Stream ecosystem response to chronic deposition of N and acid at the Bear Brook Watershed, Maine

Kevin S. Simon, Michael A. Chadwick, Alexander D. Huryn, H. Maurice Valett

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The Bear Brook Watershed in Maine (BBWM) is a long-term, paired watershed experiment that addresses the effects of acid and nitrogen (N) deposition on whole watersheds. To examine stream response at BBWM, we synthesized data on organic matter dynamics, including leaf breakdown rates, organic matter inputs and standing stocks, macroinvertebrate secondary production, and nutrient uptake in treated and reference streams at the BBWM. While N concentrations in stream water and leaves have increased, the input, standing stocks, and breakdown rates of leaves, as well as macroinvertebrate production, were not responsive to acid and N deposition. Both chronic and acute increases of N availability have saturated uptake of nitrate in the streams. Recent experimental increases in phosphorus (P) availability enhanced stream capacity to take up nitrate and altered the character of N saturation. These results show how the interactive effects of multiple factors, including environmental flow regime, acidification, and P availability, may constrain stream response to chronic N deposition.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)83 - 92
Number of pages10
JournalENVIRONMENTAL MONITORING AND ASSESSMENT
Volume171
Issue number1-4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2010

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