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This article in JEQ

  1. Vol. 36 No. 3, p. 790-800
    Received: Oct 6, 2006

    * Corresponding author(s): jeff.novak@ars.usda.gov
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Dissolved Phosphorus Export from an Animal Waste Impacted In-Stream Wetland

  1. J. M. Novak *,
  2. A. A. Szogi,
  3. K. C. Stone,
  4. D. W. Watts and
  5. M. H. Johnson
  1. USDA-ARS-Coastal Plains Soil, Water and Plant Research Center, 2611 W. Lucas St., Florence, SC 29501-1242


The ability of wetlands to retain P makes them an important landscape feature that buffers P movement. However, their P retention ability can be compromised through hydrologic disturbances caused by hurricanes and tropical storms (TS). This study had three objectives: (i) to determine the effects of hurricanes and TS on dissolved phosphorus (DP) concentrations and loads discharged from a Coastal Plain in-stream wetland (ISW); (ii) to evaluate shifts in P storage pools that would reflect P accretion/removal patterns; and (iii) to determine if relationships exist between storm characteristics with releases of DP and water volume. From January 1996 to October 1999, the ISW's outflow DP concentrations and flow volumes (Q) were measured and they were used to calculate DP mass export loads. In addition, the sediment total phosphorus (TP) concentrations were measured, and both the water column and sediment pore water DP concentrations were examined using passive samplers. In several instances, TS facilitated greater DP releases than a single hurricane event. The largest release of DP occurred in 1999 after Hurricanes Dennis, Floyd, and Irene. The large differences in DP exports among the storms were explained by Q variations. Storm activity also caused changes in sediment pore water DP and sediment TP concentrations. This study revealed that some TS events caused higher DP releases than a single hurricane; however, multiple hurricanes delivering heavy precipitation totals significantly increased DP export.

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