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This article in JEQ

  1. Vol. 31 No. 1, p. 90-96
    Received: Aug 12, 2000

    * Corresponding author(s): prichard@heidelberg.edu
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Trends in Water Quality in LEASEQ Rivers and Streams (Northwestern Ohio), 1975–1995

  1. R. Peter Richards * and
  2. David B. Baker
  1. Water Quality Laboratory, Heidelberg College, 310 E. Market Street, Tiffin, OH 44883


Trends in water quality in four northwest Ohio rivers over the period 1975–1995 were identified using datasets of daily concentrations containing 4500 to 6800 observations per river during the study period. Concentrations were log-transformed prior to analysis, and adjusted for flow using a locally weighted scatterplot smoother (LOWESS) fit between log(concentration) and log(flow). Seasonality was modeled using one- and two-cycle sinusoidal oscillations and monthly additive constants. Substantial decreases in total and soluble reactive phosphorus were documented at all stations. Smaller but highly significant decreases in total Kjeldahl nitrogen were documented at all stations, and significant decreases in total suspended solids were documented at three of the four stations. Nitrate did not show significant trends at the two stations draining major watersheds, and showed significant trends in opposite directions at the two stations on smaller watersheds. Comparisons using nonparametric, nonlinear trend fits (LOWESS) suggest that changes in fertilizer and manure application rates are the most important cause of trends in phosphorus and total Kjeldahl nitrogen; point sources are insufficient to account for the phosphorus trends. The conflicting trends for nitrate are enigmatic, but may reflect diverging land use in the two smaller watersheds.

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Copyright © 2002. American Society of Agronomy, Crop Science Society of America, Soil Science SocietyPublished in J. Environ. Qual.31:90–96.