State Water Resources Research Institute Program

Project ID: 2009DE151B
Title: Evolution of Dissolved Organic Nitrogen (Don) from the Headwaters to the Catchment Outlet: Sources, Variation with Scale, and Differences with Dissolved Organic Carbon
Project Type: Research
Start Date: 3/01/2009
End Date: 2/28/2010
Congressional District: At-Large
Focus Categories: Geochemical Processes, Nutrients, Hydrology
Keywords: dissolved organic N and C, forests, meterology, hydrology
Principal Investigators: Levia, Delphis; Bevan, Anna
Federal Funds: $ 3,500
Non-Federal Matching Funds: $ 7,000
Abstract: The overarching goal of the project is to better understand how DOC and DON are cycled from the forest canopy to the forest floor as a function of meteorological conditions within discrete precipitation events. Results from this study will have direct practical implications for: (a) drinking water research since DON contributes to the formation of toxic disinfection by-products; and (b) nutrient enrichment of coastal estuaries (e.g., Chesapeake bay) since DON is bioavailable.The aim of the research is to examine: (1) the nature or hydrologic fluxes (i.e., throughfall and stemflow) and how they vary over time and space within discrete precipitation events; and (2) how throughfall, stemflow, and litter leachate chemistry changes sequentially overtime within discrete precipitation events. Our null hypothesis is that the differing species composition of the experimental forest will not have a detectable impact on the partitioning of precipitation into throughfall and stemflow nor the concentrations of DOC and DON in throughfall, stemflow, and litter leachate. Rejection of this hypothesis would indicate that different tree species have notable impacts on the hydrology and biogeochemistry. As such, our study may have management implications for watershed management.

Progress/Completion Report, 2009, PDF

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