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Input, behaviour and distribution of multiple elements in abiotic matrices along a transect within the Okavango Delta, northern Botswana

Schaller, Jörg; Schoelynck, Jonas; Murray-Hudson, Mike; Frings, Patrick J. LU ; van Pelt, Dimitri; Hegewald, Tilo; Mosimane, Keotshephile; Gondwe, Mangaliso; Wolski, Piotr and Meire, Patrick, et al. (2016) In Environmental Monitoring and Assessment 188(12).
Abstract

Wetlands fed by rivers can be a sink for elements depending on elemental concentrations, wetland hydrology, geochemistry, vegetation and climate. In the case of the Okavango Delta, northern Botswana, the outflow discharge is a small fraction (2–5%) of the inflow. This has strong potential consequences for the Delta, as it strongly affects element cycling and storage within the Delta. We estimated the inputs, behaviour and distribution of multiple elements along a longitudinal transect within the Okavango Delta, to show potential effects of retention mechanisms of different elements. High annual element input is rather attributed to discharge than to the concentration within the water, which is generally extremely low. We observed... (More)

Wetlands fed by rivers can be a sink for elements depending on elemental concentrations, wetland hydrology, geochemistry, vegetation and climate. In the case of the Okavango Delta, northern Botswana, the outflow discharge is a small fraction (2–5%) of the inflow. This has strong potential consequences for the Delta, as it strongly affects element cycling and storage within the Delta. We estimated the inputs, behaviour and distribution of multiple elements along a longitudinal transect within the Okavango Delta, to show potential effects of retention mechanisms of different elements. High annual element input is rather attributed to discharge than to the concentration within the water, which is generally extremely low. We observed minimal enrichment of the elements within the water pathway along the transect from inflow to outlets, implying that element output is negligible. For most elements, we observed a high correlation between storage and sediment organic matter content. The organic matter content within the sediments was higher in the vegetated sediments than in non-vegetated sediments (factor ∼ 10), and a similar trend was found for most elements. In conclusion, organic matter dominated in sediments from vegetated plots and thus plays an important role in retaining the elements within the sediments of the Delta. This finding has major implications for e.g. planning constructed wetlands for water purification or element retention especially in areas with high evapotranspiration.

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publication status
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subject
keywords
Aquatic ecosystem, Carbon pools, Element accumulation, Macrophytes, Organic rich sediments, Wetland
in
Environmental Monitoring and Assessment
volume
188
issue
12
publisher
Springer
external identifiers
  • scopus:84995878359
  • wos:000388805000029
ISSN
0167-6369
DOI
10.1007/s10661-016-5696-2
language
English
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yes
id
af269a22-a6c0-4eea-bb61-88f4615fd9ed
date added to LUP
2016-12-02 13:47:42
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2017-09-18 11:32:12
@article{af269a22-a6c0-4eea-bb61-88f4615fd9ed,
  abstract     = {<p>Wetlands fed by rivers can be a sink for elements depending on elemental concentrations, wetland hydrology, geochemistry, vegetation and climate. In the case of the Okavango Delta, northern Botswana, the outflow discharge is a small fraction (2–5%) of the inflow. This has strong potential consequences for the Delta, as it strongly affects element cycling and storage within the Delta. We estimated the inputs, behaviour and distribution of multiple elements along a longitudinal transect within the Okavango Delta, to show potential effects of retention mechanisms of different elements. High annual element input is rather attributed to discharge than to the concentration within the water, which is generally extremely low. We observed minimal enrichment of the elements within the water pathway along the transect from inflow to outlets, implying that element output is negligible. For most elements, we observed a high correlation between storage and sediment organic matter content. The organic matter content within the sediments was higher in the vegetated sediments than in non-vegetated sediments (factor ∼ 10), and a similar trend was found for most elements. In conclusion, organic matter dominated in sediments from vegetated plots and thus plays an important role in retaining the elements within the sediments of the Delta. This finding has major implications for e.g. planning constructed wetlands for water purification or element retention especially in areas with high evapotranspiration.</p>},
  articleno    = {682},
  author       = {Schaller, Jörg and Schoelynck, Jonas and Murray-Hudson, Mike and Frings, Patrick J. and van Pelt, Dimitri and Hegewald, Tilo and Mosimane, Keotshephile and Gondwe, Mangaliso and Wolski, Piotr and Meire, Patrick and Struyf, Eric},
  issn         = {0167-6369},
  keyword      = {Aquatic ecosystem,Carbon pools,Element accumulation,Macrophytes,Organic rich sediments,Wetland},
  language     = {eng},
  month        = {12},
  number       = {12},
  publisher    = {Springer},
  series       = {Environmental Monitoring and Assessment},
  title        = {Input, behaviour and distribution of multiple elements in abiotic matrices along a transect within the Okavango Delta, northern Botswana},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10661-016-5696-2},
  volume       = {188},
  year         = {2016},
}