Anthropogenic and Climate-Exacerbated Landscape Disturbances Converge to Alter Phosphorus Bioavailability in an Oligotrophic River

A - Papers appearing in refereed journals

Watt, C., Emelko, M. B., Silins, U., Collins, A. L. and Stone, M. 2021. Anthropogenic and Climate-Exacerbated Landscape Disturbances Converge to Alter Phosphorus Bioavailability in an Oligotrophic River. Water. 13 (22), p. 3151. https://doi.org/10.3390/w13223151

AuthorsWatt, C., Emelko, M. B., Silins, U., Collins, A. L. and Stone, M.
Abstract

Cumulative effects of landscape disturbance in forested source water regions can alter the storage of fine sediment and associated phosphorus in riverbeds, shift nutrient dynamics and degrade water quality. Here, we examine longitudinal changes in major element chemistry and particulate phosphorus (PP) fractions of riverbed sediment in an oligotrophic river during environmentally sensitive low flow conditions. Study sites along 50 km of the Crowsnest River were located below tributary inflows from sub-watersheds and represent a gradient of increasing cumulative sediment pressures across a range of land disturbance types (harvesting, wildfire, and municipal wastewater discharges). Major elements (Si2O, Al2O3, Fe2O3, MnO, CaO, MgO, Na2O, K2O, Ti2O, V2O5, P2O5), loss on ignition (LOI), PP fractions (NH4CI-RP, BD-RP, NaOH-RP, HCI-RP and NaOH(85)-RP), and absolute particle size were evaluated for sediments collected in 2016 and 2017. While total PP concentrations were similar across all sites, bioavailable PP fractions (BD-RP, NaOH-RP) increased downstream with increased concentrations of Al2O3 and MnO and levels of landscape disturbance. This study highlights the longitudinal water quality impacts of increasing landscape disturbance on bioavailable PP in fine riverbed sediments and shows how the convergence of climate (wildfire) and anthropogenic (sewage effluent, harvesting, agriculture) drivers can produce legacy effects on nutrients.

KeywordsCumulative effects; Fine sediment; Particulate phosphorus; Sediment geochemistry; Gravel-bed rivers; Forest disturbance; Wildfire; Eutrophication; Climate change
Year of Publication2021
JournalWater
Journal citation13 (22), p. 3151
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.3390/w13223151
Web address (URL)https://doi.org/10.3390/w13223151
Open accessPublished as ‘gold’ (paid) open access
FunderBiotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council
Funder project or codeNatural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada - Discovery Grant
Alberta Innovates Energy and Environment Solutions Grant AI-EES:2096
Alberta Innovates BIO Grant AI-BIO: Bio-13-009
forWater NSERC Network for Forested Drinking Water Source Protection Technologies
S2N - Soil to Nutrition - Work package 3 (WP3) - Sustainable intensification - optimisation at multiple scales
Publisher's version
Output statusPublished
Publication dates
Online09 Nov 2021
Publication process dates
Accepted05 Nov 2021
PublisherMDPI
ISSN2073-4441

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