Advanced

Large differences between carbon and nutrient loss rates along the land to ocean aquatic continuum—implications for energy : nutrient ratios at downstream sites

Weyhenmeyer, Gesa A. and Conley, Daniel J. LU (2017) In Limnology and Oceanography 62. p.183-193
Abstract

The balance between the availability of energy and nutrients is decisive for the growth and survival of organisms. Here, we evaluated how energy, in this study expressed as total carbon (TC), is lost along the land to ocean aquatic continuum (LOAC) in relation to nutrients, i.e., total phosphorus (TP), total nitrogen (TN), total iron (TFe), and dissolved silica (DSi). For the evaluation, we used data from 4774 lakes, 149 streams, and 52 river mouths from the boreal region. We found that the loss of all chemical variables followed a first order decay function along the LOAC with shortest half-lives for TFe and DSi (410 d and 568 d, respectively). The half-life of TC was more than twice as long as for TFe and DSi, resulting in rapidly... (More)

The balance between the availability of energy and nutrients is decisive for the growth and survival of organisms. Here, we evaluated how energy, in this study expressed as total carbon (TC), is lost along the land to ocean aquatic continuum (LOAC) in relation to nutrients, i.e., total phosphorus (TP), total nitrogen (TN), total iron (TFe), and dissolved silica (DSi). For the evaluation, we used data from 4774 lakes, 149 streams, and 52 river mouths from the boreal region. We found that the loss of all chemical variables followed a first order decay function along the LOAC with shortest half-lives for TFe and DSi (410 d and 568 d, respectively). The half-life of TC was more than twice as long as for TFe and DSi, resulting in rapidly increasing TC:TFe and TC:DSi ratios along the LOAC. In contrast, TC:TP and TC:TN ratios decreased along the LOAC. The TC and TFe concentration declines along the LOAC were quantitatively similar to the TC and TFe concentration declines from winter to summer, indicating that similar drivers are responsible for spatial and seasonal TC and TFe losses in inland waters. We conclude that the energy:nutrient ratio rapidly changes along the LOAC with an increasing surplus of energy in relation to TFe and DSi the longer water stays in the landscape. These findings have implications for the growth of aquatic organisms along the LOAC, where organisms are likely to become increasingly iron and silica limited with increasing water retention in the landscape.

(Less)
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
in
Limnology and Oceanography
volume
62
pages
183 - 193
publisher
ASLO
external identifiers
  • scopus:85019585136
  • wos:000415924700013
ISSN
1939-5590
DOI
10.1002/lno.10589
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
923e325c-5871-4092-b666-52790025d6c5
date added to LUP
2018-01-05 08:51:21
date last changed
2018-01-16 13:29:20
@article{923e325c-5871-4092-b666-52790025d6c5,
  abstract     = {<p>The balance between the availability of energy and nutrients is decisive for the growth and survival of organisms. Here, we evaluated how energy, in this study expressed as total carbon (TC), is lost along the land to ocean aquatic continuum (LOAC) in relation to nutrients, i.e., total phosphorus (TP), total nitrogen (TN), total iron (TFe), and dissolved silica (DSi). For the evaluation, we used data from 4774 lakes, 149 streams, and 52 river mouths from the boreal region. We found that the loss of all chemical variables followed a first order decay function along the LOAC with shortest half-lives for TFe and DSi (410 d and 568 d, respectively). The half-life of TC was more than twice as long as for TFe and DSi, resulting in rapidly increasing TC:TFe and TC:DSi ratios along the LOAC. In contrast, TC:TP and TC:TN ratios decreased along the LOAC. The TC and TFe concentration declines along the LOAC were quantitatively similar to the TC and TFe concentration declines from winter to summer, indicating that similar drivers are responsible for spatial and seasonal TC and TFe losses in inland waters. We conclude that the energy:nutrient ratio rapidly changes along the LOAC with an increasing surplus of energy in relation to TFe and DSi the longer water stays in the landscape. These findings have implications for the growth of aquatic organisms along the LOAC, where organisms are likely to become increasingly iron and silica limited with increasing water retention in the landscape.</p>},
  author       = {Weyhenmeyer, Gesa A. and Conley, Daniel J.},
  issn         = {1939-5590},
  language     = {eng},
  month        = {11},
  pages        = {183--193},
  publisher    = {ASLO},
  series       = {Limnology and Oceanography},
  title        = {Large differences between carbon and nutrient loss rates along the land to ocean aquatic continuum—implications for energy : nutrient ratios at downstream sites},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/lno.10589},
  volume       = {62},
  year         = {2017},
}