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Nitrogen cycling in a forest stream determined by a 15N tracer additionAuthor(s): Patrick J. Mullholland; Jennifer L. Tank; Diane M. Sanzone; Wilfred M. Wollheim; Bruce J. Peterson; Jackson R. Webster; Judy L. Meyer
Source: Ecological Monographs. 70(3). 2000. p. 471-493
Publication Series: Miscellaneous Publication
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DescriptionNitrogen uptake and cycling was examined using a six-week tracer addition of 15N-labeled ammonium in early spring in Waer Branch, a first-order deciduous forest stream in eastern Tennessee. Prior to the 15N addition, standing stocks of N were determined for the major biomass compartments. During and after the addition, 15N was measured in water and in dominant biomass compartments upstream and at several locatiogs downstream. Residence time of ammonium in stream water (5-6 min) and ammonium uptake lengths (23- 27 m) were short and relatively constant during the addition. Uptake rates of NH4 were more variable, ranging from 22 to 37 µg N·m-1·min-1 and varying directly with changes in streamwater ammonium concentration (2.7-6.7 μg/L). The highest rates of ammonium uptake per unit area were by the liverwort Porella pinnata decomposing leaves, and fine benthic organic matter (FBOM), although epilithon had the highest N uptake per unit biomass N.
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CitationMullholland, Patrick J.; Tank, Jennifer L.; Sanzone, Diane M.; Wollheim, Wilfred M.; Peterson, Bruce J.; Webster, Jackson R.; Meyer, Judy L. 2000. Nitrogen cycling in a forest stream determined by a 15N tracer addition. Ecological Monographs. 70(3). 2000. p. 471-493
Keywordsammonium uptake length, 15N, gross primary production, nitrate uptake length, nitrification, nitrogen cycling, respiration, stable isotope, stream ecosystem, tracer addition
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