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Journal of Environmental Quality Abstract - Wetlands and Aquatic Processes

Effects of Sedimentation on Soil Nutrient Dynamics in Riparian Forests


This article in JEQ

  1. Vol. 34 No. 1, p. 390-396
    Received: Mar 5, 2004

    * Corresponding author(s): lockabg@auburn.edu
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  1. B. G. Lockaby *a,
  2. R. Governoa,
  3. E. Schillinga,
  4. G. Cavalcantia and
  5. C. Hartsfieldb
  1. a School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences, 108 M.W. Smith Hall, Auburn University, Auburn, AL 36849-5418
    b Arboretum, Auburn University, Auburn, AL 36849. Sponsoring organizations: USDoD/EPA/DoE, Strategic Environmental Research and Development Program and Fort Benning Military Reservation


The influence of sedimentation rates on biogeochemistry of riparian forests was studied near ephemeral streams at Fort Benning, GA. Upper reaches of seven ephemeral streams had received varying rates of sedimentation stemming from erosion along unpaved roadways at the military installation. Two reference catchments were also included in the study. Decomposition of foliar litter, microbial C and N, N mineralization, and arthropod populations were compared within and among catchments. Rates of sedimentation over the past 25 yr ranged from 0 in references to 4.0 cm yr−1 Decomposition rates declined exponentially with sedimentation rates as low as 0.20 to 0.32 cm yr−1 and appeared to reach an equilibrium at a sedimentation rate of 0.5 cm yr−1 Nitrogen mineralization and microbial C and N followed the same trend. Sedimentation had no discernible effect on arthropod populations. These data suggest that biogeochemical cycles may be altered by sedimentation rates that commonly occur in some floodplain forests.

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