Nutrients and their duration of enrichment influence periphyton cover and biomass in rural and urban streams

  • Elsdon T
  • Limburg K
  • 13

    Readers

    Mendeley users who have this article in their library.
  • 6

    Citations

    Citations of this article.

Abstract

Although it is well known that land use affects nutrient dynamics and algal growth in streams, the responses to different durations of nutrient supply are poorly understood. The associations of benthic (periphyton-dominated) biomass with concentrations of dissolved nitrogen and phosphorus in rural and urban streams in New York were quantified. Biomass was significantly greater (2-fold) in the urban compared with the rural stream, which was associated with differences in dissolved nutrients. Experimental field enrichment of nutrient concentrations and duration of exposure altered benthic periphyton. Increasing nutrients by 60–99% of ambient concentrations increased periphyton percentage cover and biomass. Periphyton abundance also increased with increasing duration of exposure to nutrients (2, 4 and 8 weeks); however, short-term pulses of nutrients (2 weeks) had no significant effect in the rural stream. These results indicate that effective management of nutrient delivery, by reducing time periods of high nutrient load, will minimise impacts to benthic environments.

Author-supplied keywords

  • Management
  • Nitrogen
  • Phosphorus
  • Urbanisation
  • Watershed

Get free article suggestions today

Mendeley saves you time finding and organizing research

Sign up here
Already have an account ?Sign in

Find this document

Authors

  • Travis S. Elsdon

  • Karin E. Limburg

Cite this document

Choose a citation style from the tabs below

Save time finding and organizing research with Mendeley

Sign up for free