Skip to Main Content
Influence of bedrock geology on water chemistry of slope wetlands and headwater streams in the southern Rocky MountainsAuthor(s): Monique LaPerriere Nelson; Charles C. Rhoades; Kathleen A. Dwire
Source: Wetlands. 31: 251-261.
Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)
Station: Rocky Mountain Research Station
View PDF (376.0 KB)
DescriptionWe characterized the water chemistry of nine slope wetlands and adjacent headwater streams in Colorado subalpine forests and compared sites in basins formed on crystalline bedrock with those formed in basins with a mixture of crystalline and sedimentary bedrock. The pH, Ca2+, Mg2+, NH4 +, acid neutralizing capacity, and electrical conductivity of wetland porewater and streamwater were higher in the basins with mixed geology. Bryophyte cover was higher in lower pH, crystalline basins, and vascular plant cover was higher in the mixed bedrock basins. On average, wetland porewater had lower pH and higher concentrations of dissolved organic carbon (DOC) and nitrogen and several other ions than streamwater; however, because discharge from these small wetlands is low, their direct influence on stream solute concentrations was generally undetectable. Dilution altered stream solute concentrations during peak flow in both basin types, but had little effect on wetland chemistry. In contrast to other solutes, the concentration of DOC in streams increased marginally during peak runoff and its concentration in wetland porewater was stable throughout the year. These findings further knowledge of the influence of watershed characteristics on wetland and stream chemistry and will inform future decisions regarding conservation and management in headwater basins.
- 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.
CitationNelson, Monique LaPerriere; Rhoades, Charles C.; Dwire, Kathleen A. 2011. Influence of bedrock geology on water chemistry of slope wetlands and headwater streams in the southern Rocky Mountains. Wetlands. 31: 251-261.
Keywordsbiogeochemistry, dissolved organic carbon, groundwater-dependent ecosystems, subalpine forests, weatherable minerals
- Flushing of distal hillslopes as an alternative source of stream dissolved organic carbon in a headwater catchment
- Concentration-discharge relationships in headwater streams of the Sierra Nevada, California
- The role of hillslope hydrology in controlling nutrient loss
XML: View XML