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Article

Anthropogenic and Climate-Exacerbated Landscape Disturbances Converge to Alter Phosphorus Bioavailability in an Oligotrophic River

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Department of Geography and Environmental Management, University of Waterloo, Waterloo, ON N2L 3G1, Canada
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Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering, University of Waterloo, 200 University Ave. W, Waterloo, ON N2L 3G1, Canada
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Department of Renewable Resources, University of Alberta, Edmonton, AB T6G 2J7, Canada
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Sustainable Agriculture Sciences Department, Rothamsted Research, North Wyke, Okehampton EX20 2SB, UK
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Achim A. Beylich
Water 2021, 13(22), 3151; https://doi.org/10.3390/w13223151
Received: 6 October 2021 / Revised: 5 November 2021 / Accepted: 5 November 2021 / Published: 9 November 2021
(This article belongs to the Section Water Quality and Contamination)
Cumulative effects of landscape disturbance in forested source water regions can alter the storage of fine sediment and associated phosphorus in riverbeds, shift nutrient dynamics and degrade water quality. Here, we examine longitudinal changes in major element chemistry and particulate phosphorus (PP) fractions of riverbed sediment in an oligotrophic river during environmentally sensitive low flow conditions. Study sites along 50 km of the Crowsnest River were located below tributary inflows from sub-watersheds and represent a gradient of increasing cumulative sediment pressures across a range of land disturbance types (harvesting, wildfire, and municipal wastewater discharges). Major elements (Si2O, Al2O3, Fe2O3, MnO, CaO, MgO, Na2O, K2O, Ti2O, V2O5, P2O5), loss on ignition (LOI), PP fractions (NH4CI-RP, BD-RP, NaOH-RP, HCI-RP and NaOH(85)-RP), and absolute particle size were evaluated for sediments collected in 2016 and 2017. While total PP concentrations were similar across all sites, bioavailable PP fractions (BD-RP, NaOH-RP) increased downstream with increased concentrations of Al2O3 and MnO and levels of landscape disturbance. This study highlights the longitudinal water quality impacts of increasing landscape disturbance on bioavailable PP in fine riverbed sediments and shows how the convergence of climate (wildfire) and anthropogenic (sewage effluent, harvesting, agriculture) drivers can produce legacy effects on nutrients. View Full-Text
Keywords: cumulative effects; fine sediment; particulate phosphorus; sediment geochemistry; gravel-bed rivers; forest disturbance; wildfire; eutrophication; climate change cumulative effects; fine sediment; particulate phosphorus; sediment geochemistry; gravel-bed rivers; forest disturbance; wildfire; eutrophication; climate change
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MDPI and ACS Style

Watt, C.; Emelko, M.B.; Silins, U.; Collins, A.L.; Stone, M. Anthropogenic and Climate-Exacerbated Landscape Disturbances Converge to Alter Phosphorus Bioavailability in an Oligotrophic River. Water 2021, 13, 3151. https://doi.org/10.3390/w13223151

AMA Style

Watt C, Emelko MB, Silins U, Collins AL, Stone M. Anthropogenic and Climate-Exacerbated Landscape Disturbances Converge to Alter Phosphorus Bioavailability in an Oligotrophic River. Water. 2021; 13(22):3151. https://doi.org/10.3390/w13223151

Chicago/Turabian Style

Watt, Caitlin, Monica B. Emelko, Uldis Silins, Adrian L. Collins, and Micheal Stone. 2021. "Anthropogenic and Climate-Exacerbated Landscape Disturbances Converge to Alter Phosphorus Bioavailability in an Oligotrophic River" Water 13, no. 22: 3151. https://doi.org/10.3390/w13223151

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