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Water 2018, 10(8), 1080; https://doi.org/10.3390/w10081080

Nitrogen and Phosphorus Uptake Dynamics in Tropical Cerrado Woodland Streams

1
Department of Hydraulic and Sanitation Engineering, São Carlos School of Engineering, University of São Paulo, São Carlos, São Paulo CEP 13560-590, Brazil
2
Global Water Center and Department of Biology, University of Nevada, Reno, NV 89557, USA
3
Department of Geosciences, Federal University of São João del-Rei, São João del-Rei, Minas Gerais CEP 36301-360, Brazil
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 15 July 2018 / Revised: 30 July 2018 / Accepted: 31 July 2018 / Published: 14 August 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Current and Emerging Issues Surrounding Water in the Americas)
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Abstract

Pollution abatement through phosphorus and nitrogen retention is a key ecosystem service provided by streams. Human activities have been changing in-stream nutrient concentrations, thereby altering lotic ecosystem functioning, especially in developing countries. We estimated nutrient uptake metrics (ambient uptake length, areal uptake rate, and uptake velocity) for nitrate (NO3–N), ammonium (NH4–N), and soluble reactive phosphorus (SRP) in four tropical Cerrado headwater streams during 2017, through whole-stream nutrient addition experiments. According to multiple regression models, ambient SRP concentration was an important explanatory variable of nutrient uptake. Further, best models included ambient NO3–N and water velocity (for NO3–N uptake metrics), dissolved oxygen (DO) and canopy cover (for NH4–N); and DO, discharge, water velocity, and temperature (for SRP). The best kinetic models describing nutrient uptake were efficiency-loss (R2 from 0.47–0.88) and first-order models (R2 from 0.60–0.85). NO3–N, NH4–N, and SRP uptake in these streams seemed coupled as a result of complex interactions of biotic P limitation, abiotic P cycling processes, and the preferential uptake of NH4–N among N-forms. Global change effects on these tropical streams, such as temperature increase and nutrient enrichment due to urban and agricultural expansion, may have adverse and partially unpredictable impacts on whole-stream nutrient processing. View Full-Text
Keywords: low-order streams; nutrient retention; self-purification capacity; Tracer Additions for Spiraling Curve Characterization; tropical water bodies low-order streams; nutrient retention; self-purification capacity; Tracer Additions for Spiraling Curve Characterization; tropical water bodies
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).
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Reinaldo Finkler, N.; Tromboni, F.; Boëchat, I.G.; Gücker, B.; Gasparini Fernandes Cunha, D. Nitrogen and Phosphorus Uptake Dynamics in Tropical Cerrado Woodland Streams. Water 2018, 10, 1080.

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