Skip to Main Content
Can uptake length in strams be determined by nutrient addition experiments? Results from an interbiome comparison studyAuthor(s): P. J Mulholland; J. L. Tanks; J. R. Webster; W. B. Bowden; W. K Dodds; S. V. Gregory; N. B Grimm; J. L. Meriam; J. L. Meyer; B. J. Peterson; H. M. Valett; W. M. Wollheim
Source: J. N. Am. Bethol. Soc. 2002, 21(4): 544-560
Publication Series: Miscellaneous Publication
PDF: View PDF (1.08 MB)
DescriptionNutrient uptake length is an important parnmeter tor quantifying nutrient cycling in streams. Although nutrient tracer additions are the preierred method for measuring uptake length under ambient nutrient concentrations, short-term nutrient addition experiments have more irequently been used to estimate uptake length in streams. Theoretical analysis of the relationship between uptake length determined by nutrient addition experiments (Sw') and uptake length determined by tracer additions (Sw)predicted that Sw' should be consistently longer than 5,", and that the overestimate of uptake length by Sw( should be related to the level of nutrient addition above ambient concentrations and the degree of nutrient limitation. To test these predictions, we used data irom an interbiorne study of NH,- uptake length in which 15NH,- tracer and short-term NH,-a ddition experiments were performed in 10 streams using a uniform experimental approach. The experimental results largely contirmed the theoretical predictions: sw' was consistently longer than Sw and Sw':Sw ratios were directly related to the level of NH,- addition and to indicatvrs of N limitation. The experimentally derived Sw':Sw, ratios were used with the theoretical results to infer the N limitation status of each stream. Together, the theoretical and experimental results showed the tracer experiments should be used whenever possible to determine nutrient uptake length in streams. Nutrient addition experiments may be useful for comparing uptake lengths between different streams or cliiferent times in the same stream. however, provided that nutrient additions are kept as low as possible and of similar miagnitude.
- You may send email to firstname.lastname@example.org to request a hard copy of this publication.
- (Please specify exactly which publication you are requesting and your mailing address.)
- We recommend that you also print this page and attach it to the printout of the article, to retain the full citation information.
- This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.
CitationMulholland, P. J; Tanks, J. L.; Webster, J. R.; Bowden, W. B.; Dodds, W. K; Gregory, S. V.; Grimm, N. B; Meriam, J. L.; Meyer, J. L.; Peterson, B. J.; Valett, H. M.; Wollheim, W. M. 2002. Can uptake length in strams be determined by nutrient addition experiments? Results from an interbiome comparison study. J. N. Am. Bethol. Soc. 2002, 21(4): 544-560
KeywordsStream, ammonium, uptake length, nutrient cycling, nutrient spiraling, nitrogen limitation.
- Effects of livestock grazing on morphology, hydrology and nutrient retention in four riparian/stream ecosystems, New Mexico, USA
- Food resources of stream macroinvertebrates determined by natural-abundance stable C and N isotopes and a 15N tracer addition
- Nitrogen cycling in a forest stream determined by a 15N tracer addition
XML: View XML