P-tot)). Still, up to 76 % of the selected locations currently do not comply with either the environmental quality standards (EQSs) for nitrogen (N-tot) or phosphorus (P-tot). This indicates that further improvement of agricultural water quality is needed. We observed that weather-related variations in nutrient concentrations strongly influence the compliance testing results, both for individual locations and for the aggregated results at the national scale. Another important finding is that testing compliance for nutrients based on summer average concentrations may underestimate the agricultural impact on ecosystem health. The focus on summer concentrations does not account for the environmental impact of high winter loads from agricultural headwaters towards downstream water bodies. PMID:25236957

  4. Water quality status and trends in agriculture-dominated headwaters; a national monitoring network for assessing the effectiveness of national and European manure legislation in The Netherlands.

    PubMed

    Rozemeijer, J C; Klein, J; Broers, H P; van Tol-Leenders, T P; van der Grift, B

    2014-12-01

    Large nutrient losses to groundwater and surface waters are a major drawback of the highly productive agricultural sector in The Netherlands. The resulting high nutrient concentrations in water resources threaten their ecological, industrial, and recreational functions. To mitigate eutrophication problems, legislation on nutrient application in agriculture was enforced in 1986 in The Netherlands. The objective of this study was to evaluate this manure policy by assessing the water quality status and trends in agriculture-dominated headwaters. We used datasets from 5 agricultural test catchments and from 167 existing monitoring locations in agricultural headwaters. Trend analysis for these locations showed a fast reduction of nutrient concentrations after the enforcement of the manure legislation (median slopes of -0.55 mg/l per decade for total nitrogen (N-tot) and -0.020 mg/l per decade for total phosphorus (P-tot)). Still, up to 76 % of the selected locations currently do not comply with either the environmental quality standards (EQSs) for nitrogen (N-tot) or phosphorus (P-tot). This indicates that further improvement of agricultural water quality is needed. We observed that weather-related variations in nutrient concentrations strongly influence the compliance testing results, both for individual locations and for the aggregated results at the national scale. Another important finding is that testing compliance for nutrients based on summer average concentrations may underestimate the agricultural impact on ecosystem health. The focus on summer concentrations does not account for the environmental impact of high winter loads from agricultural headwaters towards downstream water bodies.

  5. Impact of agricultural activities on anaerobic processes in stream sediments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schade, J. D.; Ludwig, S.; Nelson, L. C.; Porterfield, J.; Sather, K. L.; Songpitak, M.; Spawn, S.; Weigel, B.

    2013-12-01

    Streams draining agriculture watersheds are subject to significant anthropogenic impacts, including sedimentation from soil erosion and high nitrate input from heavy fertilizer application. Sedimentation degrades habitat and can reduce hydrologic exchange between surface and subsurface waters. Disconnecting surface and subsurface flow reduces oxygen input to hyporheic water, increasing the extent of anoxic zones in stream sediments and creating hotspots for anaerobic processes like denitrification and methanogenesis that can be important sources of nitrous oxide and methane, both powerful greenhouse gases. Increased nitrate input may influence greenhouse gas fluxes from stream sediments by stimulating rates of denitrification and potentially reducing rates of methanogenesis, either through direct inhibition or by increasing competition for organic substrates from denitrifying bacteria. We hypothesized that accumulation of fine sediments in stream channels would result in high rates of methanogenesis in stream sediments, and that increased nitrate input from agricultural runoff would stimulate denitrification and reduce rates of methane production. Our work focused on streams in northern and central Minnesota, in particular on Rice Creek, a small stream draining an agricultural watershed. We used a variety of approaches to test our hypotheses, including surveys of methane concentrations in surface waters of streams ranging in sediment type and nitrate concentration, bottle incubations of sediment from several sites in Rice Creek, and the use of functional gene probes and RNA analyses to determine if genes for these processes are present and being expressed in stream sediments. We found higher methane concentrations in surface water from streams with large deposits of fine sediments, but significantly less methane in these streams when nitrate concentrations were high. We also found high potential for both methanogenesis and denitrification in sediment incubations

  6. Fish community dynamics following dam removal in a fragmented agricultural stream

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Kornis, Matthew; Weidel, Brian C.; Powers, Stephens; Diebel, Matthew W.; Cline, Timpthy; Fox, Justin; Kitchell, James F.

    2014-01-01

    Habitat fragmentation impedes dispersal of aquatic fauna, and barrier removal is increasingly used to increase stream network connectivity and facilitate fish dispersal. Improved understanding of fish community response to barrier removal is needed, especially in fragmented agricultural streams where numerous antiquated dams are likely destined for removal. We examined post-removal responses in two distinct fish communities formerly separated by a small aging mill dam. The dam was removed midway through the 6 year study, enabling passage for downstream fishes affiliated with a connected reservoir into previously inaccessible habitat, thus creating the potential for taxonomic homogenization between upstream and downstream communities. Both communities changed substantially post-removal. Two previously excluded species (white sucker, yellow perch) established substantial populations upstream of the former dam, contributing to a doubling of total fish biomass. Meanwhile, numerical density of pre-existing upstream fishes declined. Downstream, largemouth bass density was inversely correlated with prey fish density throughout the study, while post-removal declines in bluegill density coincided with cooler water temperature and increased suspended and benthic fine sediment. Upstream and downstream fish communities became more similar post-removal, represented by a shift in Bray-Curtis index from 14 to 41 % similarity. Our findings emphasize that barrier removal in highly fragmented stream networks can facilitate the unintended and possibly undesirable spread of species into headwater streams, including dispersal of species from remaining reservoirs. We suggest that knowledge of dispersal patterns for key piscivore and competitor species in both the target system and neighboring systems may help predict community outcomes following barrier removal.

  7. Managing Artificially Drained Low-Gradient Agricultural Headwaters for Enhanced Ecosystem Functions

    PubMed Central

    Pierce, Samuel C.; Kröger, Robert; Pezeshki, Reza

    2012-01-01

    Large tracts of lowlands have been drained to expand extensive agriculture into areas that were historically categorized as wasteland. This expansion in agriculture necessarily coincided with changes in ecosystem structure, biodiversity, and nutrient cycling. These changes have impacted not only the landscapes in which they occurred, but also larger water bodies receiving runoff from drained land. New approaches must append current efforts toward land conservation and restoration, as the continuing impacts to receiving waters is an issue of major environmental concern. One of these approaches is agricultural drainage management. This article reviews how this approach differs from traditional conservation efforts, the specific practices of drainage management and the current state of knowledge on the ecology of drainage ditches. A bottom-up approach is utilized, examining the effects of stochastic hydrology and anthropogenic disturbance on primary production and diversity of primary producers, with special regard given to how management can affect establishment of macrophytes and how macrophytes in agricultural landscapes alter their environment in ways that can serve to mitigate non-point source pollution and promote biodiversity in receiving waters. PMID:24832519

  8. Effect of subsurface drainage on streamflow in an agricultural headwater watershed

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Artificial drainage, also known as subsurface or tile drainage is paramount to sustaining crop production agriculture in the poorly-drained, humid regions of the world. Hydrologic assessments of individual plots and fields with tile drainage are becoming common; however, a major void exists in our u...

  9. Hydrologic controls on the export dynamics of dissolved and particulate phosphorus in a lowland, headwater agricultural catchment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dupas, Rémi; Grimaldi, Catherine; Gruau, Gérard; Gascuel-Odoux, Chantal

    2014-05-01

    Phosphorus (P) availability controls eutrophication in freshwater ecosystems, since P is generally the limiting nutrient to algal development. The contribution of diffuse P emission to surface waters is significant in intensively livestock farmed catchments as a result of high application rates of P-rich animal waste and subsequent enrichment of soils. This study investigates the transport dynamics of particulate phosphorus (PP), suspended sediments (SS), and dissolved phosphorus (DP) with the aim of elucidating the relationship between PP and DP transport mechanisms and water dynamics in lowland, headwater catchments. The selected catchment (Kervidy-Naizin catchment, France) is particularly suitable for this purpose as it benefits of a 5 years, high-frequency monitoring of PP and DP concentrations at its outlet, including data recovered both during base flow and storm periods, with the monitoring of more than 50 storm flow events. The data analysis includes interpretation of concentration-discharge relationships at the annual time scale and on an event basis, seasonal analysis of flood characteristics and empirical modeling. Annual DP and PP concentration-discharge relationships of interflood samples display a hysteretic pattern, with higher concentrations during the autumn and spring periods, and progressive decrease during winter. No hysteretic pattern is visible for interflood SS concentration, which follows a classical C=a*Qb relationship. During floods, the dynamic of PP export is similar to that of SS during most of the events: the concentration peak occurs during the rising limb of the hydrogram (clockwise hysteresis), suggesting a source close to or within the stream. The amplitude and the hysteresis' loop size for SS and PP are a function of maximum discharge and rate of change in discharge. On the contrary, there is a strong decoupling between DP and SS (and thus PP) during most of the floods (no significant correlation), with DP concentration peaks

  10. Effects of fire and subsequent channel-reorganizing events on invertebrate drift and rainbow trout diet in small headwater streams 10 years post-disturbance

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rosenberger, A. E.; Dunham, J. B.; Wipfli, M. S.; Buffington, J. M.

    2005-05-01

    Studies examining the effects of fire on the biota of streams are often confined to immediate post-disturbance impacts; however it is also important to consider longer-term effects of fire and fire-related channel disturbances, including both negative and positive influences on stream communities. Fire and subsequent debris flows and hyperconcentrated flows destroy streamside vegetation and alter the channel morphology such that streams are wider and shallower with larger, less mobile substrate. Increased light, high temperatures, and altered stream morphology have the potential to greatly impact invertebrate communities, invertebrate drift, and drift-feeding fish diet. The goal of our study was to determine the effects of wildfire and wildfire-related disturbance on the amount and composition of stream invertebrate drift and how that translates to the diet of resident fishes 10 years post-disturbance. In the summer and fall of 2003, we set drift nets and examined the diet of fishes in 9 streams: 3 unburned; 3 burned (1992-4); and 3 burned with a subsequent channel disturbance (1992-4). Key questions include: does the taxonomic composition (richness, functional feeding groups), origin (terrestrial or aquatic), or total production (biomass) of invertebrate drift and fish diet vary with burn history? Does the composition and biomass of invertebrate drift indicate main sources of energy (allochthonous vs. autochthonous) for headwater streams affected by fire? Differences among streams in channel morphology, streamside vegetation, light input, and temperature did not correspond to consistent or marked differences in invertebrate drift productivity and only slight differences in functional feeding group composition. However, preliminary data suggest that taxon richness, though similar among burned and unburned streams, is lowest in burned and disturbed streams. Although there is a terrestrial component to fish diet in all three treatment groups, in the summer, there is

  11. Relationship between structural features and water chemistry in boreal headwater streams--evaluation based on results from two water management survey tools suggested for Swedish forestry.

    PubMed

    Lestander, Ragna; Löfgren, Stefan; Henrikson, Lennart; Ågren, Anneli M

    2015-04-01

    Forestry may cause adverse impacts on water quality, and the forestry planning process is a key factor for the outcome of forest operation effects on stream water. To optimise environmental considerations and to identify actions needed to improve or maintain the stream biodiversity, two silvicultural water management tools, BIS+ (biodiversity, impact, sensitivity and added values) and Blue targeting, have been developed. In this study, we evaluate the links between survey variables, based on BIS+ and Blue targeting data, and water chemistry in 173 randomly selected headwater streams in the hemiboreal zone. While BIS+ and Blue targeting cannot replace more sophisticated monitoring methods necessary for classifying water quality in streams according to the EU Water Framework Directive (WFD, 2000/60/EC), our results lend support to the idea that the BIS+ protocol can be used to prioritise the protection of riparian forests. The relationship between BIS+ and water quality indicators (concentrations of nutrients and organic matter) together with data from fish studies suggests that this field protocol can be used to give reaches with higher biodiversity and conservation values a better protection. The tools indicate an ability to mitigate forestry impacts on water quality if the operations are adjusted to this knowledge in located areas.

  12. Is the diet of a typical shredder related to the physical habitat of headwater streams in the Brazilian Cerrado?

    EPA Science Inventory

    Macroinvertebrates are important for processing leaf detritus in temperate streams, but studies about their role in tropical streams are scarce and often present conflicting results. We assessed the diet of Phylloicus (Trichoptera: Calamoceratidae) larvae, that is generally class...

  13. Effects of conservation practices on fishes, amphibians, and reptiles within agricultural streams and wetlands

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Conservation practices have been traditionally used to manage soil and water resources to improve agricultural production, and now include methods to reduce the environmental impacts of agriculture on streams and wetlands. These practices have been regularly implemented within agricultural watershed...

  14. Spatial distributions of forest stand condition, vegetation ground cover, and soil erosion for evaluating the linkages of sediment transport from hillslopes to streams in headwater catchments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gomi, T.; Kumakura, A.; Mizugaki, S.; Takahisa, F.; Ishikawa, Y.; Uchiyama, Y.

    2011-12-01

    We investigated soil erosion and resultant fine sediment transport in headwater catchments with heterogeneous spatial patterns of forest stand condition and vegetation ground cover. The study was conducted in 7 and 5 ha headwater catchments (Watersheds No.3 and No.4, respectively) in Tanzawa mountains area, 60 km of southwest of Tokyo, Japan. We selected 53 points located within catchments including near stream channels to the ridge line. A 0.5 x 0.5 m plot (1m x 1m) were selected in each point for investigating vegetation biomass, litter cover, soil erosion (e.g., soil pedestal), overstory vegetation condition (type of forest and canopy openness), and soil physical properties (e.g., soil bulk density and particle size). We assumed that high of soil pedestal indicated short term soil erosions by soil splash and related down slope soil movement. Percentages of bare soil in No. 3 tend to greater than ones in No.4. In addition, bare soil slope tended to distributed lower part of hillslopes with > 45° in gradient, where the soil can be transported to streams. Because of the high soil erosion rate in No.3 catchment, suspended sediment and bedload transport in No.3 tended to be greater ones in No.4 catchment. Fingerprinting approach using activities of fallout radionuclides (caesium-137 and excess lead-210) confirmed that some of the fine sediment transport at associated with hillslope soil surface erosion. Findings of this study suggested that processes of catchment scale fine sediment depending on the linkages between hillslope and channels.

  15. Biomonitors of stream quality on agricultural areas: fish versus invertebrates

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Berkman, Hilary E.; Rabeni, Charles F.; Boyle, Terence P.

    1986-01-01

    Although the utility of using either fish or benthic invertebrates as biomonitors of stream quality has been clearly shown, there is little comparative information on the usefulness of the groups in any particular situation. We compared fish to invertebrate assemblages in their ability to reflect habitat quality of sediment-impacted streams in agricultural regions of northeast Missouri, USA. Habitat quality was measured by a combination of substrate composition, riparian type, buffer strip width, and land use. Invertebrates were more sensitive to habitat differences when structural measurements, species diversity and ordination, were used. Incorporating ecological measurements, by using the Index of Biological Integrity, increased the information obtained from the fish assemblage. The differential response of the two groups was attributed to the more direct impact of sediments on invertebrate life requisites; the impact of sedimentation on fish is considered more indirect and complex, affecting feeding and reproductive mechanisms.

  16. A validation study of a rapid field-based rating system for discriminating among flow permanence classes of headwater streams in South Carolina.

    PubMed

    Fritz, Ken M; Wenerick, William R; Kostich, Mitch S

    2013-11-01

    Rapid field-based protocols for classifying flow permanence of headwater streams are needed to inform timely regulatory decisions. Such an existing method was developed for and has been used in North Carolina since 1998. The method uses ordinal scoring of 26 geomorphology, hydrology, and biology attributes of streams. The attribute scores are summed and compared to threshold scores to assign a flow permanence class. Our study objective was to evaluate the method's ability to classify the flow permanence of forested stream reaches from Piedmont and Southeastern Plains ecoregions in South Carolina. Ephemeral reaches scored significantly lower than intermittent and perennial reaches, but scores from intermittent and perennial reaches did not differ. Scores collected in the dry and wet seasons were strongly correlated, indicating that the method was seasonally stable. Scores had positive nonlinear relationships with the maximum recorded wet duration and the proportion of the record that reaches were wet, but were not related to drying frequency. Scores of the presence of baseflow in the dry season were more important in flow permanence classification than those from the wet season. Other important attributes and parameters in discriminating flow classes were macrobenthos, rooted upland plants, bankfull width, drainage area, and ecoregion. Although the North Carolina method did not consistently differentiate intermittent from perennial reaches, the indicator-based approach is a strong foundation from which to build a protocol for South Carolina. Adding measures like bankfull width and drainage area, weighting by ecoregion, or shifting thresholds may be warranted modifications for South Carolina. PMID:24000112

  17. A validation study of a rapid field-based rating system for discriminating among flow permanence classes of headwater streams in South Carolina.

    PubMed

    Fritz, Ken M; Wenerick, William R; Kostich, Mitch S

    2013-11-01

    Rapid field-based protocols for classifying flow permanence of headwater streams are needed to inform timely regulatory decisions. Such an existing method was developed for and has been used in North Carolina since 1998. The method uses ordinal scoring of 26 geomorphology, hydrology, and biology attributes of streams. The attribute scores are summed and compared to threshold scores to assign a flow permanence class. Our study objective was to evaluate the method's ability to classify the flow permanence of forested stream reaches from Piedmont and Southeastern Plains ecoregions in South Carolina. Ephemeral reaches scored significantly lower than intermittent and perennial reaches, but scores from intermittent and perennial reaches did not differ. Scores collected in the dry and wet seasons were strongly correlated, indicating that the method was seasonally stable. Scores had positive nonlinear relationships with the maximum recorded wet duration and the proportion of the record that reaches were wet, but were not related to drying frequency. Scores of the presence of baseflow in the dry season were more important in flow permanence classification than those from the wet season. Other important attributes and parameters in discriminating flow classes were macrobenthos, rooted upland plants, bankfull width, drainage area, and ecoregion. Although the North Carolina method did not consistently differentiate intermittent from perennial reaches, the indicator-based approach is a strong foundation from which to build a protocol for South Carolina. Adding measures like bankfull width and drainage area, weighting by ecoregion, or shifting thresholds may be warranted modifications for South Carolina.

  18. Leaf litter decomposition of native and introduced tree species of contrasting quality in headwater streams: how does the regional setting matter?

    PubMed

    Casas, J Jesús; Larrañaga, Aitor; Menéndez, Margarita; Pozo, Jesús; Basaguren, Ana; Martínez, Aingeru; Pérez, Javier; González, José M; Mollá, Salvador; Casado, Carmen; Descals, Enrique; Roblas, Neftalí; López-González, J Antonio; Valenzuela, J Luis

    2013-08-01

    Terrestrial plant litter is important in sustaining stream food webs in forested headwaters. Leaf litter quality often decreases when native species are replaced by introduced species, and a lower quality of leaf litter inputs may alter litter decomposition at sites afforested with non-native species. However, since detritivore composition and resource use plasticity may depend on the prevalent litter inputs, the extent of the alteration in decomposition can vary between streams. We tested 2 hypotheses using 2 native and 3 introduced species of tree differing in quality in 4 Iberian regions with contrasting vegetational traits: 1) decomposition rates of all plant species would be higher in regions where streams normally receive litter inputs of lower rather than higher quality; 2) a higher resource-use plasticity of detritivores in regions vegetated with plants of lower litter quality will cause a greater evenness in decomposition rates among plant species compared to regions where streams normally receive higher-quality plant litter inputs. Results showed a highly consistent interspecific ranking of decomposition rates across regions driven by litter quality, and a significant regional effect. Hypothesis 1 was supported: decomposition rates of the five litter types were generally higher in streams from regions vegetated with species producing leaf litter of low quality, possibly due to the profusion of caddisfly shredders in their communities. Hypothesis 2 was not supported: the relative differences in decomposition rates among leaf litter species remained essentially unaltered across regions. Our results suggest that, even in regions where detritivores can be comparatively efficient using resources of low quality, caution is needed particularly when afforestation programs introduce plant species of lower litter quality than the native species.

  19. Measurement of dissolved Cs-137 in stream water, soil water and groundwater at Headwater Forested Catchment in Fukushima after Fukushima Dai-ichi Nuclear Power Plant Accident

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Iwagami, Sho; Tsujimura, Maki; Onda, Yuichi; Sakakibara, Koichi; Konuma, Ryohei; Sato, Yutaro

    2016-04-01

    Radiocesium migration from headwater forested catchment is important perception as output from the forest which is also input to the subsequent various land use and downstream rivers after Fukushima Dai-ichi Nuclear Power Plant (FDNPP) accident. In this study, dissolved Cs-137 concentration of stream water, soil water and groundwater were measured. Observations were conducted at headwater catchment in Yamakiya district, located 35 km northwest of FDNPP from April 2014 to November 2015. Stream water discharge was monitored and stream water samples were taken at main channel and sub channel. Stream water discharge was monitored by combination of parshallflume and v-notch weir. Stream water was sampled manually at steady state condition in 3-4 month interval and also intense few hours interval sampling were conducted during rainfall events using automated water sampler. Around the sub channel, it is found that there is a regularly saturated area at the bottom of the slope, temporary saturated area which saturate during the rainy season in summer and regularly dry area. 6 interval cameras were installed to monitor the changing situation of saturated area. Suction lysimeters were installed at three areas (regularly saturated area, temporary saturated area and dry area) for sampling soil water in depth of 0.1 m and 0.3 m. Boreholes were installed at three points along the sub channel. Three boreholes with depth of 3 m, 5 m and 10 m were installed at temporary saturated area, 20 m upstream of sub channel weir. Another three boreholes with depth of 3 m, 5 m and 10 m were installed at dry area, 40 m upstream of sub channel weir. And a borehole with depth of 20 m was installed at ridge of sub catchment, 52 m upstream of sub channel weir. Groundwater was sampled by electrically powered pump and groundwater level was monitored. Also suction-free lysimeter was installed at temporary saturated area for sampling the near surface subsurface water. Soil water samples were collected

  20. Divergent patterns of abundance and age-class structure of headwater stream tadpoles in burned and unburned watersheds

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Hossack, B.R.; Corn, P.S.; Fagre, D.B.

    2006-01-01

    Wildfire is a potential threat to many species with narrow environmental tolerances like the Rocky Mountain tailed frog (Ascaphus montanus Mittleman and Myers, 1949), which inhabits a region where the frequency and intensity of wildfires are expected to increase. We compared pre- and post-fire counts of tadpoles in eight streams in northwestern Montana to determine the effects of wildfire on A. montanus. All streams were initially sampled in 2001, 2 years before four of them burned in a large wildfire, and were resampled during the 2 years following the fire. Counts of tadpoles were similar in the two groups of streams before the fire. After the fire, tadpoles were almost twice as abundant in unburned streams than in burned streams. The fire seemed to have the greatest negative effect on abundance of age-1 tadpoles, which was reflected in the greater variation in same-stream age-class structure compared with those in unburned streams. Despite the apparent effect on tadpoles, we do not expect the wildfire to be an extirpation threat to populations in the streams that we sampled. Studies spanning a chronosequence of fires, as well as in other areas, are needed to assess the effects of fires on streams with A. montanus and to determine the severity and persistence of these effects.

  1. Can rehabilitation techniques in agricultural streams influence transient storage and nitrate uptake?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mueller Price, J.; Baker, D. W.; Bledsoe, B.

    2009-12-01

    Headwater streams are a crucial component of nutrient processing in watersheds, partly due to high surface-to-volume ratios that favor nitrate uptake and to the large percentage of headwater stream length in the total length of a river system. We explore the potential of two stream rehabilitation approaches in headwater streams to promote nitrate uptake and reduce down-stream nitrogen pollution. We investigated two streams, Sheep Creek and Nunn Creek, located in northern Colorado that have been influenced by live-stock grazing. Sections of Sheep Creek were fenced off and exclosed from open rangeland cattle grazing in the 1950s, allowing riparian corridors of these sections to naturally revegetate, while other sections have been continu-ally grazed. In 2003, restoration structures of rootwads and j-hook vanes were constructed along portions of Nunn Creek for bank stabilization and trout habitat enhancement. We studied four reaches along Sheep Creek, two reaches exclosed from grazing and two reaches currently grazed. We also studied two reaches along Nunn Creek, one with restoration structures and one without structures. We performed nutrient injections of bromide and nitrate to estimate transient storage and nitrate uptake in each reach. Comprehensive data sets were also collected to characterize physical complexity along each reach, including pebble counts, longitudinal profiles, cross-section surveys, hydraulic measurements, benthic organic matter (fine and coarse), and spatial distribution of physical habitat units. We developed regression models that relate parameters of geomorphic complexity with transient storage and nitrate uptake parameters to describe how the geomorphic complexity associated with rehabilitation techniques in each reach can influence transient storage and nitrate uptake.

  2. Chasing storms in an agricultural catchment: the stream DOM story

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hernes, P. J.; Spencer, R. G.; Pellerin, B. A.; Downing, B. D.; Saraceno, J.; Dyda, R. Y.; Bergamaschi, B. A.

    2011-12-01

    Storm events are notorious for mobilizing large amounts of dissolved and particulate substances in streams and rivers. Conversion of natural landscapes to agricultural land-use can significantly amplify this effect. We investigated the impacts of two storm events on stream dissolved organic matter (DOM) in 2008 in Willow Slough, a California/Sacramento Valley agricultural catchment. The tools utilized included carbon stable isotopes, fluorescence, ultraviolet-visible absorbance, lignin, disinfection byproduct formation potential, and biodegradation experiments. Dissolved organic carbon (DOC) concentrations at the mouth at peak discharge during the storms ranged from 9-10 mg/L compared to baseline conditions of 2-4 mg/L. Other storm effects included increased dissolved organic nitrogen, depleted carbon stable isotopes, increased humic fluorescence intensity, increased specific UV absorbance (SUVA), decreased spectral slopes, increased bioavailability, and increased carbon-normalized yields of lignin. Increased frequency and intensity of storms due to climate change are likely to have a non-linear effect on riverine exports and water quality, with subsequent impacts on carbon loading, mercury transport, and drinking water quality.

  3. Stream-water chemistry, nutrients, and pesticides in Town Brook, a headwater stream of the Cannonsville Reservoir Watershed, Delaware County, New York, 1999

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    McHale, Michael R.; Phillips, Patrick J.

    2001-01-01

    Stream-water chemistry was monitored from January 1 through December 31, 1999, in the Town Brook watershed (TBW) in Delaware County, N.Y. to provide a basis for future evaluation of the effectiveness of Best Management Practices (BMPs) in decreasing agricultural nutrient and pesticide leaching to receiving waters. Total runoff from the watershed during 1999 was 664 millimeters (mm). Annual nutrient export (in kilograms per hectare) values were: ammonia (NH3), 0.25; nitrate (NO3-), 4.3; total nitrogen (TN), 10.6; orthophosphate (OP), 0.26; total dissolved phosphorus (TDP), 0.30; and total phosphorus (TP), 1.2 during 1999. Streamwater samples were collected during baseflow, elevated baseflow, and stormflow conditions. Stormflow, which produced the greatest flowweighted mean nutrient concentrations, represented only 41 percent of the annual runoff but accounted from 49 to 68 percent of the annual nutrient export. The highest seasonal flow-weighted mean concentrations were measured during the summer; the highest concentrations occurred during a large storm on July 4, 1999 with a recurrence interval greater than 100 years. The greatest seasonal export of dissolved nutrients (NH3, NO3-, OP, and TDP) occurred during the winter, whereas the greatest export of TN and TP was during the summer. Most of the TN and TP export during the summer occurred during the July 4 storm. That storm, together with a second large storm on September 16, 1999, accounted for the following percentages of annual export: ammonia, 17 percent; NO3-, 21 percent; TN, 45 percent; OP, 21 percent; TDP, 21 percent; and TP, 56 percent. Although these results provide information on the quantity and timing of nutrient export, they do not indicate the nutrient source nor the transport mechanisms by which nutrients are delivered to the stream. Baseflow and stormflow samples were collected for pesticide analyses at the Town Brook watershed outlet from January through July 1999. Eight pesticides and pesticide

  4. By land or by stream? contribution of constrained dispersal by adult caddisflies to diversity loss from urban headwaters

    EPA Science Inventory

    The adult stage of streams insects is responsible for important life-cycle processes such as dispersal and reproduction, yet interactions of adult stream insects with terrestrial landscapes are rarely studied. This trend is especially problematic in urbanized landscapes where th...

  5. Random versus fixed-site sampling when monitoring relative abundance of fishes in headwater streams of the upper Colorado River basin

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Quist, M.C.; Gerow, K.G.; Bower, M.R.; Hubert, W.A.

    2006-01-01

    Native fishes of the upper Colorado River basin (UCRB) have declined in distribution and abundance due to habitat degradation and interactions with normative fishes. Consequently, monitoring populations of both native and nonnative fishes is important for conservation of native species. We used data collected from Muddy Creek, Wyoming (2003-2004), to compare sample size estimates using a random and a fixed-site sampling design to monitor changes in catch per unit effort (CPUE) of native bluehead suckers Catostomus discobolus, flannelmouth suckers C. latipinnis, roundtail chub Gila robusta, and speckled dace Rhinichthys osculus, as well as nonnative creek chub Semotilus atromaculatus and white suckers C. commersonii. When one-pass backpack electrofishing was used, detection of 10% or 25% changes in CPUE (fish/100 m) at 60% statistical power required 50-1,000 randomly sampled reaches among species regardless of sampling design. However, use of a fixed-site sampling design with 25-50 reaches greatly enhanced the ability to detect changes in CPUE. The addition of seining did not appreciably reduce required effort. When detection of 25-50% changes in CPUE of native and nonnative fishes is acceptable, we recommend establishment of 25-50 fixed reaches sampled by one-pass electrofishing in Muddy Creek. Because Muddy Creek has habitat and fish assemblages characteristic of other headwater streams in the UCRB, our results are likely to apply to many other streams in the basin. ?? Copyright by the American Fisheries Society 2006.

  6. The relative influence of nutrients and habitat on stream metabolism in agricultural streams

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Frankforter, J.D.; Weyers, H.S.; Bales, J.D.; Moran, P.W.; Calhoun, D.L.

    2010-01-01

    Stream metabolism was measured in 33 streams across a gradient of nutrient concentrations in four agricultural areas of the USA to determine the relative influence of nutrient concentrations and habitat on primary production (GPP) and respiration (CR-24). In conjunction with the stream metabolism estimates, water quality and algal biomass samples were collected, as was an assessment of habitat in the sampling reach. When data for all study areas were combined, there were no statistically significant relations between gross primary production or community respiration and any of the independent variables. However, significant regression models were developed for three study areas for GPP (r 2 = 0.79-0.91) and CR-24 (r 2 = 0.76-0.77). Various forms of nutrients (total phosphorus and area-weighted total nitrogen loading) were significant for predicting GPP in two study areas, with habitat variables important in seven significant models. Important physical variables included light availability, precipitation, basin area, and in-stream habitat cover. Both benthic and seston chlorophyll were not found to be important explanatory variables in any of the models; however, benthic ash-free dry weight was important in two models for GPP. ?? 2009 The Author(s).

  7. Benthic invertebrates of benchmark streams in agricultural areas of eastern Wisconsin, Western Lake Michigan Drainages

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Rheaume, S.J.; Lenz, B.N.; Scudder, B.C.

    1996-01-01

    Information gathered from these benchmark streams can be used as a regional reference for comparison with other streams in agricultural areas, based on communities of aquatic biota, habitat, and water quality.

  8. Temperature and substrate chemistry as major drivers of interregional variability of leaf microbial decomposition and cellulolytic activity in headwater streams.

    PubMed

    Fenoy, Encarnación; Casas, J Jesús; Díaz-López, Manuel; Rubio, Juan; Guil-Guerrero, J Luís; Moyano-López, Francisco J

    2016-11-01

    Abiotic factors, substrate chemistry and decomposers community composition are primary drivers of leaf litter decomposition. In soil, much of the variation in litter decomposition is explained by climate and substrate chemistry, but with a significant contribution of the specialisation of decomposer communities to degrade specific substrates (home-field advantage, HFA). In streams, however, HFA effects on litter decomposition have not been explicitly tested. We evaluated responses of microbial decomposition and β-glucosidase activity to abiotic factors, substrate and decomposer assemblages, using a reciprocal litter transplant experiment: 'ecosystem type' (mountain vs lowland streams) × 'litter chemistry' (alder vs reed). Temperature, pH and ionic concentration were higher in lowland streams. Decomposition for both species was faster in lowland streams. Decomposition of reed was more accelerated in lowland compared with mountain streams than that of alder, suggesting higher temperature sensitivity of decomposition in reed. Q10 (5°C-15°C) values of β-glucosidase activity were over 2. The alkaline pH and high ionic concentration of lowland streams depleted enzyme activity. We found similar relationships of decomposition or enzyme activity with abiotic factors for both species, suggesting limited support to the HFA hypothesis. Overall, our results suggest a prime role of temperature interacting with substrate chemistry on litter decomposition. PMID:27515735

  9. Temperature and substrate chemistry as major drivers of interregional variability of leaf microbial decomposition and cellulolytic activity in headwater streams.

    PubMed

    Fenoy, Encarnación; Casas, J Jesús; Díaz-López, Manuel; Rubio, Juan; Guil-Guerrero, J Luís; Moyano-López, Francisco J

    2016-11-01

    Abiotic factors, substrate chemistry and decomposers community composition are primary drivers of leaf litter decomposition. In soil, much of the variation in litter decomposition is explained by climate and substrate chemistry, but with a significant contribution of the specialisation of decomposer communities to degrade specific substrates (home-field advantage, HFA). In streams, however, HFA effects on litter decomposition have not been explicitly tested. We evaluated responses of microbial decomposition and β-glucosidase activity to abiotic factors, substrate and decomposer assemblages, using a reciprocal litter transplant experiment: 'ecosystem type' (mountain vs lowland streams) × 'litter chemistry' (alder vs reed). Temperature, pH and ionic concentration were higher in lowland streams. Decomposition for both species was faster in lowland streams. Decomposition of reed was more accelerated in lowland compared with mountain streams than that of alder, suggesting higher temperature sensitivity of decomposition in reed. Q10 (5°C-15°C) values of β-glucosidase activity were over 2. The alkaline pH and high ionic concentration of lowland streams depleted enzyme activity. We found similar relationships of decomposition or enzyme activity with abiotic factors for both species, suggesting limited support to the HFA hypothesis. Overall, our results suggest a prime role of temperature interacting with substrate chemistry on litter decomposition.

  10. Natural-channel-design restorations that changed geomorphology have little effect on macroinvertebrate communities in headwater streams

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Ernst, Anne G.; Warren, Dana R.; Baldigo, Barry P.

    2012-01-01

    Stream restorations that increase geomorphic stability can improve habitat quality, which should benefit selected species and local aquatic ecosystems. This assumption is often used to define primary restoration goals; yet, biological responses to restoration are rarely monitored or evaluated methodically. Macroinvertebrate communities were inventoried at 6 study reaches within 5 Catskill Mountain streams between 2002 and 2006 to characterize their responses to natural-channel-design (NCD) restoration. Although bank stability increased significantly at most restored reaches, analyses of variation showed that NCD restorations had no significant effect on 15 of 16 macroinvertebrate community metrics. Multidimensional scaling ordination indicated that communities from all reach types within a stream were much more similar to each other within any given year than they were in the same reaches across years or within any type of reach across streams. These findings indicate that source populations and watershed-scale factors were more important to macroinvertebrate community characteristics than were changes in channel geomorphology associated with NCD restoration. Furthermore, the response of macroinvertebrates to restoration cannot always be used to infer the response of other stream biota to restoration. Thus, a broad perspective is needed to characterize and evaluate the full range of effects that restoration can have on stream ecosystems.

  11. Evaluation of agricultural best-management practices in the Conestoga River headwaters, Pennsylvania; effects of nutrient management on water quality in the Little Conestoga Creek headwaters, 1983-89

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Koerkle, E.H.; Fishel, D.K.; Brown, M.J.; Kostelnik, K.M.

    1996-01-01

    Water quality in the headwaters of the Little Conestoga Creek, Lancaster County, Pa., was investigated from April 1986 through September 1989 to determine possible effects of agricultural nutrient management on water quality. Nutrient management, an agricultural Best-Management Practice, was promoted in the 5.8-square-mile watershed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Clean Water Program. Nonpoint-source- agricultural contamination was evident in surface water and ground water in the watershed; the greatest contamination was in areas underlain by carbonate rock and with intensive row-crop and animal production. Initial implementation of nutrient management covered about 30 percent of applicable land and was concentrated in the Nutrient-Management Subbasin. By 1989, nutrient management covered about 45 percent of the entire Small Watershed, about 85 percent of the Nutrient- Management Subbasin, and less than 10 percent of the Nonnutrient-Management Subbasin. The number of farms implementing nutrient management increased from 14 in 1986 to 25 by 1989. Nutrient applications to cropland in the Nutrient- Management Subbasin decreased by an average of 35 percent after implementation. Comparison of base- flow surface-water quality from before and after implementation suggests that nutrient management was effective in slowing or reversing increases in concentrations of dissolved nitrate plus nitrite in the Nutrient-Management Subbasin. Although not statistically significant, the Mann-Whitney step-trend coefficient for the Nutrient-Management Subbasin was 0.8 milligram per liter, whereas trend coefficients for the Nonnutrient-Management Subbasin and the Small Watershed were 0.4 and 1.4 milligrams per liter, respectively, for the period of study. Analysis of covariance comparison of concurrent concentrations from the two sub- basins showed a significant decrease in concen- trations from the Nutrient-Management Subbasin compared to the Nonnutrient-Management Subbasin

  12. Sources and Composition of Dissolved Organic Matter in Headwater Streams Draining Watersheds with Different Land Uses in the York River Estuary

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lu, Y.; Canuel, E. A.; Bauer, J. E.; Yamashita, Y.; Chambers, R.; Jaffe, R.

    2010-12-01

    Despite the increasing recognition that accelerated land conversion has significant impacts on aquatic ecosystems, the effects of land uses on the sources, inputs, characteristics and metabolism of dissolved organic matter (DOM) are poorly understood. To address this question, we compared DOM in eight headwater streams draining different types of land uses, including forest, cropland, pasture and urban development, within the York River estuary, Virginia, USA. The concentrations, δ13C and 14C values of DOC, as well as the fluorescence spectra (excitation emission matrix-parallel factor analysis) of DOM were measured to characterize differences in source-age and composition of DOM from each type of land use. Samples were collected bimonthly in 2008-2009 and hence the seasonal variations were considered when comparing DOM across land-use types. Compared to modified watersheds (i.e. pasture, cropland and urban land uses), fluorescence spectra showed that DOM in streams draining forested watersheds have higher fractions of DOM from higher plants and lower fractions of DOM from microbial and planktonic sources. Streams draining urban areas have DOC of 14C ages between 1811~2284 BP, in a comparison of post-bomb age for DOC in other types of watersheds, may suggesting the inputs of aged carbon from fossil fuels in urban cites. Combining isotopes and fluorophore composition together, the principle component analysis separates DOM from forested watersheds and that from modified watersheds, indicating that watershed development plays important roles in altering sources and composition of DOM. Whereas previous studies of the effects of watershed development on aquatic ecosystems were mainly focused on nutrient dynamics, our finds highlighted the importance of changes in the sources and quality of DOM. A further understanding of these changes is important for better evaluations of watershed impacts and future practices of watershed development.

  13. Heterogeneity in a Suburban River Network: Understanding the Impact of Fluvial Wetlands on Dissolved Oxygen and Metabolism in Headwater Streams

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cain, J. S.; Wollheim, W. M.; Sheehan, K.; Lightbody, A.

    2014-12-01

    Low dissolved oxygen content in rivers threatens fish populations, aquatic organisms, and the health of entire ecosystems. River systems with high fluvial wetland abundance and organic matter, may result in high metabolism that in conjunction with low re-aeration rates, lead to low oxygen conditions. Increasing abundance of beaver ponds in many areas may exacerbate this phenomenon. This research aims to understand the impact of fluvial wetlands, including beaver ponds, on dissolved oxygen (D.O.) and metabolism throughout the headwaters of the Ipswich R. watershed, MA, USA. In several fluvial wetland dominated systems, we measured diel D.O. and metabolism in the upstream inflow, the surface water transient storage zones of fluvial wetland sidepools, and at the outflow to understand how the wetlands modify dissolved oxygen. D.O. was also measured longitudinally along entire surface water flow paths (x-y km long) to determine how low levels of D.O. propagate downstream. Nutrient samples were also collected to understand how their behavior was related to D.O. behavior. Results show that D.O. in fluvial wetlands has large swings with periods of very low D.O. at night. D.O. swings were also seen in downstream outflow, though lagged and somewhat attenuated. Flow conditions affect the level of inundation and the subsequent effects of fluvial wetlands on main channel D.O.. Understanding the D.O. behavior throughout river systems has important implications for the ability of river systems to remove anthropogenic nitrogen.

  14. Whole-stream response to nitrate loading in three streams draining agricultural landscapes

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Duff, J.H.; Tesoriero, A.J.; Richardson, W.B.; Strauss, E.A.; Munn, M.D.

    2008-01-01

    Physical, chemical, hydrologic, and biologic factors affecting nitrate (NO3 −) removal were evaluated in three agricultural streams draining orchard/dairy and row crop settings. Using 3-d “snapshots” during biotically active periods, we estimated reach-level NO3 − sources, NO3 − mass balance, in-stream processing (nitrification, denitrification, and NO3 − uptake), and NO3 − retention potential associated with surface water transport and ground water discharge. Ground water contributed 5 to 11% to stream discharge along the study reaches and 8 to 42% of gross NO3 − input. Streambed processes potentially reduced 45 to 75% of ground water NO3 − before discharge to surface water. In all streams, transient storage was of little importance for surface water NO3 − retention. Estimated nitrification (1.6–4.4 mg N m−2 h−1) and unamended denitrification rates (2.0–16.3 mg N m−2 h−1) in sediment slurries were high relative to pristine streams. Denitrification of NO3 − was largely independent of nitrification because both stream and ground water were sources of NO3 − Unamended denitrification rates extrapolated to the reach-scale accounted for <5% of NO3 − exported from the reaches minimally reducing downstream loads. Nitrate retention as a percentage of gross NO3 − inputs was >30% in an organic-poor, autotrophic stream with the lowest denitrification potentials and highest benthic chlorophyll a, photosynthesis/respiration ratio, pH, dissolved oxygen, and diurnal NO3 − variation. Biotic processing potentially removed 75% of ground water NO3 − at this site, suggesting an important role for photosynthetic assimilation of ground water NO3 − relative to subsurface denitrification as water passed directly through benthic diatom beds.

  15. Experimentally Isolating the Contributions of a Disturbed Ephemeral Drainage to a Headwater Stream in the Southern Appalachians

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gannon, J. P.; Lord, M.; Kinner, D. A.

    2015-12-01

    A growing body of evidence suggests contributions to runoff from ephemeral channels during events can exhibit significant control over water quality in higher order streams. Furthermore, field observations from a steep Appalachian catchment influenced by human activity suggest these disturbed ephemeral drainages exhibit significant control over turbidity, water temperature, and conductivity levels downstream. High turbidity during stormflow is a water quality problem in many areas of the Southern Appalachians. However, upland ephemeral channels are not included in the jurisdiction of the Clean Water Act. This offers little recourse if their contributions degrade the water quality of larger-scale streams and highlights the need for robust evidence of the potential impacts of ephemeral drainages. The aim of this research is to isolate the contribution of a disturbed ephemeral drainage by diverting its flow from the study stream network. Spatially and temporally distributed stream water samples taken during storms, when the channel is diverted or allowed to flow normally, will allow us to assess its contribution. In this poster, we present initial spatial and temporal streamwater chemistry and turbidity data as well as a detailed description of the stream network, study design, and diversion construction. We anticipate the findings of this study will be relevant to describing the environmental impact of disturbed ephemeral channels and to describing their potential influence on other water chemistry parameters downstream.

  16. Relative Contributions of Leaf-associated Microorganisms to Leaf Litter Breakdown in a Nutrient-enriched Headwater Stream

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tant, C. J.; Rosemond, A. D.; Taylor, N.; Conners, D. E.; Suberkropp, K.

    2005-05-01

    Litter decomposition in streams occurs as a function of microbial and invertebrate processing, as well as abiotic factors. Abiotic factors, such as streamwater nutrient concentrations, may change the relative importance of groups of microorganisms, as well as invertebrates, to leaf breakdown. We plan to quantify the relative contributions of bacteria, fungi, and invertebrate processing on decaying leaves in a reference and treatment stream (experimentally enriched with N & P for 4.5 yrs) at the Coweeta Long Term Ecological Research site in North Carolina, USA. Leaf packs of maple or rhododendron leaves were periodically retrieved to determine decay rates. Microbial activity was measured as respiration, fungal biomass was determined by measuring ergosterol concentration, and bacterial biomass was determined by epifluorescence microscopy. Breakdown rates were dramatically faster in the nutrient enriched stream than the reference stream, associated with greater microbial activity and presumably, invertebrate feeding. Based on whole-system response by microorganisms, we predict that nutrient enrichment will lead to greater contributions of fungi, relative to bacteria, to leaf breakdown. Our results show that enrichment can fundamentally alter the rate of organic matter breakdown in streams, and will test whether enrichment also changes the relative roles of groups of organisms contributing to breakdown processes.

  17. Flow origin, drainage area, and hydrologic characteristics for headwater streams in the mountaintop coal-mining region of Southern West Virginia, 2000-01

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Paybins, Katherine S.

    2003-01-01

    Characteristics of perennial and intermittent headwater streams were documented in the mountaintop removal coal-mining region of southern West Virginia in 2000?01. The perennial-flow origin points were identified in autumn during low base-flow conditions. The intermittent-flow origin points were identified in late winter and early spring during high base-flow conditions. Results of this investigation indicate that the median drainage area upstream of the origin of intermittent flow was 14.5 acres, and varied by an absolute median of 3.4 acres between the late winter measurements of 2000 and early spring measurements of 2001. Median drainage area in the northeastern part of the study unit was generally larger (20.4 acres), with a lower median basin slope (322 feet per mile) than the southwestern part of the study unit (12.9 acres and 465 feet per mile, respectively). Both of the seasons preceding the annual intermittent flow visits were much drier than normal. The West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection reports that the median size of permitted valley fills in southern West Virginia is 12.0 acres, which is comparable to the median drainage area upstream of the ephemeralintermittent flow point (14.5 acres). The maximum size of permitted fills (480 acres), however, is more than 10 times the observed maximum drainage area upstream of the ephemeral-intermittent flow point (45.3 acres), although a single valley fill may cover more than one drainage area. The median drainage area upstream of the origin of perennial flow was 40.8 acres, and varied by an absolute median of 18.0 acres between two annual autumn measurements. Only basins underlain with mostly sandstone bedrock produced perennial flow. Perennial points in the northeast part of the study unit had a larger median drainage area (70.0 acres) and a smaller median basin slope (416 feet per mile) than perennial points in the southwest part of the study unit (35.5 acres and 567 feet per mile, respectively

  18. Disturbance legacies of historic tie-drives persistently alter geomorphology and large wood characteristics in headwater streams, southeast Wyoming

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ruffing, Claire M.; Daniels, Melinda D.; Dwire, Kathleen A.

    2015-02-01

    Instream wood is recognized as an integral component of stream morphology in forested areas. However, few studies have evaluated the legacy effects of historic wood removal activities and associated impacts on channel morphology, contemporary wood loading, and recruitment. This study investigates the role of historic tie-driving, a widespread channel disturbance legacy, in shaping present-day stream channel conditions in southern Wyoming. Geomorphic and riparian surveys were used to assess the extent of disturbance and degree of recovery within three sets of paired tie-driven and non-driven study reaches. Tie-driven streams were narrower, shallower, and had low cross-sectional roughness and higher width-to-depth ratios when compared to non-driven streams. Study reaches in first-order tie-driven streams were characterized by predominantly plane-bed morphologies and an extremely low abundance of wood compared to paired, non-driven reaches. Wood loads in second-order tie-driven reaches were similar to non-driven reaches, but overall wood distribution varied and was more likely to accumulate in jams. Existing wood loads in tie-driven reaches exhibited a narrower range of geomorphic functions and were less stable overall, although the relative state of decay was similar across all reaches. Basal area, stream power, and reach slope were identified as key mechanisms driving wood retention in the study reaches. The results of this study suggest that contemporary channel morphology and wood loads continue to reflect disturbance histories but have not yet been affected by other contemporary disturbances expected to influence wood loads such as bark beetle infestations.

  19. LANDSCAPE INFLUENCES ON IN-STREAM BIOTIC INTEGRITY: USE OF MACROINVERTEBRATE METRICS TO IDENTIFY LANDSCAPE STRESSORS IN HEADWATER CATCHMENTS

    EPA Science Inventory

    The biotic integrity of streams is profoundly influenced by quantitative and qualitative features in the landscape of the surrounding catchment. In this study, aquatic macroinvertebrate metrics (e.g., relative abundance of Ephemeroptera, Trichoptera, and/or Plecoptera taxa, or t...

  20. Impacts of Mountaintop Removal and Valley Fill Coal Mining on C and N Processing in Terrestrial Soils and Headwater Streams.

    EPA Science Inventory

    We measured C and N cycling indicators in Appalachian watersheds impacted by mountaintop removal and valley fill (MTR/VF) coal mining, and in nearby forested watersheds. These watersheds include ephemeral, intermittent, and perennial stream reaches, and the length of time since d...

  1. Fluvial wood function downstream of beaver versus man-made dams in headwater streams in Massachusetts, USA

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    David, G. C.; DeVito, L. F.; Munz, K. T.; Lisius, G.

    2014-12-01

    Fluvial wood is an essential component of stream ecosystems by providing habitat, increasing accumulation of organic matter, and increasing the processing of nutrients and other materials. However, years of channel alterations in Massachusetts have resulted in low wood loads despite the afforestation that has occurred since the early 1900s. Streams have also been impacted by a large density of dams, built during industrialization, and reduction of the beaver population. Beavers were reintroduced to Massachusetts in the 1940s and they have since migrated throughout the state. Beaver dams impound water, which traps sediment and results in the development of complex channel patterns and more ecologically productive and diverse habitats than those found adjacent to man-made dams. To develop better management practices for dam removal it is essential that we understand the geomorphic and ecologic function of wood in these channels and the interconnections with floodplain dynamics and stream water chemistry. We investigate the connections among fluvial wood, channel morphology, floodplain soil moisture dynamics, and stream water chemistry in six watersheds in Massachusetts that have been impacted by either beaver or man-made dams. We hypothesize that wood load will be significantly higher below beaver dams, subsequently altering channel morphology, water chemistry, and floodplain soil moisture. Reaches are surveyed up- and downstream of each type of dam to better understand the impact dams have on the fluvial system. Surveys include a longitudinal profile, paired with dissolved oxygen and ammonium measurements, cross-section and fluvial wood surveys, hydraulic measurements, and floodplain soil moisture mapping. We found that dissolved oxygen mirrored the channel morphology, but did not vary significantly between reaches. Wood loads were significantly larger downstream of beaver dams, which resulted in significant changes to the ammonium levels. Floodplain soil moisture

  2. Chemical budgets and stream-chemistry dynamics of a headwater stream in the Catskill Mountains of New York, October 1, 1983 through September 30, 1985. Water Resources Investigation

    SciTech Connect

    Murdoch, P.S.

    1991-01-01

    The purpose of the study was to evaluate the chemical effects of atmospherically derived acidity on stream water in Biscuit Brook and to compare the effects of stormflows on the annual chemical budgets with the effects of base flow. This report summarizes the results of water-quality analyses and chemical budgets on Biscuit Brook during water years 1984 and 1985, and assesses the relation between discharge and stream chemistry during 14 storms observed from April 1983 through May 1986 at Biscuit Brook.

  3. Hydrology and water quality of the headwaters of the River Severn: Stream acidity recovery and interactions with plantation forestry under an improving pollution climate.

    PubMed

    Neal, Colin; Robinson, Mark; Reynolds, Brian; Neal, Margaret; Rowland, Philip; Grant, Simon; Norris, David; Williams, Bronwen; Sleep, Darren; Lawlor, Alan

    2010-10-01

    This paper presents new information on the hydrology and water quality of the eroding peatland headwaters of the River Severn in mid-Wales and links it to the impact of plantation conifer forestry further down the catchment. The Upper Hafren is dominated by low-growing peatland vegetation, with an average annual precipitation of around 2650 mm with around 250 mm evaporation. With low catchment permeability, stream response to rainfall is "flashy" with the rising limb to peak stormflow typically under an hour. The water quality is characteristically "dilute"; stormflow is acidic and enriched in aluminium and iron from the acid organic soil inputs. Baseflow is circum-neutral and calcium and bicarbonate bearing due to the inputs of groundwater enriched from weathering of the underlying rocks. Annual cycling is observed for the nutrients reflecting uptake and decomposition processes linked to the vegetation and for arsenic implying seasonal water-logging within the peat soils and underlying glacial drift. Over the decadal scale, sulphate and nitrate concentrations have declined while Gran alkalinity, dissolved organic carbon and iron have increased, indicating a reduction in stream acidification. Within the forested areas the water quality is slightly more concentrated and acidic, transgressing the boundary for acid neutralisation capacity as a threshold for biological damage. Annual sulphate and aluminium concentrations are double those observed in the Upper Hafren, reflecting the influence of forestry and the greater ability of trees to scavenge pollutant inputs from gaseous and mist/cloud-water sources compared to short vegetation. Acidification is decreasing more rapidly in the forest compared to the eroding peatland possibly due to the progressive harvesting of the mature forest reducing the scavenging of acidifying inputs. For the Lower Hafren, long-term average annual precipitation is slightly lower, with lower average altitude, at around 2520mm and evaporation

  4. Hydrology and water quality of the headwaters of the River Severn: Stream acidity recovery and interactions with plantation forestry under an improving pollution climate.

    PubMed

    Neal, Colin; Robinson, Mark; Reynolds, Brian; Neal, Margaret; Rowland, Philip; Grant, Simon; Norris, David; Williams, Bronwen; Sleep, Darren; Lawlor, Alan

    2010-10-01

    This paper presents new information on the hydrology and water quality of the eroding peatland headwaters of the River Severn in mid-Wales and links it to the impact of plantation conifer forestry further down the catchment. The Upper Hafren is dominated by low-growing peatland vegetation, with an average annual precipitation of around 2650 mm with around 250 mm evaporation. With low catchment permeability, stream response to rainfall is "flashy" with the rising limb to peak stormflow typically under an hour. The water quality is characteristically "dilute"; stormflow is acidic and enriched in aluminium and iron from the acid organic soil inputs. Baseflow is circum-neutral and calcium and bicarbonate bearing due to the inputs of groundwater enriched from weathering of the underlying rocks. Annual cycling is observed for the nutrients reflecting uptake and decomposition processes linked to the vegetation and for arsenic implying seasonal water-logging within the peat soils and underlying glacial drift. Over the decadal scale, sulphate and nitrate concentrations have declined while Gran alkalinity, dissolved organic carbon and iron have increased, indicating a reduction in stream acidification. Within the forested areas the water quality is slightly more concentrated and acidic, transgressing the boundary for acid neutralisation capacity as a threshold for biological damage. Annual sulphate and aluminium concentrations are double those observed in the Upper Hafren, reflecting the influence of forestry and the greater ability of trees to scavenge pollutant inputs from gaseous and mist/cloud-water sources compared to short vegetation. Acidification is decreasing more rapidly in the forest compared to the eroding peatland possibly due to the progressive harvesting of the mature forest reducing the scavenging of acidifying inputs. For the Lower Hafren, long-term average annual precipitation is slightly lower, with lower average altitude, at around 2520mm and evaporation

  5. Speciation and equilibrium relations of soluble aluminum in a headwater stream at base flow and during rain events

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Burns, Douglas A.

    1989-01-01

    In the Shenandoah National Park, Virginia, the short-term dynamics of soluble aluminum in stream water sampled during rain events differed significantly from stream water sampled during base flow conditions. Three fractions of dissolved aluminum were measured. The inorganic monomeric fraction made up approximately two thirds of the total reactive aluminum at base flow, followed by the acid-soluble and organic monomeric fractions, respectively. Equilibrium modeling showed that hydroxide complexes were the most abundant form of inorganic monomeric aluminum followed by fluoride, free aluminum ion, and sulfate. The activity of inorganic monomeric aluminum at base flow appears to be in equilibrium with an Al(OH)3 phase with solubility intermediate between microcrystalline gibbsite and natural gibbsite. During two rain events, the concentration of all three aluminum fractions increased significantly. The primary cause of the transient increase in the Al(OH)3 saturation index appears to have been the neutralization of excess H+ added by soil water through reaction with stream water HCO3- at a more rapid rate than excess inorganic monomeric aluminum could be removed from solution by hydroxide mineral precipitation. -from Author

  6. The delivery of dissolved organic carbon from a forested hillslope to a headwater stream in southeastern Pennsylvania, USA

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mei, Yi; Hornberger, George M.; Kaplan, Louis A.; Newbold, J. Denis; Aufdenkampe, Anthony K.

    2014-07-01

    Riparian soils, rich in organic carbon, act as a source of dissolved organic carbon (DOC) to the adjacent stream, but the hydrologic factors that control the delivery of DOC are not well characterized. A mechanistic two-dimensional, variably saturated flow and reactive transport finite element model (FEM) was developed to explore both biodegradable DOC (BDOC) and refractory DOC (RDOC) delivery processes during storms for a hillslope transect in a southeastern Pennsylvania Piedmont watershed. The model indicated that DOC concentrations in outflow from a hillslope peaked on the falling limb of the discharge hydrograph, a temporal sequence consistent with a flushing hypothesis. Factors that control the lag time between the stream water peak discharge and peak DOC concentration were analyzed using a Monte Carlo simulation coupled with a multiple linear regression. The results are consistent with previous studies showing that the majority of DOC delivered to a stream during storms originates from the riparian zone. Further, the model suggests that the duration of the flood wave and hydraulic properties of the riparian soil play important roles in controlling the lag time between peak discharge and peak DOC concentration in outflow from a hillslope.

  7. The endemic headwater stream amphibians of the American Northwest: Associations with environmental gradients in a large forested preserve

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Adams, M.J.; Bury, R.B.

    2002-01-01

    We used a large forested preserve (Olympic National Park, USA) to examine the habitat associations of a unique and environmentally sensitive stream amphibian fauna: Ascaphus truei Stegneger, Rhyacotriton olympicus (Gaige) and Dicamptodon copei Nussbaum. We quantified the relative abundance of stream amphibians and compared them to physical, topographic, climatic and landscape variables. All three species were associated with the south-west to north-east climate gradient, tending to be most abundant in the south-west. Although a habitat generalist relative to the other two species, Dicamptodon copei was absent from the north-eastern portion of the park. Ascaphus truei and Rhyacotriton olympicus were both associated with coarse substrates and steep gradients. Unlike studies in harvested forests, all stream amphibians were common in waters with unconsolidated surface geology (e.g. marine sediments that erode easily). Studies of ecological preserves can provide an important baseline for evaluating species associations with environmental gradients and can reveal patterns not evident in more disturbed landscapes.

  8. Are Changes in Biogeochemical or Hydrologic Processes Responsible for Increasing DOC Concentrations in Headwater Streams of Northeastern North America?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Burns, D. A.; Murdoch, P. S.

    2005-12-01

    The recent recognition of widespread and significant upward trends in dissolved organic carbon (DOC) concentrations in surface waters of northeastern North America and Europe has stimulated research to understand the cause of these trends. Several factors have been offered to explain these DOC trends including climate warming, chronic atmospheric nitrogen deposition, decreasing atmospheric sulfur deposition, and increasing surface water pH. Changes in these factors have acted to either increase the solubility of DOC or increase the rates of biogeochemical processes that generate labile carbon in the soil. Additionally, it is well known that rain events and snowmelt increase DOC concentrations in many surface waters through flushing along shallow flow paths where most labile carbon is stored. Changes in hydrologic flushing rates have generally not been explored as a possible explanation of these widely reported upward trends in DOC concentrations. Biscuit Brook, a 9.9 km2 catchment in the Catskill Mountains of New York has shown a significant increasing trend in DOC concentrations since 1992, consistent with other streams in this region. Stream chemistry has been monitored at Biscuit Brook on a weekly basis supplemented with event samples since 1983, providing a detailed data set with which to examine the causes of changes in DOC concentrations. Here, we examine the relative roles of climate warming, decreasing sulfate (SO42-) and nitrate (NO3-) concentrations, and changes in the frequency and size of hydrologic events on the long-term temporal pattern (1992 to 2004) of DOC concentrations in Biscuit Brook. DOC concentrations increased significantly in weekly samples collected primarily during low flow conditions. No similar trend was apparent in the high flow samples. Mean annual SO42- plus NO3- concentrations showed a strong inverse relation (r2 = 0.91, p < 0.01) to DOC concentrations, but these concentrations were not related to stream pH nor to air temperature

  9. The importance of the riparian zone and in-stream processes in nitrate attenuation in undisturbed and agricultural watersheds – a review of the scientific literature

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Ranalli, Anthony J.; MacAlady, Donald L.

    2010-01-01

    We reviewed published studies from primarily glaciated regions in the United States, Canada, and Europe of the (1) transport of nitrate from terrestrial ecosystems to aquatic ecosystems, (2) attenuation of nitrate in the riparian zone of undisturbed and agricultural watersheds, (3) processes contributing to nitrate attenuation in riparian zones, (4) variation in the attenuation of nitrate in the riparian zone, and (5) importance of in-stream and hyporheic processes for nitrate attenuation in the stream channel. Our objectives were to synthesize the results of these studies and suggest methodologies to (1) monitor regional trends in nitrate concentration in undisturbed 1st order watersheds and (2) reduce nitrate loads in streams draining agricultural watersheds. Our review reveals that undisturbed headwater watersheds have been shown to be very retentive of nitrogen, but the importance of biogeochemical and hydrological riparian zone processes in retaining nitrogen in these watersheds has not been demonstrated as it has for agricultural watersheds. An understanding of the role of the riparian zone in nitrate attenuation in undisturbed watersheds is crucial because these watersheds are increasingly subject to stressors, such as changes in land use and climate, wildfire, and increases in atmospheric nitrogen deposition. In general, understanding processes controlling the concentration and flux of nitrate is critical to identifying and mapping the vulnerability of watersheds to water quality changes due to a variety of stressors. In undisturbed and agricultural watersheds we propose that understanding the importance of riparian zone processes in 2nd order and larger watersheds is critical. Research is needed that addresses the relative importance of how the following sources of nitrate along any given stream reach might change as watersheds increase in size and with flow: (1) inputs upstream from the reach, (2) tributary inflow, (3) water derived from the riparian zone

  10. In-stream Nitrogen Processing and Dilution in an Agricultural Stream Network

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Prior, K.; Ward, A. S.; Davis, C. A.; Burgin, A. J.; Loecke, T.; Riveros-Iregui, D. A.; Thomas, S. A.; St Clair, M. A.

    2014-12-01

    The interaction of agricultural fertilizer use and extremes in drought and flood conditions in 2012-2013 set up conditions for a natural experiment on watershed-scale nutrient dynamics. The region-wide drought in 2012 left surface soils disconnected from stream networks and restricted nutrient use by crops, resulting in an unusually large nitrogen pool in soil columns through the winter. When wet conditions returned to the Midwest in 2013, the unused fertilizer was mobilized, resulting in a six-week period of extremely high in-stream nutrient concentrations. This study analyses three synoptic samples from the Iowa-Cedar River Basin in 2013 to quantify patterns in nitrogen dynamics. We use multiple conservative ions as tracers to estimate dilution by lateral inflows. We also estimate nutrient spiraling metrics by treating the fertilizer pulse as a constant rate nutrient addition across the watershed—a scale on which these processes are increasingly modeled numerically, but on which standard nutrient addition experiments are simply not feasible. Results of this study compare patterns in dilution and uptake across spatial and temporal scales, and bound feasible explanations for each reach of the network.

  11. A coupled geochemical and biogeochemical approach to characterize the bioreactivity of dissolved organic matter from a headwater stream

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sleighter, Rachel L.; Cory, Rose M.; Kaplan, Louis A.; Abdulla, Hussain A. N.; Hatcher, Patrick G.

    2014-08-01

    The bioreactivity or susceptibility of dissolved organic matter (DOM) to microbial degradation in streams and rivers is of critical importance to global change studies, but a comprehensive understanding of DOM bioreactivity has been elusive due, in part, to the stunningly diverse assemblages of organic molecules within DOM. We approach this problem by employing a range of techniques to characterize DOM as it flows through biofilm reactors: dissolved organic carbon (DOC) concentrations, excitation emission matrix spectroscopy (EEMs), and ultrahigh resolution mass spectrometry. The EEMs and mass spectral data were analyzed using a combination of multivariate statistical approaches. We found that 45% of stream water DOC was biodegraded by microorganisms, including 31-45% of the humic DOC. This bioreactive DOM separated into two different groups: (1) H/C centered at 1.5 with O/C 0.1-0.5 or (2) low H/C of 0.5-1.0 spanning O/C 0.2-0.7 that were positively correlated (Spearman ranking) with chromophoric and fluorescent DOM (CDOM and FDOM, respectively). DOM that was more recalcitrant and resistant to microbial degradation aligned tightly in the center of the van Krevelen space (H/C 1.0-1.5, O/C 0.25-0.6) and negatively correlated (Spearman ranking) with CDOM and FDOM. These findings were supported further by principal component analysis and 2-D correlation analysis of the relative magnitudes of the mass spectral peaks assigned to molecular formulas. This study demonstrates that our approach of processing stream water through bioreactors followed by EEMs and FTICR-MS analyses, in combination with multivariate statistical analysis, allows for precise, robust characterization of compound bioreactivity and associated molecular level composition.

  12. Large wood recruitment and redistribution in headwater streams in the southern Oregon Coast Range, U.S.A

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    May, Christine L.; Gresswell, Robert E.

    2003-01-01

    Large wood recruitment and redistribution mechanisms were investigated in a 3.9 km2 basin with an old-growth Pseudotsuga menziesii (Mirb.) Franco and Tsuga heterophylla (Raf.) Sarg. forest, located in the southern Coast Range of Oregon. Stream size and topographic setting strongly influenced processes that delivered wood to the channel network. In small colluvial channels draining steep hillslopes, processes associated with slope instability dominated large wood recruitment. In the larger alluvial channel, windthrow was the dominant recruitment process from the local riparian area. Consequently, colluvial channels received wood from further upslope than the alluvial channel. Input and redistribution processes influenced piece location relative to the direction of flow and thus, affected the functional role of wood. Wood recruited directly from local hillslopes and riparian areas was typically positioned adjacent to the channel or spanned its full width, and trapped sediment and wood in transport. In contrast, wood that had been fluvially redistributed was commonly located in mid-channel positions and was associated with scouring of the streambed and banks. Debris flows were a unique mechanism for creating large accumulations of wood in small streams that lacked the capacity for abundant fluvial transport of wood, and for transporting wood that was longer than the bank-full width of the channel.

  13. Sediment and nutrient delivery from thermokarst features in the foothills of the North Slope, Alaska: Potential impacts on headwater stream ecosystems

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Bowden, W.B.; Gooseff, M.N.; Balser, A.; Green, A.; Peterson, B.J.; Bradford, J.

    2008-01-01

    Permafrost is a defining characteristic of the Arctic environment. However, climate warming is thawing permafrost in many areas leading to failures in soil structure called thermokarst. An extensive survey of a 600 km2 area in and around the Toolik Lake Natural Research Area (TLNRA) revealed at least 34 thermokarst features, two thirds of which were new since ???1980 when a high resolution aerial survey of the area was done. Most of these thermokarst features were associated with headwater streams or lakes. We have measured significantly increased sediment and nutrient loading from thermokarst features to streams in two well-studied locations near the TLNRA. One small thermokarst gully that formed in 2003 on the Toolik River in a 0.9 km2 subcatchment delivered more sediment to the river than is normally delivered in 18 years from 132 km2 in the adjacent upper Kuparuk River basin (a long-term monitoring reference site). Ammonium, nitrate, and phosphate concentrations downstream from a thermokarst feature on Imnavait Creek increased significantly compared to upstream reference concentrations and the increased concentrations persisted over the period of sampling (1999-2005). The downstream concentrations were similar to those we have used in a long-term experimental manipulation of the Kuparuk River and that have significantly altered the structure and function of that river. A subsampling of other thermokarst features from the extensive regional survey showed that concentrations of ammonium, nitrate, and phosphate were always higher downstream of the thermokarst features. Our previous research has shown that even minor increases in nutrient loading stimulate primary and secondary production. However, increased sediment loading could interfere with benthic communities and change the responses to increased nutrient delivery. Although the terrestrial area impacted by thermokarsts is limited, the aquatic habitat altered by these failures can be extensive. If warming in

  14. Multiple scales of temporal variability in ecosystem metabolism rates: results from two years of continuous monitoring in a forested headwater stream

    SciTech Connect

    Roberts, Brian J; Mulholland, Patrick J; Hill, Walter

    2007-01-01

    Headwater streams are key sites of nutrient and organic matter processing and retention, but little is known about temporal variability in gross primary production (GPP) and ecosystem respiration (ER) rates as a result of the short duration of most ecosystem metabolism measurements in lotic ecosystems. We examined temporal variability and controls on ecosystem metabolism by measuring daily rates continuously for two years in Walker Branch, a first-order deciduous forest stream. Four important scales of temporal variability in ecosystem metabolism rates were identified: (1) seasonal, (2) day-to-day, (3) episodic (storm-related), and (4) inter-annual. Seasonal patterns were largely controlled by the leaf phenology and productivity of the deciduous riparian forest. Walker Branch was strongly net heterotrophic throughout the year with the exception of the open-canopy spring when GPP and ER rates were similar. Day-to-day variability in weather conditions influenced light reaching the streambed, resulting in high day-to-day variability in GPP particularly during spring (daily light levels explained 84% of the variance in daily GPP in April). Episodic storms depressed GPP for several days in spring, but increased GPP in autumn by removing leaves shading the streambed. Storms depressed ER initially, but then stimulated ER to 2-3 times pre-storm levels for several days. Walker Branch was strongly net heterotrophic in both years of the study (NEP = -1156 and -773 g O2 m-2 y-1), with annual GPP being similar (488 and 519 g O2 m-2 y-1) but annual ER being higher in 2004 than 2005 (-1645 vs. -1292 g O2 m-2 y-1). Inter-annual variability in ecosystem metabolism (assessed by comparing 2004 and 2005 rates with previous measurements) was the result of the storm frequency and timing and the size of the spring macroalgal bloom. Changes in local climate can have substantial impacts on stream ecosystem metabolism rates and ultimately influence the carbon source and sink properties of

  15. The processes and timing of sediment delivery from headwaters to the trunk stream of a Central European mountain gully catchment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Larsen, Annegret; Bork, Hans-Rudolf; Fuelling, Alexander; Fuchs, Markus; Larsen, Joshua R.

    2013-11-01

    Gully systems determine downstream water quality and sediment loads since they are located where streams begin. They are often only considered as a sediment source, and the degree to which gully systems also store sediment, and the timescales of this storage, have received less attention. Gully sediment storage is important because many sedimentary archives, such as floodplains and lakes, have recorded increases in sedimentation rates particularly in Medieval times, which are interpreted as the result of increased slope erosion and gully activity. At present there is insufficient evidence directly linking such other sedimentary archives and gully systems. There is also a lack of long term records which may indicate how the major external controls, climatic or anthropogenic, might determine gully responses. To address this, we analysed sediment sources and sinks within a small (43 ha) gully catchment in the Spessart Mountains, Germany. We found five main phases of erosion and deposition since ~ 13 ka, which revealed catchment vegetation significantly controlled geomorphic responses. A loss of vegetation due to climate deterioration (e.g. Younger Dryas) or deforestation (e.g. Medieval period) caused widespread slope instability and the aggradation of the gully thalweg. In contrast, well forested conditions before the Medieval period, and again in recent years, re-stabilised the slopes, leading to gully incision with knickpoint retreat. This result differs from previous interpretations of gully activity in Central Europe that gully erosion mostly occurred in Medieval times. Our results also demonstrate that only the initial phase of knickpoint retreat is significant for supplying sediment to the gully fan and trunk stream. Then knickpoint retreat leads to a relative increase in the thalweg storage capacity downstream, which limits further sediment export. This has important implications for the interpretation of floodplain ages, since the initial supply of gully

  16. Submersible UV-Vis spectroscopy for quantifying streamwater organic carbon dynamics: implementation and challenges before and after forest harvest in a headwater stream.

    PubMed

    Jollymore, Ashlee; Johnson, Mark S; Hawthorne, Iain

    2012-01-01

    Organic material, including total and dissolved organic carbon (DOC), is ubiquitous within aquatic ecosystems, playing a variety of important and diverse biogeochemical and ecological roles. Determining how land-use changes affect DOC concentrations and bioavailability within aquatic ecosystems is an important means of evaluating the effects on ecological productivity and biogeochemical cycling. This paper presents a methodology case study looking at the deployment of a submersible UV-Vis absorbance spectrophotometer (UV-Vis spectro::lyzer model, s::can, Vienna, Austria) to determine stream organic carbon dynamics within a headwater catchment located near Campbell River (British Columbia, Canada). Field-based absorbance measurements of DOC were made before and after forest harvest, highlighting the advantages of high temporal resolution compared to traditional grab sampling and laboratory measurements. Details of remote deployment are described. High-frequency DOC data is explored by resampling the 30 min time series with a range of resampling time intervals (from daily to weekly time steps). DOC export was calculated for three months from the post-harvest data and resampled time series, showing that sampling frequency has a profound effect on total DOC export. DOC exports derived from weekly measurements were found to underestimate export by as much as 30% compared to DOC export calculated from high-frequency data. Additionally, the importance of the ability to remotely monitor the system through a recently deployed wireless connection is emphasized by examining causes of prior data losses, and how such losses may be prevented through the ability to react when environmental or power disturbances cause system interruption and data loss.

  17. Submersible UV-Vis Spectroscopy for Quantifying Streamwater Organic Carbon Dynamics: Implementation and Challenges before and after Forest Harvest in a Headwater Stream

    PubMed Central

    Jollymore, Ashlee; Johnson, Mark S.; Hawthorne, Iain

    2012-01-01

    Organic material, including total and dissolved organic carbon (DOC), is ubiquitous within aquatic ecosystems, playing a variety of important and diverse biogeochemical and ecological roles. Determining how land-use changes affect DOC concentrations and bioavailability within aquatic ecosystems is an important means of evaluating the effects on ecological productivity and biogeochemical cycling. This paper presents a methodology case study looking at the deployment of a submersible UV-Vis absorbance spectrophotometer (UV-Vis spectro∷lyzer model, s∷can, Vienna, Austria) to determine stream organic carbon dynamics within a headwater catchment located near Campbell River (British Columbia, Canada). Field-based absorbance measurements of DOC were made before and after forest harvest, highlighting the advantages of high temporal resolution compared to traditional grab sampling and laboratory measurements. Details of remote deployment are described. High-frequency DOC data is explored by resampling the 30 min time series with a range of resampling time intervals (from daily to weekly time steps). DOC export was calculated for three months from the post-harvest data and resampled time series, showing that sampling frequency has a profound effect on total DOC export. DOC exports derived from weekly measurements were found to underestimate export by as much as 30% compared to DOC export calculated from high-frequency data. Additionally, the importance of the ability to remotely monitor the system through a recently deployed wireless connection is emphasized by examining causes of prior data losses, and how such losses may be prevented through the ability to react when environmental or power disturbances cause system interruption and data loss. PMID:22666002

  18. Submersible UV-Vis spectroscopy for quantifying streamwater organic carbon dynamics: implementation and challenges before and after forest harvest in a headwater stream.

    PubMed

    Jollymore, Ashlee; Johnson, Mark S; Hawthorne, Iain

    2012-01-01

    Organic material, including total and dissolved organic carbon (DOC), is ubiquitous within aquatic ecosystems, playing a variety of important and diverse biogeochemical and ecological roles. Determining how land-use changes affect DOC concentrations and bioavailability within aquatic ecosystems is an important means of evaluating the effects on ecological productivity and biogeochemical cycling. This paper presents a methodology case study looking at the deployment of a submersible UV-Vis absorbance spectrophotometer (UV-Vis spectro::lyzer model, s::can, Vienna, Austria) to determine stream organic carbon dynamics within a headwater catchment located near Campbell River (British Columbia, Canada). Field-based absorbance measurements of DOC were made before and after forest harvest, highlighting the advantages of high temporal resolution compared to traditional grab sampling and laboratory measurements. Details of remote deployment are described. High-frequency DOC data is explored by resampling the 30 min time series with a range of resampling time intervals (from daily to weekly time steps). DOC export was calculated for three months from the post-harvest data and resampled time series, showing that sampling frequency has a profound effect on total DOC export. DOC exports derived from weekly measurements were found to underestimate export by as much as 30% compared to DOC export calculated from high-frequency data. Additionally, the importance of the ability to remotely monitor the system through a recently deployed wireless connection is emphasized by examining causes of prior data losses, and how such losses may be prevented through the ability to react when environmental or power disturbances cause system interruption and data loss. PMID:22666002

  19. Effect of land use and hydrological processes on Escherichia coli concentrations in streams of tropical, humid headwater catchments.

    PubMed

    Rochelle-Newall, Emma J; Ribolzi, Olivier; Viguier, Marion; Thammahacksa, Chanthamousone; Silvera, Norbert; Latsachack, Keooudone; Dinh, Rinh Pham; Naporn, Piyapong; Sy, Hai Tran; Soulileuth, Bounsamay; Hmaimum, Nikom; Sisouvanh, Pem; Robain, Henri; Janeau, Jean-Louis; Valentin, Christian; Boithias, Laurie; Pierret, Alain

    2016-09-08

    Lack of access to clean water and adequate sanitation continues to be a major brake on development. Here we present the results of a 12-month investigation into the dynamics of Escherichia coli, a commonly used indicator of faecal contamination in water supplies, in three small, rural catchments in Laos, Thailand and Vietnam. We show that land use and hydrology are major controlling factors of E. coli concentrations in streamwater and that the relative importance of these two factors varies between the dry and wet seasons. In all three catchments, the highest concentrations were observed during the wet season when storm events and overland flow were highest. However, smaller peaks of E. coli concentration were also observed during the dry season. These latter correspond to periods of intense farming activities and small, episodic rain events. Furthermore, vegetation type, through land use and soil surface crusting, combined with mammalian presence play an important role in determining E. coli loads in the streams. Finally, sampling during stormflow revealed the importance of having appropriate sampling protocols if information on maximum contamination levels is required as grab sampling at a fixed time step may miss important peaks in E. coli numbers.

  20. Effect of land use and hydrological processes on Escherichia coli concentrations in streams of tropical, humid headwater catchments.

    PubMed

    Rochelle-Newall, Emma J; Ribolzi, Olivier; Viguier, Marion; Thammahacksa, Chanthamousone; Silvera, Norbert; Latsachack, Keooudone; Dinh, Rinh Pham; Naporn, Piyapong; Sy, Hai Tran; Soulileuth, Bounsamay; Hmaimum, Nikom; Sisouvanh, Pem; Robain, Henri; Janeau, Jean-Louis; Valentin, Christian; Boithias, Laurie; Pierret, Alain

    2016-01-01

    Lack of access to clean water and adequate sanitation continues to be a major brake on development. Here we present the results of a 12-month investigation into the dynamics of Escherichia coli, a commonly used indicator of faecal contamination in water supplies, in three small, rural catchments in Laos, Thailand and Vietnam. We show that land use and hydrology are major controlling factors of E. coli concentrations in streamwater and that the relative importance of these two factors varies between the dry and wet seasons. In all three catchments, the highest concentrations were observed during the wet season when storm events and overland flow were highest. However, smaller peaks of E. coli concentration were also observed during the dry season. These latter correspond to periods of intense farming activities and small, episodic rain events. Furthermore, vegetation type, through land use and soil surface crusting, combined with mammalian presence play an important role in determining E. coli loads in the streams. Finally, sampling during stormflow revealed the importance of having appropriate sampling protocols if information on maximum contamination levels is required as grab sampling at a fixed time step may miss important peaks in E. coli numbers. PMID:27604854

  1. Effect of land use and hydrological processes on Escherichia coli concentrations in streams of tropical, humid headwater catchments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rochelle-Newall, Emma J.; Ribolzi, Olivier; Viguier, Marion; Thammahacksa, Chanthamousone; Silvera, Norbert; Latsachack, Keooudone; Dinh, Rinh Pham; Naporn, Piyapong; Sy, Hai Tran; Soulileuth, Bounsamay; Hmaimum, Nikom; Sisouvanh, Pem; Robain, Henri; Janeau, Jean-Louis; Valentin, Christian; Boithias, Laurie; Pierret, Alain

    2016-09-01

    Lack of access to clean water and adequate sanitation continues to be a major brake on development. Here we present the results of a 12-month investigation into the dynamics of Escherichia coli, a commonly used indicator of faecal contamination in water supplies, in three small, rural catchments in Laos, Thailand and Vietnam. We show that land use and hydrology are major controlling factors of E. coli concentrations in streamwater and that the relative importance of these two factors varies between the dry and wet seasons. In all three catchments, the highest concentrations were observed during the wet season when storm events and overland flow were highest. However, smaller peaks of E. coli concentration were also observed during the dry season. These latter correspond to periods of intense farming activities and small, episodic rain events. Furthermore, vegetation type, through land use and soil surface crusting, combined with mammalian presence play an important role in determining E. coli loads in the streams. Finally, sampling during stormflow revealed the importance of having appropriate sampling protocols if information on maximum contamination levels is required as grab sampling at a fixed time step may miss important peaks in E. coli numbers.

  2. Effect of land use and hydrological processes on Escherichia coli concentrations in streams of tropical, humid headwater catchments

    PubMed Central

    Rochelle-Newall, Emma J.; Ribolzi, Olivier; Viguier, Marion; Thammahacksa, Chanthamousone; Silvera, Norbert; Latsachack, Keooudone; Dinh, Rinh Pham; Naporn, Piyapong; Sy, Hai Tran; Soulileuth, Bounsamay; Hmaimum, Nikom; Sisouvanh, Pem; Robain, Henri; Janeau, Jean-Louis; Valentin, Christian; Boithias, Laurie; Pierret, Alain

    2016-01-01

    Lack of access to clean water and adequate sanitation continues to be a major brake on development. Here we present the results of a 12-month investigation into the dynamics of Escherichia coli, a commonly used indicator of faecal contamination in water supplies, in three small, rural catchments in Laos, Thailand and Vietnam. We show that land use and hydrology are major controlling factors of E. coli concentrations in streamwater and that the relative importance of these two factors varies between the dry and wet seasons. In all three catchments, the highest concentrations were observed during the wet season when storm events and overland flow were highest. However, smaller peaks of E. coli concentration were also observed during the dry season. These latter correspond to periods of intense farming activities and small, episodic rain events. Furthermore, vegetation type, through land use and soil surface crusting, combined with mammalian presence play an important role in determining E. coli loads in the streams. Finally, sampling during stormflow revealed the importance of having appropriate sampling protocols if information on maximum contamination levels is required as grab sampling at a fixed time step may miss important peaks in E. coli numbers. PMID:27604854

  3. Long-term trends in climate and hydrology in an agricultural, headwater watershed of central Pennsylvania, USA

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Strategies to mitigate agricultural runoff must consider long-term changes in climate. We investigated temperature, precipitation and runoff trends over roughly four decades of monitoring an agricultural watershed in east central Pennsylvania (1968-2012). Temperature data confirmed significant expan...

  4. Particulate nitrogen exports in stream runoff exceed dissolved nitrogen forms during large tropical storms in a temperate, headwater, forested watershed

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Inamdar, Shreeram; Dhillon, Gurbir; Singh, Shatrughan; Parr, Thomas; Qin, Zhixuan

    2015-08-01

    Although lasting only a fraction of the year, large storms may represent a significant, but highly variable, control on watershed nitrogen (N) fluxes. We determined the exports of particulate N (PN) and total dissolved N including nitrate-N (NO3-N) and dissolved organic N (DON) in streamflow from a 12 ha temperate forested watershed. Sampling was performed for 15 storms over September 2010 to December 2012 and included four large tropical storms—Nicole (2010), Irene and Lee (2011), and Sandy (2012). PN composed a substantial portion (39-87%) of the storm event N export with storms constituting 65% of the 2011 PN export. Tropical storm Irene alone generated 1.76 kg N ha-1 of PN which was 27% of the annual watershed N (6.43 kg N ha-1) export for 2011. In contrast, tropical storm Sandy (October 2012) yielded low sediment and PN exports, likely due to low precipitation intensity and a freshly fallen leaf cover that may have reduced soil erosion. Stream water concentrations of PN, NO3-N, and DON ranged from 0-17.5, 0-2.02, and 0.01-0.54 mg N L-1, respectively. Nitrate-N concentrations displayed a dilution trajectory for peak stormflows suggesting supply limitation, a response that was not as strong for PN. These results underscore the importance of large storms for PN export which is significant given that climate-change predictions indicate an increasing intensity of large tropical storms for the northeast U.S.. Elevated PN exports could further exacerbate water quality and eutrophication problems in sensitive aquatic ecosystems already subjected to excess dissolved nitrogen loads.

  5. Contrasting Contaminant Occurrence in Urban and Agricultural Streams in the Midwestern and Southeastern United States

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Van Metre, P. C.

    2015-12-01

    Streams in urban and agricultural settings are known to have many anthropogenic chemical stressors; however, there are important differences in the occurrence of pesticides, metals, legacy contaminants, combustion byproducts, and contaminants of emerging concern between the two settings. In 2013 and 2014, the U.S. Geological Survey characterized water-quality stressors and ecological conditions in 100 streams in the Midwestern U.S. and 115 streams in the southeastern U.S., respectively. Water samples were collected weekly for 10-12 weeks during spring and early summer. Habitat, sediment chemistry, and ecological communities were sampled once at the end of the water-sampling period. Water and(or) sediment samples were analyzed for pesticides, nutrients, wastewater indicator compounds, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, halogenated compounds, metals, volatile organic compounds, and pharmaceuticals. The spatial and temporal distribution of detected compounds and health-based-benchmark-normalized summations of compound mixtures indicate important differences between agricultural and urban settings. In general, urban streams are affected by more complex chemical mixtures than agricultural streams. Although higher herbicide and nutrient concentrations generally are found in agricultural settings, the more frequent occurrence of insecticides, hydrocarbons, halogenated compounds, and metals in urban settings indicates higher potential toxicity in urban streams than in agricultural streams. The effects of these complex mixtures and other stressors are being evaluated in relation to stream ecological communities at the regional scale.

  6. Sediment P in Agricultural Streams: Response to Land Use and Influence on TP Export

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rosamond, Madeline; Mohamed, Mohamed; Taylor, William

    2015-04-01

    Phosphorus export from agricultural streams can be a significant source to downstream water bodies, contributing to eutrophication, algal blooms and hypoxia. Sediment in agricultural streams can have very high P concentrations and has been proposed as a significant source of P to the water column though bioavailability can be low. Recent work suggests that sediments can sorb P from point sources such as WWTPs, and release this P during disturbances such as high flow events. However, it is unclear if sediment P responds to increased P application to the landscape, or if it is a significant source of P to annual TP export from agricultural streams. We examined 15 streams in southern Ontario, Canada, in highly agricultural catchments, comparing stream sediment P concentration to sediment geochemistry, P application, runoff, tile drainage, water column TP concentration and TP export. Stream sediment P was well correlated to sediment Fe and C and to tile drainage, and weakly correlated to manure P. This could suggest that sediment P responds to P addition, and may temporarily store P incoming from agricultural sources. Annual TP export was not correlated to stream sediment P concentration but was well correlated with runoff and tile drainage. This suggests P stored in sediment is a minor contributor to annual TP export. Effective agricultural P management strategies include implementing drainage water management, buffer zones etc. in catchments with high runoff and tile drainage.

  7. RELATIONS BETWEEN LAND USE AND STREAM NUTRIENT CONCENTRATIONS FOR SMALL WATERSHEDS IN THE GEORGIA PIEDMONT

    EPA Science Inventory

    We have been sampling nutrient concentrations in 17 headwater streams within the South Fork Broad River (SFBR) watershed on a monthly basis since November 2001. The streams were classified as either developed (n=4), agriculture/pasture (n=4), mixed land use (n=6) or forested (n=3...

  8. Critical source times for nutrient loss in agricultural catchment streams

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Melland, Alice; Shore, Mairead; Mellander, Per-Erik; McDonald, Noeleen; Shortle, Ger; Murphy, Paul; Jordan, Phil

    2014-05-01

    Identifying periods of the year when there is a high risk of incidental nutrient loss from farms via runoff to streams underpins current nutrient management legislation in Europe. This research explored high-temporal resolution nutrient transfer patterns relative to the time that manure and fertiliser are prohibited from being spread (the mandatory spreading 'closed' period) in five Irish agricultural catchments. Catchment nutrient losses during the 12 week closed periods in 2009-10, 2010-11 and 2011-12 were compared with losses during the remainder of the year, and with losses in the two week 'shoulder' periods immediately before and after the closed period. The closed period losses were assumed to be residual from soil nutrient stores and the 'shoulder' periods were considered to also include incidental losses. Nutrient loss was measured at sub-hourly frequency as total phosphorus (P) and total oxidised nitrogen (mostly nitrate-N) fluxes in streamflow. The streamflow fluxes showed that the proportion of the annual nitrate-N loss occurring during the closed periods (33-61%) was high compared with the remainder of the year. Six to ten times more nitrate-N loss occurred in the two weeks after, compared with the two weeks before, the closed period. These two week 'shoulder' period losses were, on average, less than or equal to 2.5 kg nitrate-N/ha and 9% of total annual nitrate-N loss in streamflow. On average, 40-53% of the annual P loss occurred during the closed periods but in a runoff-prone catchment in a year with a wet summer, the closed period was the less risky period. Similar to nitrate-N, two to twenty times more P loss occurred in the two weeks after, compared with the two weeks before, the closed period. These shoulder period losses were, on average, less than or equal to 0.027 kg/ha and 4.2% of total annual P loss in streamflow. The proportion of the shoulder period loss that could be attributed to recently spread nutrients was not known but can be

  9. Modelling animal waste pathogen transport from agricultural land to streams

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pandey, Pramod K.; Soupir, Michelle L.; Ikenberry, Charles

    2014-03-01

    The transport of animal waste pathogens from crop land to streams can potentially elevate pathogen levels in stream water. Applying animal manure into crop land as fertilizers is a common practice in developing as well as in developed countries. Manure application into the crop land, however, can cause potential human health. To control pathogen levels in ambient water bodies such as streams, improving our understanding of pathogen transport at farm scale as well as at watershed scale is required. To understand the impacts of crop land receiving animal waste as fertilizers on stream's pathogen levels, here we investigate pathogen indicator transport at watershed scale. We exploited watershed scale hydrological model to estimate the transport of pathogens from the crop land to streams. Pathogen indicator levels (i.e., E. coli levels) in the stream water were predicted. With certain assumptions, model results are reasonable. This study can be used as guidelines for developing the models for calculating the impacts of crop land's animal manure on stream water.

  10. Evaluation of agricultural best-management practices in the Conestoga River headwaters, Pennsylvania; methods of data collection and analysis and description of study areas

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Chichester, Douglas C.

    1988-01-01

    The U.S. Geological Survey is conducting a water quality study as part of the nationally implemented Rural Clean Water Program in the headwaters of the Conestoga River, Pennsylvania. The study, which began in 1982, was designed to determine the effect of agricultural best management practices on surface--and groundwater quality. The study was concentrated in four areas within the intensively farmed, carbonate rock terrane located predominately in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. These areas were divided into three monitoring components: (1) a Regional study area (188 sq mi): (2) a Small Watershed study area (5.82 sq mi); and (3) two field site study areas, Field-Site 1 (22.1 acres) and Field 2 (47.5 acres). The type of water quality data and the methods of data collection and analysis are presented. The monitoring strategy and description of the study areas are discussed. The locations and descriptions for all data collection locations at the four study areas are provided. (USGS)

  11. Relationship of wooded riparian zones and runoff potential to fish community composition in agricultural streams

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Stauffer, J.C.; Goldstein, R.M.; Newman, R.M.

    2000-01-01

    The relationship of fish community composition to riparian cover and runoff potential was investigated in 20 streams in the agricultural Minnesota River Basin during the summer of 1997. Analysis of variance indicated significant differences in fish community composition due to both riparian cover (wooded versus open) and runoff potential (high or low). Streams with wooded riparian zones had higher index of biological integrity (IBI) scores, species richness, diversity, and percentages of benthic insectivores and herbivores than streams with open riparian zones. Streams with low runoff potential had higher IBI scores and species richness than streams with high runoff potential. The riparian cover and runoff potential interaction was marginally significant with respect to IBI scores and species richness, suggesting a weak interaction between the two factors. Although both factors were important, riparian cover influenced fish community composition more than runoff potential in these streams, indicating that local factors (close to the stream) dominated landscape- or basin-level factors.

  12. Sources of fine sediment stored in agricultural lowland streams, Midwest, USA

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lamba, Jasmeet; Thompson, A. M.; Karthikeyan, K. G.; Fitzpatrick, Faith A.

    2015-05-01

    Agricultural activities can accelerate the offsite transport of productive soil from fields leading to stream water quality degradation. Identification of the nature and relative contribution of different sources to fine-grained sediment (e.g., silts, clays) in streams is important to effectively focus agricultural best management practices in watersheds. Sediment fingerprinting techniques through the use of geochemical tracers are commonly used to differentiate relative contribution from various sources. Research was conducted in lowland streams in the Pleasant Valley watershed in South Central Wisconsin (USA) to identify provenance of fine-grained sediment deposits and evaluate the impact of land use on relative contributions from the following potential sources: cropland, pasture, woodland, and eroding stream banks. Results show that both agriculture (croplands and pastures) and eroding stream banks are primary sources to fine sediment deposits on the stream bed with contributions ranging from 19 to 100% and 0 to 81%, respectively. The increase in area under agricultural land use within a subwatershed results in greater contribution from agriculture (R2 = 0.846, p = 0.0034). Relative contributions from eroding stream banks increased with increasing area under grasslands and woodlands within a subwatershed (R2 = 0.814, p = 0.0055). Subwatersheds with greater mass of fine sediment deposited on the stream bed per unit area should be prioritized for best management practices. The conservation practices should be targeted to stream banks or croplands depending on the dominant source of fine sediment within a subwatershed. Site specific changes in relative contributions from different sources to fine-grained sediment in this watershed highlights the complexities involved in sediment transport dynamics. The nested sampling sites helped determine that sediment dynamics at the subwatershed scale need to be considered for application of targeted conservation techniques.

  13. Habitat characteristics of benchmark streams in agricultural areas of eastern Wisconsin

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Fitzpatrick, F.A.; Peterson, E.M.; Stewart, J.S.

    1996-01-01

    Stream habitat characteristics were measured at twenty sites in agricultural areas of eastern Wisconsin by the U.S. Geological Survey in May and June, 1993 as part of the National Water-Quality Assessment Program Western Lake Michigan Drainages study unit. These "benchmark" stream sites were selected for study to represent standards of reference for comparison to other streams in similar physical settings that appear to be more detrimentally affected by agriculture. The agricultural benchmark streams were selected from four physical settings, or relatively homogeneous units (RHU's), that differ in bedrock type and texture of surficial deposits. Habitat characteristics at streams in these four physical settings are described and compared to each other, and a habitat classification scheme was used to rank the quality of habitat in these streams. Additional aquatic information was collected along with the habitat data: water-quality data and population surveys of fish, invertebrates, and algae. Habitat data were collected at three levels: drainage basin, stream segment between major tributaries (length from 1 to 14 km), and stream reach (approximately 150m). Results of statistical analyses show that, in general, most correlations are among basin-level habitat characteristics. Few correlations were observed among reach- and basin-level characteristics. Principal components analysis (PCA) on basin-level data resulted in principal components that reflect RHU, land use or latitude, and basin size. Groupings of habitat characteristics at the reach level are less clearly attributed to some outside environmental factor. Streams that have undergone habitat restoration for fisheries group closely together on PCA ordination plots. Less than half of the habitat characteristics were found to be significantly different between one RHU and the other three. Characteristics that differed between RHU's were mainly at the basin level but also included some reach-level characteristics

  14. Phosphorus adsorption and desorption potential of stream sediments and field soils in agricultural watersheds.

    PubMed

    Agudelo, Sandra C; Nelson, Nathan O; Barnes, Philip L; Keane, Timothy D; Pierzynski, Gary M

    2011-01-01

    Phosphorus release from stream sediments into water could increase P loads leaving agricultural watersheds and contribute to lag-time between implementation of best management practices and improvement in water quality. Improved understanding of P release from stream sediments can assist in setting water quality goals and designing stream monitoring programs. The objective of this study was to estimate the relative potential of sediments and soils to release P to stream water in two agricultural watersheds. Stream sediments were collected from banks, pools, riffles, and depositional features. Soils were sampled from wheat, row crop, pasture, and manure-amended fields. Sediments and soils were analyzed for equilibrium P concentration at zero net P sorption (EPC0), maximum P adsorption capacity (P(max)), anion exchange extractable P (P(lab)), and degree of P saturation. Dissolved reactive P (DRP) of stream water was monitored. Stream sediment EPC0 was similar to or less than EPC0 from field soils; however, P(lab) of stream sediments was three times less than field soils. Sediments were sandy and had low P(max) due to low oxalate-extractable Fe and Al, which could be explained by stream geomorphology. Manure-amended fields had the highest EPC0 and P(lab) due to continued inputs of manure-based P; however, conventionally fertilized fields also represented an important P source due to their vast extent. Stream water DRP was similar to EPC0 of sediments during base flow and similar to EPC0 of field soils during storm flow. These results indicate that sediments in these streams are a relatively minor P source. PMID:21488503

  15. Persistent Effects of Oil Palm Plantation Agriculture on Freshwater Stream Function in Indonesian Borneo

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Carlson, K. M.; Curran, L.; Ratnasari, D.

    2012-12-01

    Conversion of forests to agricultural land uses alters freshwater stream ecosystems by changing flows of physical, chemical, and biological stream inputs. In contrast with annual agricultural crops, oil palm agribusiness may have distinctive effects on stream function because these plantations replace existing land cover with 1,000-20,000 ha tree-like monocultures that have 20-30 year rotation cycles. From 2008 to 2012 in Kalimantan (Indonesian Borneo), we measured water temperature, metabolism, and sediment and nutrient loads in four streams draining watersheds dominated (> ~70%) by intact and logged forests, agroforests and agricultural fallows, and young (< 3 y) and mature (> 10 y) oil palm plantations. We find that mean daily stream temperature was elevated 12% at the mature and 8% at the young oil palm site compared to the forest stream (25.5 ± 0.3°C). No clear relationship emerged between land cover type and ecosystem respiration (ER, g O2 m-2 d-1) or gross primary production (GPP, g O2 m-2 d-1). Yet GPP:ER ratios were 600% and 650% greater at young and mature oil palm watersheds, respectively, than the forested watershed (0.020 ± 0.005). Sediment loads (t d-1) across measured water yields (m d-1) were higher in the young oil palm stream compared to all other streams. Total phosphorous, total dissolved phosphorous, and total nitrogen loads for measured water yields were elevated in the agroforest and young oil palm sites compared to the forest site. Our results indicate that oil palm plantation land use alters tropical stream temperature, metabolism, nutrient loads, and sediment loads; moreover, these conditions appear to persist for ≥ 15 years. We discuss the implications of these findings for local human communities and ecosystems.

  16. Development of environmental thresholds for streams in agricultural watersheds.

    PubMed

    Chambers, P A; Culp, J M; Roberts, E S; Bowerman, M

    2012-01-01

    Global increases in consumption of chemical nutrients, application of pesticides, and water withdrawal to enhance agricultural yield have resulted in degraded water quality and reduced water availability. Efforts to safeguard or improve environmental conditions of agroecosystems have usually focused on managing on-farm activities to reduce materials loss and conserve habitat. Another management measure for improving environmental quality is adoption of environmental performance standards (also called outcome-based standards). This special collection of six papers presents the results of four years of research to devise scientifically credible approaches for setting environmental performance standards to protect water quantity and quality in Canadian agriculturally dominated watersheds. The research, conducted as part of Canada's National Agri-Environmental Standards Initiative, aimed to identify Ideal Performance Standards (the desired environmental state needed to maintain ecosystem health) and Achievable Performance Standards (the environmental conditions achievable using currently available and recommended best available processes and technologies). Overviews of the papers, gaps in knowledge, and future research directions are presented. As humans, livestock, and wildlife (both terrestrial and aquatic) experience greater pressures to share the same limited water resources, innovative research is needed that incorporates a landscape perspective, economics, farm practices, and ecology to advance the development and application of tools for protecting water resources in agricultural watersheds.

  17. Headwater effects on downstream waters: Legal perspectives, science needs, and assessment approaches

    EPA Science Inventory

    Headwater streams make up at least 53% of total stream length in the US. Although these systems are of interest for their own sake, there has recently been significant focus on how headwater streams contribute to downstream waters. This has resulted in part from recent legal op...

  18. Phosphorus dynamics in lowland streams as a response to climatic, hydrological and agricultural land use gradients

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Goyenola, G.; Meerhoff, M.; Teixeira-de Mello, F.; González-Bergonzoni, I.; Graeber, D.; Fosalba, C.; Vidal, N.; Mazzeo, N.; Ovesen, N. B.; Jeppesen, E.; Kronvang, B.

    2015-03-01

    Climate and hydrology are relevant control factors for determining the timing and amount of nutrient losses from agricultural fields to freshwaters. In this study, we evaluated the effect of agricultural intensification on the concentrations, dynamics and export of phosphorus (P) in streams in two contrasting climate and hydrological regimes (temperate Denmark and subtropical Uruguay). We applied two alternative nutrient sampling programmes (high frequency composite sampling and low frequency instantaneous-grab sampling) and three alternative methods to estimate exported P from the catchments. A source apportionment model was applied to evaluate the contribution derived from point and diffuse sources in all four catchments studied. Climatic and hydrological characteristics of catchments expressed as flow responsiveness (flashiness), exerted control on catchment and stream TP dynamics, having consequences that were more significant than the outcome of different TP monitoring and export estimation strategies. The impact of intensification of agriculture differed between the two contrasting climate zones. Intensification had a significant impact on subtropical climate with much higher total (as high as 4436 μg P L-1), particulate, dissolved and reactive soluble P concentrations and higher P export (as high as 5.20 kg P ha-1 year-1). However, we did not find an increased contribution of particulate P to total P as consequence of higher stream flashiness and intensification of agriculture. The high P concentrations at low flow and predominance of dissolved P in subtropical streams actually exacerbate the environmental and sanitary risks associated with eutrophication. In the other hand, temperate intensively farmed stream had lower TP than extensively farmed stream. Our results suggest that the lack of environmental regulations of agricultural production has more severe consequences on water quality, than climatic and hydrological differences between the analysed

  19. Understanding the controls on deposited fine sediment in the streams of agricultural catchments.

    PubMed

    Naden, P S; Murphy, J F; Old, G H; Newman, J; Scarlett, P; Harman, M; Duerdoth, C P; Hawczak, A; Pretty, J L; Arnold, A; Laizé, C; Hornby, D D; Collins, A L; Sear, D A; Jones, J I

    2016-03-15

    Excessive sediment pressure on aquatic habitats is of global concern. A unique dataset, comprising instantaneous measurements of deposited fine sediment in 230 agricultural streams across England and Wales, was analysed in relation to 20 potential explanatory catchment and channel variables. The most effective explanatory variable for the amount of deposited sediment was found to be stream power, calculated for bankfull flow and used to index the capacity of the stream to transport sediment. Both stream power and velocity category were highly significant (p ≪ 0.001), explaining some 57% variation in total fine sediment mass. Modelled sediment pressure, predominantly from agriculture, was marginally significant (p<0.05) and explained a further 1% variation. The relationship was slightly stronger for erosional zones, providing 62% explanation overall. In the case of the deposited surface drape, stream power was again found to be the most effective explanatory variable (p<0.001) but velocity category, baseflow index and modelled sediment pressure were all significant (p<0.01); each provided an additional 2% explanation to an overall 50%. It is suggested that, in general, the study sites were transport-limited and the majority of stream beds were saturated by fine sediment. For sites below saturation, the upper envelope of measured fine sediment mass increased with modelled sediment pressure. The practical implications of these findings are that (i) targets for fine sediment loads need to take into account the ability of streams to transport/retain fine sediment, and (ii) where agricultural mitigation measures are implemented to reduce delivery of sediment, river management to mobilise/remove fines may also be needed in order to effect an improvement in ecological status in cases where streams are already saturated with fines and unlikely to self-cleanse.

  20. Floodplain restoration enhances denitrification and reach-scale nitrogen removal in an agricultural stream

    EPA Science Inventory

    Streams of the agricultural Midwest export large quantities of nitrogen, which impairs downstream water quality, most notably in the Gulf of Mexico. The two-stage ditch is a novel restoration practice, in which floodplains are constructed alongside channelized ditches. During hi...

  1. Comparison of SWAT Predictions with Stream Biological Integrity Observations in an Agricultural Watershed

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The SWAT model is calibrated with USGS data for an agricultural watershed located on the Eastern Shore of Maryland. Model predictions of runoff, sediment, nitrogen and phosphorus amounts, at the outlet of sub-watersheds, are compared to measurements of stream biological integrity conducted throughou...

  2. Contrasting Pesticide Occurrence in Urban and Agricultural Streams in the Midwestern United States

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mahler, B. J.; Van Metre, P. C.; Sandstrom, M. W.; Nowell, L. H.; Frey, J. W.; Hladik, M.; Gilliom, R. W.

    2014-12-01

    Pesticides are known to degrade stream ecosystems in agricultural and urban settings. Occurrence, seasonal timing, and predicted toxicity of pesticides in these two settings, however, can vary greatly. In 2013, the U.S. Geological Survey and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency characterized water-quality stressors—contaminants, nutrients, and sediment—and ecological conditions in 100 streams across the Midwestern U.S. Water samples were collected weekly from May through July and sediment and ecology were sampled once near the end of the water-sampling period. Water samples were analyzed for about 240 pesticides and pesticide degradates and sediment samples were analyzed for about 120 pesticides and degradates. The spatial and temporal distribution of detected compounds and the pesticide toxicity index (PTI) of compound mixtures indicate important differences in pesticide occurrence between agricultural and urban settings. Although higher pesticide concentrations generally are found in agricultural settings, the more frequent occurrence of insecticides in urban settings can lead to higher PTI scores in some urban streams than in agricultural streams.

  3. Evaluation of agricultural best-management practices in the Conestoga River headwaters, Pennsylvania; hydrology of a small carbonate site near Ephrata, Pennsylvania, prior to implementation of nutrient management

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Koerkle, E.H.; Hall, D.W.; Risser, D.W.; Lietman, P.L.; Chichester, D.C.

    1997-01-01

    The U.S. Geological Survey, in cooperation with the U.S. Department of Agriculture and Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection, investigated the effects of agricultural best-management practices on water quality in the Conestoga River headwaters watershed. This report describes environmental factors and the surface-water and ground-water quality of one 47.5-acre field site, Field-Site 2, from October 1984 through September 1986, prior to implementation of nutrient management. The site is partially terraced agricultural cropland underlain by carbonate rock. Twenty-seven acres are terraced, pipe-drained, and are under no-till cultivation. The remaining acreage is under minimum-till cultivation. Corn is the primary crop. The average annual rate of fertilization at the site was 480 pounds per acre of nitrogen and 110 pounds per acre of phosphorus. An unconfined limestone and dolomitic aquifer underlies the site, Depth to bedrock ranges from 5 to 30 feet below land surface. Estimated specific yields range from 0.05 to 0.10, specific capacities of wells range from less than 1 to about 20 gallons per minute per foot of drawdown, and estimates of transmissivities range from 10 to 10,000 square feet per day. Average ground-water recharge was estimated to be about 23 inches per year. The specific capacity and transmissivity data indicate that two aquifer regimes are present at the site. Wells drilled into dolomites in the eastern part of the site have larger specific capacities (averaging 20 gallons per minute per foot of drawdown) relative to specific capacities (averaging less than 1 gallon per minute per foot of drawdown) of wells drilled into limestones in the western part of the site. Median concentrations of soil-soluble nitrate and soluble phosphorus in the top 4 feet of silt- or silty-clay-loam soil ranged from 177 to 329 and 8.5 to 35 pounds per acre, respectively. Measured runoff from the pipe-drained terraces ranged from 10 to 48,000 cubic feet and was

  4. Relationships among nutrients, chlorophyll-a, and dissolved oxygen in agricultural streams in Illinois.

    PubMed

    Morgan, Allyson M; Royer, Todd V; David, Mark B; Gentry, Lowell E

    2006-01-01

    A better understanding of the controls on algae and dissolved O2 in agricultural streams of Illinois is needed to aid in development of nutrient standards. We investigated the relationships between dissolved nutrients, algal abundance, and dissolved O2 in five streams in east-central Illinois from March through November 2004. The streams drained watersheds from 25 to 777 km2 that were dominated by row crop agriculture. Three sites had open canopies and two were bordered by a narrow forest of deciduous trees. Algal abundance was measured as chlorophyll-a (chl-a) concentration in the water column (sestonic) and on the streambed (periphytic). Mean NO3-N concentrations ranged from 5.5 to 8.8 mg N L(-1) and did not relate to algal abundance. Sestonic chl-a values ranged from nearly zero to >15 mg m(-3) with no differences between open and shaded streams and only a weak correlation with dissolved reactive P (mean concentrations were 44-479 microg L(-1)). The results suggest that sestonic chl-a is a poor criterion for assessing nutrient-related problems in these streams. Greatest periphytic chl-a occurred during low flow from August through October, but periphyton occurred consistently in only two of the five streams. The abundance of filamentous algae explained 64% of the variation in diel O2 saturation, but was not correlated with nutrients. Currently it appears that hydrology and light, rather than nutrients, control algal abundance in these streams, and in the agricultural landscape of east-central Illinois, it may not be possible to reduce nutrient concentrations sufficiently to limit filamentous algal blooms.

  5. Ecosystem Services Derived from Headwater Catchments

    EPA Science Inventory

    We used data from the USEPA’s wadeable streams assessment (WSA), US Forest Service’s forest inventory and analysis (FIA), and select USFS experimental forests (EF) to investigate potential ecosystems services derived from headwater catchments. C, N, and P inputs to these catchmen...

  6. Comparison of Hydrologic and Water-Quality Characteristics of Two Native Tallgrass Prairie Streams with Agricultural Streams in Missouri and Kansas

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Heimann, David C.

    2009-01-01

    This report presents the results of a study by the U.S. Geological Survey, in cooperation with the Missouri Department of Natural Resources, to analyze and compare hydrologic and water-quality characteristics of tallgrass prairie and agricultural basins located within the historical distribution of tallgrass prairie in Missouri and Kansas. Streamflow and water-quality data from two remnant, tallgrass prairie basins (East Drywood Creek at Prairie State Park, Missouri, and Kings Creek near Manhattan, Kansas) were compared to similar data from agricultural basins in Missouri and Kansas. Prairie streams, especially Kings Creek in eastern Kansas, received a higher percentage of base flow and a lower percentage of direct runoff than similar-sized agricultural streams in the region. A larger contribution of direct runoff from the agricultural streams made them much flashier than prairie streams. During 22 years of record, the Kings Creek base-flow component averaged 66 percent of total flow, but base flow was only 16 to 26 percent of flows at agricultural sites of various record periods. The large base-flow component likely is the result of greater infiltration of precipitation in prairie soils and the resulting greater contribution of groundwater to streamflow. The 1- and 3-day annual maximum flows were significantly greater at three agricultural sites than at Kings Creek. The effects of flashier agricultural streams on native aquatic biota are unknown, but may be an important factor in the sustainability of some native aquatic species. There were no significant differences in the distribution of dissolved-oxygen concentrations at prairie and agricultural sites, and some samples from most sites fell below the 5 milligrams per liter Missouri and Kansas standard for the protection of aquatic life. More than 10 percent of samples from the East Drywood Creek prairie stream were less than this standard. These data indicate low dissolved-oxygen concentrations during summer low

  7. Macroinvertebrate Community Structure Along the Longitudinal Gradient of an Agriculturally Impacted Stream

    PubMed

    Delong; Brusven

    1998-05-01

    / Lapwai Creek, an agriculturally impacted stream in northern Idaho, was sampled seasonally over a two-year period to determine if macroinvertebrate community composition changed along the longitudinal gradient and if changes followed predictions of the river continuum concept. Possible relationships between changes in food resource availability and community structure were also examined. Benthic invertebrates were collected at eight locations along the longitudinal gradient of Lapwai Creek using a Hess sampler. Random skewer analysis suggested there was no longitudinal gradient for either number of individuals or functional feeding group composition. Cluster analysis revealed that all locations, excluding a site receiving outflow from a small, eutrophic reservoir, had a similar community structure, further suggesting that invertebrate community composition remained consistent along the longitudinal gradient of the stream. The community was dominated at all sites, excluding the site below the reservoir, by functionalgrazers. Shredders were rare throughout Lapwai Creek, even in areas where healthy riparian vegetation still remained. Studies of other streams within the drainage basin show that many species found in the upper reaches of these streams, where agricultural impacts are low, were absent throughout the length of Lapwai Creek. Data collected concurrently with macroinvertebrates indicated that the input, storage, and transport of particulate organic matter was low throughout the stream, whereas periphyton abundance was high. The absence of longitudinal changes, despite flowing through three distinct geomorphological regions, and the grouping of all sites except one by cluster analysis for both dominant taxa and functional feeding groups suggest that agricultural alteration has influenced community structure of Lapwai Creek, resulting in a relatively homogeneous assemblage of macroinvertebrates capable of tolerating agricultural nonpoint source pollution

  8. Implications of Transgenic Corn Cultivation on the Ecology of Agricultural Streams

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vantull, L.; Swan, C.

    2005-05-01

    Corn has been genetically-modified by introducing a gene that codes for a toxic protein from a bacterium, Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt), into corn DNA. Genetically-modified crops provide internal resistance to herbivorous pests like the European Corn Borer (Ostrina nubilalis). With the use of transgenic crops on the rise, research is being done to consider its environmental effects on non-target taxa and ecosystems. Stream ecosystems occupy topographic low points in the landscape and thus are affected by agricultural land use. In many temperate streams, the main energy source is from terrestrial organic detritus, mostly in the form of dead leaves and wood, delivered via wind or natural leaf fall. Stream insects consume this material, contributing to organic matter breakdown and creating biomass for predators. With the heightened practice of no-till agriculture, crop detritus remaining on fields as a by-product of harvesting has been documented to enter adjacent streams. Given insect larvae are critical to the transformation of energy from detritus to higher trophic levels, we explored the implications of detritus containing Bt on both insect performance and litter decay in six streams. The presence of Bt in senesced corn leaf litter resulted in significant reductions in both insect feeding rate and organic matter breakdown. Furthermore, colonization of corn litter containing Bt by detritivorous insects was significantly reduced when compared to non-Bt isoline litter controls. We conclude that detritus generated from harvesting transgenic corn negatively impacts insect feeding behavior and colonization dynamics, and may contribute substantially to the reduction of organic matter breakdown rates in agricultural streams.

  9. Application of nitrogen and phosphorus criteria for streams in agricultural landscapes.

    PubMed

    Chambers, P A; Benoy, G A; Brua, R B; Culp, J M

    2011-01-01

    Efforts to control eutrophication of water resources in agriculturally dominated ecosystems have focused on managing on-farm activities to reduce nutrient loss; however, another management measure for improving water quality is adoption of environmental performance criteria (or 'outcome-based standards'). Here, we review approaches for setting environmental quality criteria for nutrients, summarize approaches developed in Canada for setting 'ideal' and 'achievable' nutrient criteria for streams in agricultural watersheds, and consider how such criteria could be applied. As part of a 'National Agri-Environmental Standards Initiative', the Government of Canada committed to the development of non-regulatory environmental performance standards that establish total P (TP) and total N (TN) concentrations to protect ecological condition of agricultural streams. Application of four approaches for defining ideal standards using only chemistry data resulted in values for TP and TN spanning a relatively narrow range of concentrations within a given ecoregion. Cross-calibration of these chemically derived standards with information on biological condition resulted in recommendations for TP and TN that would likely protect aquatic life from adverse effects of eutrophication. Non-point source water quality modelling was then conducted in a specific watershed to estimate achievable standards, i.e. chemical conditions that could be attained using currently available and recommended management practices. Our research showed that, taken together, short-term achievable standards and ultimate ideal standards could be used to set policy targets that should, if realized, lower N and P concentrations in Canadian agricultural streams and improve biotic condition.

  10. Influence of eastern hemlock (Tsuga canadensis L.) on fish community structure and function in headwater streams of the Delaware River basin

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Ross, R.M.; Bennett, R.M.; Snyder, C.D.; Young, J.A.; Smith, D.R.; Lemarie, D.P.

    2003-01-01

    Hemlock (Tsuga canadensis) forest of the eastern U.S. are in decline due to invasion by the exotic insect hemlock woolly adelgid (Adelges tsugae). Aquatic biodiversity in hemlock ecosystems has not been documented; thus the true impact of the infestation cannot be assessed. We compared ichthyofaunal assemblages and trophic structure of streams draining hemlock and hardwood forests by sampling first- and second-order streams draining 14 paired hemlock and hardwood stands during base flows in July 1997 at the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area of Pennsylvania and New Jersey. Over 1400 fish of 15 species and 7 families were collected, but hemlock and hardwood streams individually harbored only one to four species. Brook trout (Salvelinus fontinalis) and brown trout (Salmo trutta) were two to three times as prevalent in hemlock than hardwood streams. Insectivorous fishes occurred in significantly higher proportion in streams of hardwood (0.90) than hemlock (0.46) stands, while piscivores occurred more often in hemlock (0.85) than hardwood (0.54) stands. Functional (trophic) diversity of fishes in hemlock and second-order streams was numerically greater than that of hardwood and first-order streams. Species composition also differed by stream order and terrain type. Biodiversity is threatened at several levels within hemlock ecosystems at risk to the hemlock woolly adelgid in eastern U.S. forests.

  11. Retention and Migration of Fine Organic Particles within an Agricultural Stream: Toenepi, Waikato, New Zealand

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Drummond, J. D.; Davies-Colley, R.; Stott, R.; Sukias, J.; Nagels, J.; Sharp, A.; Packman, A. I.

    2013-12-01

    Fine organic particle dynamics are important to stream biogeochemistry, ecology, and transport of contaminant microbes. These particles migrate downstream through a series of deposition and resuspension events, which results in a wide range of residence times. This retention influences biogeochemical processing and in-stream stores of contaminant microbes that may mobilize during flood events and present a hazard to downstream uses such as water supplies and recreation. We are conducting studies to gain insights into organic particle dynamics in streams, with a campaign of experiments and modeling. The results should improve understanding of nutrient (C, N, P) spiraling and fine sediment movement in streams, and have particular application to microbial hazards. We directly measure microbial transport by including the indicator organism, E. coli, as a tracer, which is compared to a fluorescent inert particle tracer and conservative solute to gain insight on both microbial ecology and waterborne disease transmission. We developed a stochastic model to describe the transport and retention of fine suspended particles in rivers, including advective delivery of particles to the streambed, transport through porewaters, and reversible filtration within the streambed. Because fine particles are only episodically transported in streams, with intervening periods at rest in the bed, this transport process violates conventional advection-dispersion assumptions. Instead we adopt a stochastic mobile-immobile model formulation to describe fine particle transport. We apply this model to measurements of particle transport from multiple tracer experiments in an agricultural stream in the Waikato dairy region of New Zealand, and use the model to improve interpretation of baseflow particle dynamics. Our results show the importance of the benthic and hyporheic regions and in-stream vegetation as a reservoir for fine organic particles in streams.

  12. Effects of multi-scale environmental characteristics on agricultural stream biota in eastern Wisconsin

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Fitzpatrick, F.A.; Scudder, B.C.; Lenz, B.N.; Sullivan, D.J.

    2001-01-01

    The U.S. Geological Survey examined 25 agricultural streams in eastern Wisconsin to determine relations between fish, invertebrate, and algal metrics and multiple spatial scales of land cover, geologic setting, hydrologic, aquatic habitat, and water chemistry data. Spearman correlation and redundancy analyses were used to examine relations among biotic metrics and environmental characteristics. Riparian vegetation, geologic, and hydrologic conditions affected the response of biotic metrics to watershed agricultural land cover but the relations were aquatic assemblage dependent. It was difficult to separate the interrelated effects of geologic setting, watershed and buffer land cover, and base flow. Watershed and buffer land cover, geologic setting, reach riparian vegetation width, and stream size affected the fish IBI, invertebrate diversity, diatom IBI, and number of algal taxa; however, the invertebrate FBI, percentage of EPT, and the diatom pollution index were more influenced by nutrient concentrations and flow variability. Fish IBI scores seemed most sensitive to land cover in the entire stream network buffer, more so than watershed-scale land cover and segment or reach riparian vegetation width. All but one stream with more than approximately 10 percent buffer agriculture had fish IBI scores of fair or poor. In general, the invertebrate and algal metrics used in this study were not as sensitive to land cover effects as fish metrics. Some of the reach-scale characteristics, such as width/depth ratios, velocity, and bank stability, could be related to watershed influences of both land cover and geologic setting. The Wisconsin habitat index was related to watershed geologic setting, watershed and buffer land cover, riparian vegetation width, and base flow, and appeared to be a good indicator of stream quality. Results from this study emphasize the value of using more than one or two biotic metrics to assess water quality and the importance of environmental

  13. Climate warming and agricultural stressors interact to determine stream macroinvertebrate community dynamics.

    PubMed

    Piggott, Jeremy J; Townsend, Colin R; Matthaei, Christoph D

    2015-05-01

    Global climate change is likely to modify the ecological consequences of currently acting stressors, but potentially important interactions between climate warming and land-use related stressors remain largely unknown. Agriculture affects streams and rivers worldwide, including via nutrient enrichment and increased fine sediment input. We manipulated nutrients (simulating agricultural run-off) and deposited fine sediment (simulating agricultural erosion) (two levels each) and water temperature (eight levels, 0-6°C above ambient) simultaneously in 128 streamside mesocosms to determine the individual and combined effects of the three stressors on macroinvertebrate community dynamics (community composition and body size structure of benthic, drift and insect emergence assemblages). All three stressors had pervasive individual effects, but in combination often produced additive or antagonistic outcomes. Changes in benthic community composition showed a complex interplay among habitat quality (with or without sediment), resource availability (with or without nutrient enrichment) and the behavioural/physiological tendency to drift or emerge as temperature rose. The presence of sediment and raised temperature both resulted in a community of smaller organisms. Deposited fine sediment strongly increased the propensity to drift. Stressor effects were most prominent in the benthic assemblage, frequently reflected by opposite patterns in individuals quitting the benthos (in terms of their propensity to drift or emerge). Of particular importance is that community measures of stream health routinely used around the world (taxon richness, EPT richness and diversity) all showed complex three-way interactions, with either a consistently stronger temperature response or a reversal of its direction when one or both agricultural stressors were also in operation. The negative effects of added fine sediment, which were often stronger at raised temperatures, suggest that streams already

  14. Non-indigenous bamboo along headwater streams of the Luquillo Mountains, Puerto Rico: Leaf fall, aquatic leaf decay and patterns of invasion

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    O'Connor, P. J.; Covich, A.P.; Scatena, F.N.; Loope, L.L.

    2000-01-01

    The introduction of bamboo to montane rain forests of the Luquillo Mountains, Puerto Rico in the 1930s and 1940s has led to present-day bamboo monocultures in numerous riparian areas. When a non-native species invades a riparian ecosystem, in-stream detritivores can be affected. Bamboo dynamics expected to influence stream communities in the Luquillo Experimental Forest (LEF) were examined. Based on current distributions, bamboo has spread down-stream at a rate of 8 m y-1. Mean growth rate of bamboo culms was 15.3 cm d-1. Leaf fall from bamboo stands exceeded that of native mixed-species forest by c. 30% over a 10-mo study. Bamboo leaves (k = -0.021), and leaves from another abundant riparian exotic, Syzygium jambos (Myrtaceae) (k = -0.018), decayed at relatively slow rates when submerged in streams in fine-mesh bags which excluded macro-invertebrate leaf processors. In a second study, with leaf processors present, bamboo decay rates remained unchanged (k = -0.021), while decay rates of S. jambos increased (k = -0.037). Elemental losses from bamboo leaves in streams were rapid, further suggesting a change in riparian zone/stream dynamics following bamboo invasion. As non-indigenous bamboos spread along Puerto Rico streams, they are likely to alter aquatic communities dependent on leaf input.

  15. Stream sediment sources in midwest agricultural basins with land retirement along channel

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Williamson, Tanja N.; Christensen, Victoria G.; Richardson, William B.; Frey, Jeffrey W.; Gellis, Allen C.; Kieta, K. A.; Fitzpatrick, Faith A.

    2014-01-01

    Documenting the effects of agricultural land retirement on stream-sediment sources is critical to identifying management practices that improve water quality and aquatic habitat. Particularly difficult to quantify are the effects from conservation easements that commonly are discontinuous along channelized streams and ditches throughout the agricultural midwestern United States. Our hypotheses were that sediment from cropland, retired land, stream banks, and roads would be discernible using isotopic and elemental concentrations and that source contributions would vary with land retirement distribution along tributaries of West Fork Beaver Creek in Minnesota. Channel-bed and suspended sediment were sampled at nine locations and compared with local source samples by using linear discriminant analysis and a four-source mixing model that evaluated seven tracers: In, P, total C, Be, Tl, Th, and Ti. The proportion of sediment sources differed significantly between suspended and channel-bed sediment. Retired land contributed to channel-bed sediment but was not discernible as a source of suspended sediment, suggesting that retired-land material was not mobilized during high-flow conditions. Stream banks were a large contributor to suspended sediment; however, the percentage of stream-bank sediment in the channel bed was lower in basins with more continuous retired land along the riparian corridor. Cropland sediments had the highest P concentrations; basins with the highest cropland-sediment contributions also had the highest P concentrations. Along stream reaches with retired land, there was a lower proportion of cropland material in suspended sediment relative to sites that had almost no land retirement, indicating less movement of nutrients and sediment from cropland to the channel as a result of land retirement.

  16. Stream Sediment Sources in Midwest Agricultural Basins with Land Retirement along Channel.

    PubMed

    Williamson, T N; Christensen, V G; Richardson, W B; Frey, J W; Gellis, A C; Kieta, K A; Fitzpatrick, F A

    2014-09-01

    Documenting the effects of agricultural land retirement on stream-sediment sources is critical to identifying management practices that improve water quality and aquatic habitat. Particularly difficult to quantify are the effects from conservation easements that commonly are discontinuous along channelized streams and ditches throughout the agricultural midwestern United States. Our hypotheses were that sediment from cropland, retired land, stream banks, and roads would be discernible using isotopic and elemental concentrations and that source contributions would vary with land retirement distribution along tributaries of West Fork Beaver Creek in Minnesota. Channel-bed and suspended sediment were sampled at nine locations and compared with local source samples by using linear discriminant analysis and a four-source mixing model that evaluated seven tracers: In, P, total C, Be, Tl, Th, and Ti. The proportion of sediment sources differed significantly between suspended and channel-bed sediment. Retired land contributed to channel-bed sediment but was not discernible as a source of suspended sediment, suggesting that retired-land material was not mobilized during high-flow conditions. Stream banks were a large contributor to suspended sediment; however, the percentage of stream-bank sediment in the channel bed was lower in basins with more continuous retired land along the riparian corridor. Cropland sediments had the highest P concentrations; basins with the highest cropland-sediment contributions also had the highest P concentrations. Along stream reaches with retired land, there was a lower proportion of cropland material in suspended sediment relative to sites that had almost no land retirement, indicating less movement of nutrients and sediment from cropland to the channel as a result of land retirement. PMID:25603248

  17. Habitat loss drives threshold response of benthic invertebrate communities to deposited sediment in agricultural streams.

    PubMed

    Burdon, Francis J; McIntosh, Angus R; Harding, Jon S

    2013-07-01

    Agricultural land uses can impact stream ecosystems by reducing suitable habitat, altering flows, and increasing inputs of diffuse pollutants including fine inorganic sediment (< 2 mm). These changes have been linked to altered community composition and declines in biodiversity. Determining the mechanisms driving stream biotic responses, particularly threshold impacts, has, however, proved elusive. To investigate a sediment threshold response by benthic invertebrates, an intensive survey of 30 agricultural streams was conducted along gradients of deposited sediment and dissolved nutrients. Partial redundancy analysis showed that invertebrate community composition changed significantly along the gradient of deposited fine sediment, whereas the effect of dissolved nitrate was weak. Pollution-sensitive invertebrates (%EPT, Ephemeroptera, Plecoptera, Trichoptera) demonstrated a strong nonlinear response to sediment, and change-point analysis indicated marked declines beyond a threshold of -20% fine sediment covering the streambed. Structural equation modeling indicated that decreased habitat availability (i.e., coarse substrate and associated interstices) was the key driver affecting pollution-sensitive invertebrates, with degraded riparian condition controlling resources through direct (e.g., inputs) and indirect (e.g., flow-mediated) effects on deposited sediment. The identification of specific effects thresholds and the underlying mechanisms (e.g., loss of habitat) driving these changes will assist managers in setting sediment criteria and standards to better guide stream monitoring and rehabilitation. PMID:23967573

  18. Habitat loss drives threshold response of benthic invertebrate communities to deposited sediment in agricultural streams.

    PubMed

    Burdon, Francis J; McIntosh, Angus R; Harding, Jon S

    2013-07-01

    Agricultural land uses can impact stream ecosystems by reducing suitable habitat, altering flows, and increasing inputs of diffuse pollutants including fine inorganic sediment (< 2 mm). These changes have been linked to altered community composition and declines in biodiversity. Determining the mechanisms driving stream biotic responses, particularly threshold impacts, has, however, proved elusive. To investigate a sediment threshold response by benthic invertebrates, an intensive survey of 30 agricultural streams was conducted along gradients of deposited sediment and dissolved nutrients. Partial redundancy analysis showed that invertebrate community composition changed significantly along the gradient of deposited fine sediment, whereas the effect of dissolved nitrate was weak. Pollution-sensitive invertebrates (%EPT, Ephemeroptera, Plecoptera, Trichoptera) demonstrated a strong nonlinear response to sediment, and change-point analysis indicated marked declines beyond a threshold of -20% fine sediment covering the streambed. Structural equation modeling indicated that decreased habitat availability (i.e., coarse substrate and associated interstices) was the key driver affecting pollution-sensitive invertebrates, with degraded riparian condition controlling resources through direct (e.g., inputs) and indirect (e.g., flow-mediated) effects on deposited sediment. The identification of specific effects thresholds and the underlying mechanisms (e.g., loss of habitat) driving these changes will assist managers in setting sediment criteria and standards to better guide stream monitoring and rehabilitation.

  19. Sediment denitrification and nitrification is enhanced by the presence of macrophytes in a restored agricultural stream, Black Earth Creek, WI USA

    EPA Science Inventory

    Restoration of habitats that support microbial processing can enhance nitrate removal in agricultural streams. Macrophytes are common both in-stream and in the wetted fringe of agricultural stream systems, but are often removed in restoration to increase stream velocity or stabil...

  20. Strontium isotope geochemistry of groundwaters and streams affected by agriculture, Locust Grove, MD

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Böhlke, J.K.; Horan, M.

    2000-01-01

    The effects of agriculture on the isotope geochemistry of Sr were investigated in two small watersheds in the Atlantic coastal plain of Maryland. Stratified shallow oxic groundwaters in both watersheds contained a retrievable record of increasing recharge rates of chemicals including NO3/-, Cl, Mg, Ca and Sr that were correlated with increasing fertilizer use between about 1940 and 1990. The component of Sr associated with recent agricultural recharge was relatively radiogenic (87Sr/86Sr = 0.715) and it was overwhelming with respect to Sr acquired naturally by water-rock interactions in the oxidized, non-calcareous portion of the saturated zone. Agricultural groundwaters that penetrated relatively unoxidized calcareous glauconitic sediments at depth acquired an additional component of Sr from dissolution of early tertiary marine CaCO3 (87Sr/86Sr=0.708) while undergoing O2 reduction and denitrification. Ground-water discharge contained mixtures of waters of various ages and redox states. Two streams draining the area are considered to have higher 87Sr/86Sr ratios and NO3/- concentrations than they would in the absence of agriculture; however, the streams have consistently different 87Sr/86Sr ratios and NO3/- concentrations because the average depth to calcareous reducing (denitrifying) sediments in the local groundwater flow system was different in the two watersheds. The results of this study indicate that agriculture can alter significantly the isotope geochemistry of Sr in aquifers and streams and that the effects could vary depending on the types, sources and amounts of fertilizers added, the history of fertilizer use and groundwater residence times. (C) 2000 Elsevier Science Ltd.

  1. Channel-reach morphology controls of headwater streams based in flysch geologic structures: An example from the Outer Western Carpathians, Czech Republic

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Galia, Tomáš; Hradecký, Jan

    2014-07-01

    A detailed measurement of 93 channel reaches that were classified with an adjusted Montgomery-Buffington (1997) reach-scale system provided comprehensive information of approximately 9 at-a-reach parameters: the channel gradient, the bankfull width, the bankfull depth, d90, the percentage of resistant rocks in the bed sediment, the number of pieces of large woody debris, valley confinement, direct sediment inputs and the presence of fluvial accumulations in the stream channel. In addition, the quantified intensity of sediment transport (i.e. ratio between sediment supply and transport capacity in longitudinal stream profiles) during flood events has been estimated by the one-dimensional bedload transport model (TOMSED), which was validated in two local streams. The principal component analysis of the at-a-reach parameters did not reveal significant groups of channel-reach morphologies; thus, the selected parameters that exclude sediment transport dynamics within stream longitudinal profile cannot reliably distinguish or predict individual channel reach morphologies. Nevertheless, the channel gradient represented the most significant single explanatory variable for stepped-bed morphologies. The addition of bedload transport parameters demonstrated that limited sediment supply streams and streams with limited transport capacities featured different successions of the channel reach morphologies in terms of the channel gradient and, subsequently, the fluvial continuity. The bedrock-cascades and step-pools were significant for the first case, whereas cascade and step-rapid morphology often occurred in higher sediment supply conditions.

  2. A Comparative Analysis of the Influence of Surface Mining on Hydrological and Geochemical Response of Selected Headwater Streams in the Elk Valley, British Columbia, Canada.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Carey, S. K.; Shatilla, N. J.; Szmudrowska, B.; Rastelli, J.; Wellen, C.

    2014-12-01

    Surface mining is a common method of accessing coal. Blasting of overburden rock allows access to mineable ore. In high-elevation environments, the removed overburden rock is deposited in adjacent valleys as waste rock spoils. As part of a multi-year R&D program examining the influence of surface mining on watershed hydrological and water quality responses in the Elk Valley, British Columbia, this study reports on how surface mining affects streamflow hydrological and geochemical response at four reference and four mine-influenced catchments. The hydrology of this environment is dominated by snowmelt and steep topographic gradients. Flows were attenuated in mine-influenced catchments, with spring freshet delayed and more muted responses to precipitation events observed. Dissolved ions were an order of magnitude greater in mine-influenced streams, with more dilution-based responses to flows compared with chemostatic behavior observed in reference streams. Stable isotope signatures in stream water suggested that in both mine-influenced and reference watersheds, stream water was derived from well mixed groundwater as annual variability of stream isotope signatures was dampened compared with precipitation signatures. However, deflection of stream isotopes in response to precipitation were more apparent in reference watersheds. As a group, mine influenced catchments had a heavier isotope signature than reference watersheds, suggesting an enhanced influence of rainfall on recharge. Transit time distributions indicate existing waste rock spoils increase the average time water takes to move through the catchment.

  3. Agricultural herbicide transport in a first-order intermittent stream, Nebraska, USA

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Vogel, J.R.; Linard, J.I.

    2011-01-01

    The behavior of herbicides in surface waters is a function of many variables, including scale of the watershed, physical and chemical properties of the herbicide, physical and chemical properties of the soil, rainfall intensity, and time of year. In this study, the transport of 6 herbicides and 12 herbicide degradates was examined during the 2004 growing season in an intermediate-scale agricultural watershed (146 ha) that is drained by a first-order intermittent stream, and the mass load for each herbicide in the stream was estimated. The herbicide load during the first week of storm events after application ranged from 17% of annual load for trifluralin to 84% of annual load for acetochlor. The maximum weekly herbicide load in the stream was generally within the first 3 weeks after application for those compounds that were applied within the watershed during 2004, and later for herbicides not applied within the watershed during 2004 but still detected in the stream. The apparent dominant mode of herbicide transport in the stream-determined by analysis amongst herbicide and conservative ion concentrations at different points in the hydrograph and in base flow samples-was either overland runoff or shallow subsurface flow, depending on the elapsed time after application and type of herbicide. The load as a percentage of use (LAPU) for the parent compounds in this study was similar to literature values for those compounds applied by the farmer within the watershed, but smaller for those herbicides that had rainfall as their only source within the watershed.

  4. A multiscale conceptual framework for integrated ecogeomorphological research to support stream naturalization in the agricultural Midwest.

    PubMed

    Frothingham, Kelly M; Rhoads, Bruce L; Herricks, Edwin E

    2002-01-01

    The complexity of fluvial systems necessitates interdisciplinary research in fluvial geomorphology and aquatic ecology to develop a fundamental understanding of interconnections among biotic and abiotic aspects of these systems. Integrated knowledge of this type is vital for environmental management of streams in human-dominated environments. A conceptual framework is presented for integrating geomorphological and ecological research on streams in East Central Illinois, USA, a glaciated low-relief agricultural landscape. The framework embodies a multiscale perspective in which a geomorphological conception of the fluvial system is used to define a hierarchy of characteristic spatial scales for exploring important linkages between stream geomorphology and aquatic ecology. The focus ecologically is on fish, because a rich body of historical information exists on fisheries in East Central Illinois and because past work has suggested that availability of physical habitat is a major factor influencing the community characteristics of fish in this human-altered environment. The hierarchy embodied in the framework includes the network, link, planform, bar unit, bar element, and bedform/grain scales. Background knowledge from past research is drawn upon to identify potential linkages between geomorphological and ecological conditions at each of these scales. The conceptual framework is useful for guiding integrated ecogeomorphological research at specific scales and across different scales. It also is helpful for illustrating how widespread human modification of streams has catastrophically altered the scalar structure of fluvial systems in East Central Illinois. Knowledge emerging from the integrated research provides a basis for environmental-management schemes directed toward stream naturalization.

  5. Scale-dependence of land use effects on water quality of streams in agricultural catchments.

    PubMed

    Buck, Oliver; Niyogi, Dev K; Townsend, Colin R

    2004-07-01

    The influence of land use on water quality in streams is scale-dependent and varies in time and space. In this study, land cover patterns and stocking rates were used as measures of agricultural development in two pasture and one native grassland catchment in New Zealand and were related to water quality in streams of various orders. The amount of pasture per subcatchment correlated well to total nitrogen and nitrate in one catchment and turbidity and total phosphorous in the other catchment. Stocking rates were only correlated to total phosphorous in one pasture catchment but showed stronger correlations to ammonium, total phosphorous and total nitrogen in the other pasture catchment. Winter and spring floods were significant sources of nutrients and faecal coliforms from one of the pasture catchments into a wetland complex. Nutrient and faecal coliform concentrations were better predicted by pastural land cover in fourth-order than in second-order streams. This suggests that upstream land use is more influential in larger streams, while local land use and other factors may be more important in smaller streams. These temporal and spatial scale effects indicate that water-monitoring schemes need to be scale-sensitive.

  6. Baseline Q-values for streams in intensive agricultural catchments in Ireland

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Melland, Alice; Jordan, Phil; Wall, David; Mellander, Per-Erik; Mechan, Sarah; Shortle, Ger

    2010-05-01

    The effectiveness of regulations introduced in Ireland in 2006 in response to the European Union Nitrates Directives for minimising nutrient loss to waterways from farms is being studied by Teagasc, the Irish Agriculture and Food Development Authority as part of an Agricultural Catchments Programme from 2008 - 2011. The regulations in Ireland require that during winter, green cover is established and maintained on arable farms, manure is stored and not spread, ploughing is not conducted and that chemical fertiliser is not spread. The regulations also require buffer zones between fields and water courses when applying organic or chemical fertilisers and that nutrient application rates and timing match crop requirements. An upper limit for livestock manure loading of 170 kg ha-1 organic N each year is also set. The biophysical research component of the Agricultural Catchments Programme is focussed on quantifying nutrient source availability, surface and subsurface transport pathways and stream chemical water quality. A baseline description of stream ecological quality was also sought. Stream ecology was measured in autumn 2009 at 3-5 locations within four surface water catchments and at the spring emergence of a catchment underlain by karst limestone. Landuse in each catchment is dominated by medium to high intensity grassland or cereal farming and annual average rainfall ranges from 900 - 1200 mm. Surveys were conducted in 1st to 3rd order streams throughout each catchment at locations which had minimal observed point source inputs for 100m upstream, incomplete shade, a hard streambed substrate and riffle conditions suitable for the sampling methods. Benthic macroinvertebrates were identified and quantified and used to calculate the biological indices Small Stream Risk Score, Q-value, Biological Monitoring Working Party (BMWP), Average Score Per Taxa (ASPT) and EQR (Observed Q-value/Reference Q-value). Diatom community assemblages were identified from samples

  7. Environmental setting of benchmark streams in agricultural areas of eastern Wisconsin

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Rheaume, S.J.; Stewart, J.S.; Lenz, B.N.

    1996-01-01

    Differences in land use/land cover, and riparian vegetation and instream habitat characteristics are presented. Summaries of field measurements of water temperature, pH, specific conductance and concentrations of dissolved oxygen, total organic plus ammonia nitrogen, dissolved ammonium, nitrate plus nitrte as nitrogen, total phosphorus, dissolved orthophosphate, and atrazine are listed. Concentrations of dissolved oxygen for the sampled streams ranged from 6 A to 14.3 and met the standards set by the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (WDNR) for supporting fish and aquatic life. Specific conductance ranged from 98 to 753 u,Scm with values highest in RHU's 1 and 3, where streams are underlain by carbonate bedrock. Median pH did not vary greatly among the four RHU's and ranged from 6.7 to 8.8 also meeting the WDNR standards. Concentrations of total organic plus ammonia nitrogen, dissolved ammonium, total phosphorus, and dissolved orthophosphate show little variation between streams and are generally low, compared to concentrations measured in agriculturally-affected streams in the same RHU's during the same sampling period. Concentrations of the most commonly used pesticide in the study unit, atrazine, were low in all streams, and most concentrations were below trn 0.1 u,g/L detection limit. Riparian vegetation for the benchmark streams were characterized by lowland species of the native plant communities described by John T. Curtis in the "Vegetation of Wisconsin." Based on the environmental setting and water-quality information collected to date, these streams appear to show minimal adverse effects from human activity.

  8. Annual agricultural pesticide use for Midwest Stream-Quality Assessment, 2012-13

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Baker, Nancy T.; Stone, Wesley W.

    2014-01-01

    This report provides estimates of annual agricultural use of 190 pesticide compounds for counties and selected watersheds of Midwestern States for 2012 and 2013 compiled for subsequent analysis by the National Water-Quality Assessment Program, Midwest Stream-Quality Assessment (MSQA). One of the goals of MSQA is to characterize contaminants at perennial-stream sites throughout the Corn Belt. Evaluating pesticide inputs from agricultural sources will aid in that characterization. Crop acres for selected Midwestern crops were obtained from the Cropland Data Layer of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service and used in conjunction with GfK Kynetec, Inc. proprietary Crop Reporting District-level pesticide-use data to estimate pesticide use for counties and watersheds. Estimated pesticide use (EPest) values were calculated by using both the “EPest-high” and “EPest-low” methods, the distinction being that there are more counties with estimated pesticide use for EPest-high compared to EPest-low, owing to differing assumptions about missing survey data. County-level and watershed-level estimates of annual agricultural pesticide use are provided as downloadable, tab-delimited files for both EPest-high and Epest-low. Summary graphs of MSQA watershed-level pesticide use for selected crops are also provided.

  9. Projected stream water fluxes of NO3 and total organic carbon from the Storgama headwater catchment, Norway, under climate change and reduced acid deposition.

    PubMed

    de Wit, Heleen A; Wright, Richard F

    2008-02-01

    Fluctuations in the 20-year record of nitrate (NO3) and total organic carbon (TOC) concentrations and fluxes in runoff at the small headwater catchment Storgama, southern Norway, were related to climate and acid deposition. The long-term decline in NO3 related to reduced NO3 deposition and increased winter discharge, whereas the long-term increase in TOC related to reduced sulfur deposition. Multiple regression models describing long-term trends and seasonal variability in these records were used to project future concentrations given scenarios of climate change and acid deposition. All scenarios indicated reduced NO3 fluxes and increased TOC fluxes; the largest projected changes for the period 2071-2100 were -86% and +24%, respectively. Uncertainties are that the predicted future temperatures are considerably higher than the historical record. Also, nonlinear responses of ecosystem processes (nitrogen [N] mineralization) to temperature, N-enrichment of soils, and step-changes in environmental conditions may affect future leaching of carbon and N.

  10. Fish communities of benchmark streams in agricultural areas of eastern Wisconsin

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Sullivan, D.J.; Peterson, E.M.

    1997-01-01

    Fish communities were surveyed at 20 stream sites in agricultural areas in eastern Wisconsin in 1993 and 1995 as part of the National Water-Quality Assessment (NAWQA) Program. These streams, designated "benchmark streams," were selected for study because of their potential use as regional references for healthy streams in agricultural areas, based on aquatic communities, habitat, and water chemistry. The agricultural benchmark streams were selected from four physical settings, or relatively homogeneous units (RHU's), that differ in bedrock type, texture of surficial deposits, and land use. Additional data were collected along with the fish-community data, including measures of habitat, water chemistry, and population surveys of algae and benthic invertebrates. Of the 20 sites, 19 are classified as trout (salmonid) streams. Fish species that require cold or cool water were the most commonly collected. At least one species of trout was collected at 18 sites, and trout were the most abundant species at 13 sites. The species with the greatest collective abundance, and collected at 18 of the 20 sites, were mottled sculpin (Cottus bairdi), a coldwater species. The next most abundant species were brown trout (Salmo trutta), followed by brook trout (Salvelinusfontinalis), creek chub (Semotilus atromaculatus), and longnose dace (Rhinichthys cataractae). In all, 31 species of fish were collected. The number of species per stream ranged from 2 to 14, and the number of individuals collected ranged from 19 to 264. According to Index of Biotic Integrity (IBI) scores, 5 sites were rated excellent, 10 sites rated good, 4 rated fair, and 1 rated poor. The ratings of the five sites in the fair to poor range were low for various reasons. Two sites appeared to have more warmwater species than was ideal for a high-quality coldwater stream. One was sampled during high flow and the results may not be valid for periods of normal flow; the other may have been populated by migrating

  11. Pyrethroid insecticides in bed sediments from urban and agricultural streams across the United States

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Hladik, Michelle L.; Kuivila, Kathryn M.

    2012-01-01

    Pyrethroid insecticides are hydrophobic compounds that partition to streambed sediments and have been shown to cause toxicity to non-target organisms; their occurrence is well documented in parts of California, but there have been limited studies in other urban and agricultural areas across the United States. To broaden geographic understanding of pyrethroid distributions, bed sediment samples were collected and analyzed from 36 streams in 25 states, with about 2/3 of the sites in urban areas and 1/3 in agricultural areas. At least one pyrethroid (of the 14 included in the analysis) was detected in 78% of samples. Seven pyrethroids were detected in one or more samples. Bifenthrin was the most frequently detected (58% of samples), followed by permethrin (31%), resmethrin (17%), and cyfluthrin (14%). The other three detected pyrethroids (cyhalothrin, cypermethrin and delta/tralomethrin) were found in two or fewer of the samples. Concentrations ranged from 0.3 to 180 ng g-1 dry weight. The number of pyrethroids detected were higher in the urban samples than in the agricultural samples, but the highest concentrations of individual pyrethroids were split between urban and agricultural sites. The pyrethroids detected in the agricultural areas generally followed use patterns. Predicted toxicity was greater for urban areas and attributed to bifenthrin, cyfluthrin and cypermethrin, while in agricultural areas the toxicity was mainly attributed to bifenthrin.

  12. Nitrogen retention in natural Mediterranean wetland-streams affected by agricultural runoff

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    García-García, V.; Gómez, R.; Vidal-Abarca, M. R.; Suárez, M. L.

    2009-12-01

    Nitrogen retention efficiency in natural Mediterranean wetland-streams affected by agricultural runoff was quantified and the effect of the temporal variability and hydrological/chemical loading was examined from March 2007 to June 2008 in two wetland-streams located in Southeast Spain. Nitrate-N (NO-3-N), ammonium-N (NH+4-N), total nitrogen-N (TN-N), total organic nitrogen-N (TON-N) and chloride (Cl-) concentrations were analyzed to calculate nitrogen retention efficiencies. These wetland-streams consistently reduced water nitrogen concentration throughout the year with higher values for NO-3-N (72.3%), even though the mean value of inflow NO-3-N concentrations was above 20 mg l-1. Additionally, they usually acted as sinks for TON-N (8.4%), but as sources for NH+4-N. Over the entire study period, the Taray and Parra wetland-streams were capable of removing on average 1.6 and 0.8 kg NO-3-N a day-1, respectively. Retention efficiencies were not affected by temperature variation. NO-3-N retention efficiency followed a seasonal pattern with the highest retention values in summer (June-September). The temporal variability for NO-3-N retention efficiency was positively and negatively explained by the hydrologic retention and the inflow NO-3-N concentration (R2adj=0.815, p<0.01), respectively. No significant regression model was found for TON-N and NH+4-N. Finally, the conservation of these Mediterranean wetland-streams may help to not only improve the surface water quality in agricultural catchments, but to also achieve good ecological status for surface waters, this being the Water Framework Directive's ultimate purpose.

  13. RELATIONSIPS BETWEEN AQUATIC INVERTEBRATE ASSEMBLAGES AND REACH AND LANDSCAPE ATTRIBUTES ON WADEABLE, WILLAMETTE VALLEY STREAMS IN AGRICULTURAL WATERSHEDS

    EPA Science Inventory

    In summer 1997, we sampled reaches in 24 wadeable, Willamette Valley ecoregion streams draining agriculturally-infiuenced watersheds. Within these reaches, physical habitat, water chemistry, aquatic invertebrate and fish data and samples were collected. Low-level air photos were ...

  14. Low transient storage and uptake efficiencies in seven agricultural streams: implications for nutrient demand

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Sheibley, Rich W.; Duff, John H.; Tesoriero, Anthony J.

    2014-01-01

    We used mass load budgets, transient storage modeling, and nutrient spiraling metrics to characterize nitrate (NO3−), ammonium (NH4+), and inorganic phosphorus (SRP) demand in seven agricultural streams across the United States and to identify in-stream services that may control these conditions. Retention of one or all nutrients was observed in all but one stream, but demand for all nutrients was low relative to the mass in transport. Transient storage metrics (As/A, Fmed200, Tstr, and qs) correlated with NO3− retention but not NH4+ or SRP retention, suggesting in-stream services associated with transient storage and stream water residence time could influence reach-scale NO3− demand. However, because the fraction of median reach-scale travel time due to transient storage (Fmed200) was ≤1.2% across the sites, only a relatively small demand for NO3− could be generated by transient storage. In contrast, net uptake of nutrients from the water column calculated from nutrient spiraling metrics were not significant at any site because uptake lengths calculated from background nutrient concentrations were statistically insignificant and therefore much longer than the study reaches. These results suggest that low transient storage coupled with high surface water NO3− inputs have resulted in uptake efficiencies that are not sufficient to offset groundwater inputs of N. Nutrient retention has been linked to physical and hydrogeologic elements that drive flow through transient storage areas where residence time and biotic contact are maximized; however, our findings indicate that similar mechanisms are unable to generate a significant nutrient demand in these streams relative to the loads.

  15. Concentrations, loads, and yields of organic carbon in streams of agricultural watersheds

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Kronholm, Scott; Capel, Paul

    2012-01-01

    Carbon is cycled to and from large reservoirs in the atmosphere, on land, and in the ocean. Movement of organic carbon from the terrestrial reservoir to the ocean plays an important role in the global cycling of carbon. The transition from natural to agricultural vegetation can change the storage and movement of organic carbon in and from a watershed. Samples were collected from 13 streams located in hydrologically and agriculturally diverse watersheds, to better understand the variability in the concentrations and loads of dissolved organic carbon (DOC) and particulate organic carbon (POC) in the streams, and the variability in watershed yields. The overall annual median concentrations of DOC and POC were 4.9 (range: 2.1–6.8) and 1.1 (range: 0.4–3.8) mg C L−1, respectively. The mean DOC watershed yield (± SE) was 25 ± 6.8 kg C ha−1 yr−1. The yields of DOC from these agricultural watersheds were not substantially different than the DOC yield from naturally vegetated watersheds in equivalent biomes, but were at the low end of the range for most biomes. Total organic carbon (DOC + POC) annually exported from the agricultural watersheds was found to average 0.03% of the organic carbon that is contained in the labile plant matter and top 1 m of soil in the watershed. Since the total organic carbon exported from agricultural watersheds is a relatively small portion of the sequestered carbon within the watershed, there is the great potential to store additional carbon in plants and soils of the watershed, offsetting some anthropogenic CO2 emissions.

  16. Linking lithology and land use to sources of dissolved and particulate organic matter in headwaters of a temperate, passive-margin river system

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Longworth, B. E.; Petsch, S. T.; Raymond, P. A.; Bauer, J. E.

    2007-09-01

    A number of rivers have been found to transport highly aged organic matter [OM]; however, the sources of this aged material remain a matter of debate. One potential source may be erosion and weathering of headwater lithologies rich in ancient sedimentary OM. In this study, waters, suspended particulates, streambed sediments, rocks and soils from fourteen small headwater watersheds of a mid-size, temperate, passive margin river were sampled and characterized by Δ 14C, δ 13C, and POC/TPN ratios to identify sources of particulate and dissolved OM delivered to the river mainstem. These headwater sites encompass a range in lithology (OM-rich shales, OM-lean carbonate/mudstone facies, and OM-free crystalline rocks) and land use types (forested and agricultural), and allow investigation of the influence of agriculture and bedrock types on stream OM characteristics. Streams draining large areas of both agricultural land use and OM-rich lithology contain particulate OM [POM] that is more 14C-depleted than streams draining forested, shale-free watersheds. However, this is not sufficient to account for the significantly lower Δ 14C-POC measured in the river mainstem. Dissolved OM [DOM] Δ 14C are in all cases enriched compared to POM from the same stream, but are otherwise highly variable and unrelated to either land use or lithology. POC/TPN ratios were likewise highly variable. POC and DOC δ 13C signatures were similar across all watersheds. Based on isotope mass balance, 14C-free fossil OM sources contribute 0-12% of total stream POM. Although these results do not unequivocally separate the influences of land use and lithology, watershed coverage by shale and agriculture are both important controls on stream Δ 14C-POC. Thus export of aged, particle-associated OM may be a feature of river systems along both passive and active continental margins.

  17. Analysis of groundwater flow in mountainous, headwater catchments with permafrost

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Evans, Sarah G.; Ge, Shemin; Liang, Sihai

    2015-12-01

    Headwater catchments have a direct impact on the water resources of downstream lowland regions as they supply freshwater in the form of surface runoff and discharging groundwater. Often, these mountainous catchments contain expansive permafrost that may alter the natural topographically controlled groundwater flow system. As permafrost could degrade with climate change, it is imperative to understand the effect of permafrost on groundwater flow in headwater catchments. This study characterizes groundwater flow in mountainous headwater catchments and evaluates the effect of permafrost in the context of climate change on groundwater movement using a three-dimensional, finite element, hydrogeologic model. The model is applied to a representative headwater catchment on the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau, China. Results from the model simulations indicate that groundwater contributes significantly to streams in the form of baseflow and the majority of groundwater flow is from the shallow aquifer above the permafrost, disrupting the typical topographically controlled flow pattern observed in most permafrost-free headwater catchments. Under a warming scenario where mean annual surface temperature is increased by 2°C, reducing the areal extent of permafrost in the catchment, groundwater contribution to streamflow may increase three-fold. These findings suggest that, in headwater catchments, permafrost has a large influence on groundwater flow and stream discharge. Increased annual air temperatures may increase groundwater discharge to streams, which has implications for ecosystem health and the long-term availability of water resources to downstream regions.

  18. Can spectroscopic analysis improve our understanding of biogeochemical processes in agricultural streams?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bieroza, Magdalena; Heathwaite, Ann Louise

    2015-04-01

    In agricultural catchments diffuse fluxes of nutrients, mainly nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) from arable land and livestock are responsible for pollution of receiving waters and their eutrophication. Organic matter (OM) can play an important role in mediating a range of biogeochemical processes controlling diffuse pollution in streams and at their interface with surrounding land in the riparian and hyporheic zones. Thus, a holistic and simultaneous monitoring of N, P and OM fractions can help to improve our understanding of biogeochemical functioning of agricultural streams. In this study we build on intensive in situ monitoring of diffuse pollution in a small agricultural groundwater-fed stream in NW England carried out since 2009. The in situ monitoring unit captures high-frequency (15 minutes to hourly) responses of water quality parameters including total phosphorus, total reactive phosphorus and nitrate-nitrogen to changing flow conditions. For two consecutive hydrological years we have carried out additional spectroscopic water analyses to characterise organic matter components and their interactions with nutrient fractions. Automated and grab water samples have been analysed using ultraviolet-visible (UV-Vis) absorbance and excitation-emission (EEM) fluorescence spectroscopy. In addition, a tryptophan sensor was trialled to capture in situ fluorescence dynamics. Our paper evaluates patterns in nutrient and OM responses to baseflow and storm flow conditions and provides an assessment of storage-related changes of automated samples and temperature and turbidity effects on in situ tryptophan measurements. The paper shows the value of spectroscopic measurements to understand biogeochemical and hydrological nutrient dynamics and quantifies analytical uncertainty associated with both laboratory-based and in situ spectroscopic measurements.

  19. Variations in surface water-ground water interactions along a headwater mountain stream : comparisons between transient storage and water balance analyses

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Ward, Adam S.; Payn, Robert A.; Gooseff, Michael N.; McGlynn, Brian L.; Bencala, Kenneth E.; Kelleher, Christa A.; Wondzell, Steven M.; Wagener, Thorsten

    2013-01-01

    The accumulation of discharge along a stream valley is frequently assumed to be the primary control on solute transport processes. Relationships of both increasing and decreasing transient storage, and decreased gross losses of stream water have been reported with increasing discharge; however, we have yet to validate these relationships with extensive field study. We conducted transient storage and mass recovery analyses of artificial tracer studies completed for 28 contiguous 100 m reaches along a stream valley, repeated under four base-flow conditions. We calculated net and gross gains and losses, temporal moments of tracer breakthrough curves, and best fit transient storage mod