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Stream Chemistry After An Operational Fertilizer Application in the Ouachita MountainsAuthor(s): Hal O. Liechty; Jami Nettles; Daniel A. Marion; Donald J. Turton
Source: Paper presented at the Tenth Biennial Southern Silvicultural Research Conference, Shreveport, LA, February 16-18, 1999.
Publication Series: Miscellaneous Publication
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DescriptionThe amount of forested land annually fertilized in the southern United States has increased rapidly in the past 10 years. Although forest growth responses to fertilizer are fairly well understood, knowledge concerning the effects of fertilization on stream chemistry and health in this region is limited. To better understand the potential changes in stream chemistry after operational forest fertilization in the Ouachita Mountains of Arkansas, levels of N were monitored in a stream after application of 437 kg/ha of urea and 140 kg/ha of diammonium-phosphate to a 150 ha watershed. Baseflow and stormflow concentrations of NO3-N, NH3-N. and Total Kjeldahl N were measured at the outlet of the fertilized subwatershed. The outlet of a reference subwatershed, and downstream of both in the main watershed prior and up to three months afler fertilization application. Maximum NO3-N and NH3-N concentrations prior to fertilization were respectively 0.3 and ~0.01 mg L-1. Nitrate-N concentrations peaked at 3.58 mg L-1 during a storm event 50 days affer urea application while NH3-N levels peaked at 4.91 mg L-1 24 hours after urea fertilization. Concentrations of total organic nitrogen (Total Kjeldahl N - NH3-N) peaked at 44.5 mg L-1 five hours after urea application. Nitrate-N concentrations remained elevated for 78 days after urea fertilization. The unexpectedly rapid increase and high levels of N after application appear to be related to an extremely large precipitation event which occurred within 24 hours of fertilizer application and to direct application of fertilizer to intermittent and ephemeral stream channels.
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CitationLiechty, Hal O.; Nettles, Jami; Marion, Daniel A.; Turton, Donald J. 1999. Stream Chemistry After An Operational Fertilizer Application in the Ouachita Mountains. Paper presented at the Tenth Biennial Southern Silvicultural Research Conference, Shreveport, LA, February 16-18, 1999.
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