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Open AccessArticle

Nitrogen Retention Effects under Reservoir Regulation at Multiple Time Scales in a Subtropical River Basin

1,2,*, 1,2, 1,2, 2,3 and 1,2
1
State Key Laboratory for Subtropical Mountain Ecology of the Ministry of Science and Technology and Fujian Province, Fujian Normal University, Fuzhou 350007, China
2
School of Geographical Sciences, Fujian Normal University, Fuzhou 350007, China
3
Fujian Provincial Engineering Research Center for Monitoring and Assessing Terrestrial Disasters, Fujian Normal University, Fuzhou 350007, China
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Water 2019, 11(8), 1685; https://doi.org/10.3390/w11081685
Received: 8 July 2019 / Revised: 6 August 2019 / Accepted: 7 August 2019 / Published: 14 August 2019
(This article belongs to the Section Water Quality and Ecosystems)
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Abstract

Reservoirs are an important nitrogen sink as a result of their retention effect, but their retention performance may vary with hydrologic conditions with time-varying characteristics, which also change them from being a sink to source over time. This study uses a coupled modelling system (Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT) and a two-dimensional hydrodynamic and water quality model (CE-QUAL-W2) to analyze the nitrogen retention effect and influential factors at annual, monthly, and daily scales in Shanmei Reservoir in southeast China. The results showed that there was a positive retention effect of total nitrogen (TN), nitrate-nitrogen (NO3-N) and ammonia nitrogen (NH4-N) in most years, with average retention rates up to 12.7%, 7.83% and 26.17%, respectively. The reservoir serves mainly as a nitrogen sink at an annual scale. The monthly retention performances of TN and NO3-N were observed during the wet season (April–October) with higher water temperature and lower velocity, while a release effect occurred during the dry season (November–March). For NH4-N, which is prone to nitrification, the retention effect lasted longer, from May to December. The daily nitrogen retention process changed more dramatically, with the retention rate varying from −292.49 to 58.17%. During the period of dispatch, the regulated discharge was the primary factor of daily retention performance, while the hydraulic residence time, velocity and water level were all significantly correlated with nitrogen retention during the period without dispatch. View Full-Text
Keywords: nitrogen retention; release effect; reservoir regulation; multiple time scales; hydrodynamic factors nitrogen retention; release effect; reservoir regulation; multiple time scales; hydrodynamic factors
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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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Liu, M.; Chen, X.; Chen, Y.; Gao, L.; Deng, H. Nitrogen Retention Effects under Reservoir Regulation at Multiple Time Scales in a Subtropical River Basin. Water 2019, 11, 1685.

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